You might want to make this recipe first and immediately get the cookies into your freezer, just in case of a party emergency.
This is a very sophisticated cookie. It has a dense chocolate cake like texture with walnuts, dried cherries and a kiss of Vandermint liqueur. You can serve it after a very elegant meal, pack it in a picnic basket, or as I did after pizza and salad.
The cookies aren’t particularly beautiful, so I enjoy watching peoples’ faces as they take the first bite. Totally unexpected joy and surprise! One of my guests exclaimed, “This is the best cookies I have ever eaten!”
This cookie is adapted from a recipe in Maida Heatter’s Brand-New Book of Great Cookies. I added the Vandermint liqueur and doubled the glaze quantity. Maida says to make the glaze while the first batch is in the oven. I find it easier to make the glaze first, keep it covered room temperature and have it ready to go.
I don’t know how Maida would feel about this, but I hope she would approve and wouldn’t mind that I tweaked the recipe. Feel free to tweak away!
CHERRY WALNUT CHOCOLATE HERMIT COOKIES
EVENT: DING-DONG! The Termites Are Gone!
MAKES: 40 Cookies
For the cookies:
1 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped *
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 oz semisweet chocolate
2 1/2 cups sifted unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons powdered espresso
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 oz unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Vandermint liqueur
4 oz chopped dried cherries *
For the glaze:
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, strained
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Large baking sheets
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Adjust oven racks, dividing oven into thirds.
Make the glaze: In small bowl, blend all of the glaze ingredients until smooth. Cover the glaze and set aside.
Place unsweetened and semisweet chocolate into double boiler over medium heat, and stir until melted. Remove from heat.
Sift together flour, baking soda, espresso powder, cocoa and salt.
In electric mixer, beat butter until soft. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until mixed. Add melted chocolate, eggs, sour cream, Vandermint and combine until well blended.
Slowly add dry ingredients and beat on low, until combined.
Remove bowl from mixer and stir in the chopped cherries and walnuts.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop dough and place on parchment lined baking sheet two inches apart.
Bake these 1 sheet at a time.
Place first sheet in oven and bake for approximately 6 minutes. Reverse sheet front to back.
Bake only until the cookies spring back when pressed with finger.
Remove sheet from oven and immediately put generous dub of glaze on each cookie. Spread glaze with pastry brush.
Remove cookies from rack to cool.
When cookies are totally cooled, they can be wrapped two together and placed in an airtight container, and frozen for 2 months.
* A NOTE: I buy my walnuts and dried cherries at Costco.