One of the many things to look forward this fall is the return of my book club. Book clubs are wonderful inventions, don’t you think? As a gal who reads constantly, I love to have the opportunity to discuss books – some I would never have otherwise selected – with a group of friends over wine and dinner.
I was working my way through Let The Great World Spin for our September meeting last night, and (as it has a tendency to do) my mind drifted to cookies.
Specifically chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips. And dried cherries. And toasted almonds.
Because at one point last year, I brought a plate of these little gems to book club (I believe it was Where’d You Go Bernadette? night), and the crew polished off the entire plate while earnestly discussing Bernadette’s antics. Something about the chewy dark chocolate with the bursts of cherry and white chocolate… and the crunch of almonds, makes it nearly impossible to eat just one. I believe I promised to share the recipe, but never quite got around to it.
Right. Well now I finally have. Took long enough.
And while my mind was wandering, I also thought back to the days I hosted a cookbook club. Very short-lived, as I remember. We chose a cookbook a month, and each selected a recipe to make from it (while trying to compose a relatively balanced meal). We made our way through one of The Barefoot Contessa books, and Cooking for Mr. Latte. Great fun, but honestly too time-consuming for most in the crowd at this stage in our lives. When I saw the list of new Fall Cookbooks from Joy The Baker today, I thought to myself: Maybe someday, I’ll revive that club (perhaps when I have a large group of empty-nester friends?) Not quite yet anyway…
In the meantime, I’ll just keep cooking and bringing parcels of food along to book club.
Oh, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention these scrumptious chocolately wonders are adapted from a recipe found in Barefoot Contessa Parties. Ina, how I love your recipes.
Enough yammering on about cookies. Back to Let the Great World Spin…
Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, Dried Cherries and Almonds
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 extra-large egg at room temperature
- 2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the egg, and mix well. Add the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips, dried cherries and almonds.
Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.