This delicious recipe was created by Naramata blogger and Food & Wine Trails writer Elaine Davidson. It was inspired after a taste of the brand new line of artisan chocolate being created at Okanagan College’s Pastry and Culinary Arts Program! Want a taste? It is for sale in the cafeteria campus in Kelowna. Follow Elaine and her delicious musings on naramata-blend.com. Oh, and make these cookies!
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
12 ounces Okanagan Noir chocolate (or 70% cocoa dark chocolate), coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups dried CC Orchards cherries, firmly packed (9 ounces)
1 cup Wild Goose Vineyards Dunkelfelder (or other fruit-forward red high quality red wine)
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Further 1/2 cup of Okanagan Noir or other high-quality dark chocolate for drizzling over baked cookies (optional)
The night before you want to make your cookies, macerate (soak) the 1 1/2 cups of dried cherries in one cup of red wine overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 3500 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Strain the cherries reserving the wine to drink! Chop the cherries into two or three pieces; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture, and beat on low speed, until just combined. Do not overbeat.
With a wooden spoon, fold in Okanagan Noir chocolate and cherries. Dough can be frozen at this point, wrapped well in plastic, up to 1 month; thaw completely before baking.
Form balls of dough, each about 1/4 cup; place balls on baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Bake until puffed and cracked, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar and drizzle melted Okanagan Noir over the icing sugar topped cookies for even more chocolaty flavour.
~ Elaine Davidson