CHOCOLATE CHERRY GANACHE COOKIES – Rye flour intensifies the CHOCOLATE and makes them fudgy, dried CHERRIES give them a special sweet tart chewiness, and the GANACHE in the middle makes them heavenly sandwich treats.
CHOCOLATE CHERRY GANACHE COOKIES
Just reading those words makes my mouth water and my mind wander right to the freezer where I have a secret stash hid for chocolate emergencies. You know, those “chocolate” emergencies when someone fluffs your feathers, or gets their undies in a bunch over nothing but wants you to fix it, or, the sun is out, or, it’s raining. You know, “chocolate” emergencies – where you just have to have some!
Guittard Chocolate and Organic Dried Cherries
Splurging on ingredients to make the best cookies is not always necessary, but when you are asked to create a Valentine post for an online magazine, you splurge on the best ingredients found in the surrounding area. I will share with you, choosing Guittard Chocolate has been a delightful experience for me. Love it and plan to use it as much as I can. The organic dried cherries were also a great find. Very chewy, sweet and tart at the same time. Put together sweet-tart cherries and decadent chocolate; we have a winner all the way around.
(There are no affiliates associated with this post as I am offering my opinions only.)
While splurging on ingredients, consider Dutch Processed Cocoa and Vanilla Beans instead of Vanilla Extract.
Prep For Salted Chocolate Cherry Cookies
It would be best to sift the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda together before adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. It takes a minute to do, and you will be sure not to have clumps of cocoa in your batter. A clump of dry cocoa can be a bitter experience, to say the least.
How To Prep Vanilla Seeds From The Bean
The process is simple as the bean is cut in half the long way; using the back of a knife, open the bean and scrape out the seeds. The seeds are used in the cookie batter. WAIT! Do not throw away the remaining bean, use them to make Vanilla Sugar.
Hint and Tip: To make Vanilla Sugar, place a couple of cups of sugar into a glass canning jar and throw in the remaining bean pods. Cover tightly and shake well. The jarred sugar will need to be shaken daily until most of the moisture has evaporated. How can you use Vanilla Sugar? Sweeten coffee drinks, add to whipped cream, sprinkle it on cookies and cupcakes, use it to sprinkle on top of fruit pie crust. YUMMO!
The chocolate bars will need to be shaved into small bite-sized chunks using a chef’s knife or a large knife you can control. Holding the knife by the handle with one hand while using the second hand to apply pressure, slice the chocolate off the bar. It is easier to slice off of the corner than off a straight side. NOTE: make sure to keep the hand on top of the knife open. DO NOT CURL YOUR FINGERS. Just sayin.’
Have you ever tasted baking chocolate? In my younger years, I so wanted a taste of this large chocolate bar my mother was about the use in baking a cake. I begged for a taste until she finally gave in. OMG! I ran myself to the bathroom and commenced spitting it out leaving spots of chocolate on everything. My mother asked me how I liked it as we both began to laugh. One taste was enough, I said, black teeth and all.
Once prep is complete, mix the cooking dough and fold in the chocolate chunks and dried cherries. Not to worry, the dough will be stiff.
The chocolate will melt on its own when stirring together.
Baking The Chocolate Rye Cookies
Spoon tablespoons of cookie dough on to parchment lined cookie sheets and press to flatten using the bottom of a measuring cup. Half of the cookie dough cookies will be salted using Fleur de sel or a large flaked sea salt. I marked my parchment papers with salted and unsalted just to keep myself honest.
Fleur de sel is hand-harvested sea salt from Île de Ré and gathered only three times a year when the sun is at its strongest. Fleur de sel is valued by chefs throughout the world to enhance all culinary needs and fine dishes.
Hint and Tip: Spray the bottom of the measuring cup with a cooking spray before pressing the dough to flatten; this will keep the dough from sticking to the cup.
Making Chocolate Ganache
Place “good” quality bittersweet chocolate chips into a heat resistant bowl and pour the hot cream over the chips. Stir until the ganache is smooth. That’s it!
Food Gifting In A Box or Presenting On The Table
Thinking about gifting homemade sweets for Valentine Day or a Birthday perhaps? Not into cookies? Try these fabulous cupcakes.
Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Swiss Buttercream (full tutorial on making the Swiss Buttercream is included in the post.)
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"Salted" CHOCOLATE CHERRY GANACHE COOKIES
Yield 2 dozen sandwich cookies
"Salted" CHOCOLATE CHERRY GANACHE COOKIES - Rye flour intensifies the CHOCOLATE-makes them fudgy, dried CHERRIES give chewiness, the GANACHE makes them heavenly sandwiches
- 1 - 1/4 cups dark cocoa, preferably Dutch-processed
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dark rye flour, I used Bob's Red Mill
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- 2 - 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup cane sugar, organic if you have it
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half the long way, seeds stripped out of the bean, use the seeds only
- 2 large eggs
- 10 oz. bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped, Guittard Chocolate is a great choice
- 1 - 1/2 cups dried sour cherries
- Flake Sea Salt, such as Fleur de sel, or Maldon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Into a large bowl, sift together the cocoa, flours, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the sugar and cream until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Cut the vanilla bean in half the long way. Using the back of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the seeds to the sugar and butter.
- Add the eggs one at a time, blending to incorporate each time.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, large spoonfuls at a time mixing to blend. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times while blending.
- By hand, fold in the chopped chocolate and the dried cherries to blend. The dough will be stiff.
- Scoop full tablespoons of dough onto parchment lined sheet trays, leaving a couple of inches between each cookie to allow for spreading cookies.
- Using the bottom of a measuring cup sprayed with a cooking spray, lightly press each tablespoon of dough to flatten (some). Sprinkle half of the mounds of dough with Fleur de sel and leave the rest.
- Bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until the cookies begin to puff and the sides are beginning to crack. Cool completely on wire racks. Unsalted cookies will be used for the bottom of the sandwiches and the salted cookies will be used for the top.
- Measure the chocolate chips in a heat-resistant bowl.
- Bring the cream to a slight bubble without boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips. Stir to melt. Cool, at room temperature, until the ganache is spreadable.
- Spread the ganache over an unsalted cookie and cover with a salted cookie. Do not skimp on the ganache.
- Store, covered in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for a later treat. Serve at room temperature.