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Chewy Cherry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Cherry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

As you most likely know I am a huge fan of Cooks Illustrated and when looking for a base recipe for chocolate chip cookies I found their chewy chocolate chip cookies to be a great launching point for these loaded melt in your mouth goodies.

A few points of interest: Melting the butter before mixing with sugar helps these remain chewy and I consider this a must! Also the strange approach to forming the cookie by pulling apart a rounded ball and reassembling as a craggy topped sphere seems a bit weird but creates such a nice appearance of a artisan looking cookie I just had to include it as well.

A note on ingredients: butter butter butter – use a European style butter – not land o lakes or some no name American brand. There is higher proportion of butter fat in the European style butters and creates a nice smooth taste. I use unsalted and you should too. I am not a fan of the Irish brand, Kerrygold, because it has a bit too much fat and turns these cookies a bit greasy. My butter of choice is the amazing Plugra brand butter, which is a European Style but actually made in the USA. It has the perfect flavor and just the right amount of fat. Delicious! I am using dried Montmorency Cherries that are just a bit tart but rich in cherry flavor (I like this brand from Publix). These can be purchased at local grocery and my chocolate chip of choice is Ghiradelli 60% Bittersweet Chip (these are large chips and just the right amount of bittersweet to combat this sugary batter)

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup pecans (whole or pieces)
  • 12 tablespoons UNSALTED butter
  • 2 1/8 Cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg PLUS 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 5 oz bag dried Montmorency Cherries
  • 1 10 oz bag Ghiradelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees, place pecans on baking sheet (I recommend using some parchment paper as well) Roast pecans for 30-40 minutes until fragrant. Remove and let cool. Chop medium (pencil eraser size). Roasting brings out a buttery and rich toffee flavor to pecans.
  2. Increase oven temp to 325 Degrees
  3. Melt (gently) the butter in microwave or on stove top – do not over heat because it will pop and or burn. Does not need to be melted to the point of separating… just melted.
  4. While butter is melting and cooling down: measure out flour, salt and baking soda into small bowl and whisk well to combine. Measure out two sugars into large mixing bowl. Mix melted butter into sugars and stir to combine, continue stirring until lumps are removed. You might see a bit of separation of the butter fat from the sugar mixture (this will be resolved with…. Add the whole egg and 1 egg yolk to sugar/butter mixture. Mix well until a uniform creamy mixture is formed and egg is completely incorporated. Add vanilla and mix until completely incorporated.
  5. Add flour to sugar/butter/egg and mix UNTIL JUST BARELY incorporated – you do not want to over mix – it causes the cookies to be tough (you only want to mix until the flour streaks disappear). Add chocolate chips, dried cherries and chopped pecans. Mix gently until thoroughly dispersed (again you are not whipping these together…. Just gentle mixing with a wooden spoon)
  6. Forming cookies – this was a bit weird to me but is so pleasing in the result I recommend doing this. Using ¼ cup handfuls (more than a golf ball and less than those little tangerines that are all the rage right now – you can measure with a cup the first couple of times if that helps). Round the dough into a sphere. Take the sphere and break it in half and then reform a new round ball by squishing the two halves’ back together so rough torn part is on top (see photos). Place sphere craggy side up on parchment lined cookie sheet. I can get about 9 on a sheet spreading them out well. (you will need to cook two sheets worth from this recipe – approx. 18 cookies
     

    Form a smooth round ball of dough

    form smooth ball of dough

    split apart ball of dough

    split apart ball of dough

    reform dough ball with craggy top

    reform ball with craggy top

     
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 13-15 minutes – cookies should look just a bit under done in the center. Remove from oven and cool ON THE COOKIE SHEET – do not use a cooling wire rack – cooling on the sheet helps keep them moist and chewy.
  8. Store in airtight container once completely cooled or gobble them up when they have cooled to room temp!
Cherry Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
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