Welcome To My Gluten Free Website!

Welcome To My Website!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chocolate Chunk-Tart Cherry Cookies!
These so deserve an exclamation at the end of the title! They are just the right combination of sweet-tart dried cherries and chunks of fabulously dark Callebaut Belgian chocolate. These pretty much easily shame a well known manufacturer's recipe. Since there are several out there I'll let you guess which one to yourself.

The flavor is absolutely superior, they are buttery, just the right amount of sweet, and enhanced even further by the fruit and chocolate additions.
And, the Callebaut chocolate is incredible, it melts perfectly, and ribbons, truffles, chunks, shaves, you name it, beautifully every time. I have both an 11 lb. bar and chips in a bag which are really too easy to scoop out and eat! I like to mix some of the chips with lightly salted nuts like pecans, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts...add some dried cherries and cranberries, maybe some dried chopped apricots, and a couple sticks of dried coconut. It's a really fantastic mix for that sweet tooth that won't be satisfied without a nice fudgy-frosted slice of deep chocolate cake, but you know that you can't have that cake today 'cuz you baked outrageous cookies instead, and will be quite satisfied. : )

So these were an adaptation of Jeanne Sauvage's Chocolate Chip Cookies in her Gluten Free Baking For The Holidays book. I made a few tweaks so I could add the cherries and wanted a thicker cookie to support the addition both in taste and structure.

I remember chocolate chip cookies from when I was a kid. It was a love-hate relationship due to the fact that my Mother always put hideous nuts in them. I hated nuts in them, and worse than that they were always walnuts! Walnuts and Hazelnuts are related, and I am terribly allergic to them. I do not add any nuts in mine. Ever. But feel free to add them to yours if you wish. Just don't offer me one! Thanks! You're wondering I bet on if I ate the nuts anyway, aren't you? I just ate around them the best that I could, but inevitably managed to get some of the nuts, not to mention that the entire cookie was "contaminated." So I still got blisters in my mouth with swelling, numbness....today I carry an Epi Pen it's gotten that bad.

I have not add extra photos of the doughs progress since I'm sure you have baked cookies before.
These lasted for at least 10 days and didn't taste odd, dry, or anything out of the ordinary. I simply stored them in a zip-lock baggie at room temperature. You can place mounds on a pan and put these in a freezer to pop in the oven when ever you are craving some. Don't leave them in there for longer than a month as they freezer-burn at about that point. Quite often I "nuke' these for about 10-15 seconds before eating them which makes it like they've just come out of the oven! Soooo good!

So as always, here you go!

Jeanne's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour  (one recipe makes 4 1/2 cups/660 g)
1 1/4 cups/170 g brown rice flour
1 1/4 cups/205 g white rice flour
1 cup/165 g sweet rice flour
1 cup/120 g tapioca flour/starch
scant 2 teaspoons xanthan gum

Whisk all together in a large bowl thoroughly. Transfer any remaining flour into an airtight       container and store in a cool dark place about 6 weeks, or refrigerate for about 6 months. (Mine never lasts long enough to worry about keeping it. I do keep it and all of my bulk flours in canning jars, and it might last 2-3 days before I have to make more!)

Chocolate Chunk-Tart Cherry Cookies!                                                About 4 dozen cookies

3 cups (400g) of Jeanne's flour blend, above
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt   *If using table salt cut amount in half
1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, just barely room temperature
1 cup (215g) dark brown sugar packed
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups (680g) chocolate chips or chunks
2 cups (300g) dried, tart Montmorency Cherries-no need to rehydrate

1 cup (120g) nuts, toasted and chopped

Pre-heat oven at 350ºF. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

1. In a medium mixing bowl mix the flour blend, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of your stand mixer beat the butter, and the two sugars on medium-high for about 5 minutes until it's fluffy and light. 
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. After the third one beat entire mixture for 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla.
4. Add the flour mixture about 1/2 cup at a time, then beat the mixture on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. This step helps to hydrate the various flours, eliminating the sandy, gritty texture. 
5. With the mixer on medium-low speed add in the chocolate chips or chunks, and the cherries and mix just until it's all together. You don't want to smash the cherries, they are so good whole in these.
6. Using a small cookie/portion scoop, place dough mounds about 2 inches apart.  Then chill the pans for at least 30 minutes. This helps the dough stay in a thicker format. Bake at 350ºF for about 10-13 minutes. If you want these to stay chewy only bake them for the 10-13 minutes, if you like them crispy then bake them longer. It's all up to you!
7. Let them cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks. Store these in an airtight container, if they last that long!