I am sort of getting the feel of my new kitchen, and by "sort of" I mean my too-long bangs constantly whip into my eyes as I'm whisking, the Tupperware somehow mingled with the pots and the whole lot of them come crashing down every time I reach for a saucepan, I flitter between the island and the stove like a dazed moth banging up against a lantern, and my new husband offers his help, only to be rejected time and time again. I'm a proud woman.
I do it to myself, really. Every other day in our household involves a trip to Home Depot, Lowe's, or Bed Bath & Beyond and as a result, my kitchen is usually strewn with light bulbs, paint sticks, receipts, and the occasional bits of gnawed tree trunk that Kona likes to sprinkle around the house like wooden confetti. He's a likable pup if you can get him to sit still, but he'd prefer to rocket out of his kennel like a lightning bolt and tumble across the freshly painted closet doors. Now he looks less like a Dutchie and more like a zebra.
We've had a few newlywed spats here and there - mostly over our difference in eating habits and my inability to recycle on a regular basis. As it turns out, my husband eats like a pack mule, a trait I used to find endearing when we were dating and he'd clean his plate during the one night we'd see each other that week, but when I open the fridge to pack my lunch only to find it barren of leftovers time and time again, my heart sinks just a bit. Then there's the cereal issue: I eat one box per week, he eats one box per day. I didn't see a single puff of the coveted Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch I bought last week - not a single puff! And Heaven forbid we buy generic brand cereal - the sky would fall, people!
I'm considering waiting tables on the weekend or selling my eggs for some quick cash to continue financing the appetite the only member of our three-being household who does not eat sticks. When it comes to menu planning, I don't even bother with the "Serves 2" stuff - that's for lightweights. What we need is a "Serves 6-8" and then we live on a prayer that there will be leftovers. There is my squabbling in the grocery store, my friends, much squabbling.
Yesterday was my first official meet and greet with our neighbor, Rick, and his lovely wife, Teri. Justin and I have always been the type to daydream about summer barbecues and frosty jars of sweet tea with friends, so when Rick announced he'd like to come hang out on our second story deck and watch the turkeys trot across the lawn in the morning (yes, we have turkeys) with a cup of hot coffee, I knew we'd be good friends. Then he asked if I could make him some homemade granola to take on a trip to the Midwest next week. Yes, friends indeed.
So, about these cookies. You need them. You must trust me. Now, at first, I was bugged by the name - Black Forest Chocolate Cookies. I've never been a fan of Black Forest Cake, that sorry excuse for a dessert that generally involved a boxed cake with globs of canned cherries on the top - and I think you are familiar with my feelings on canned fruit, that terrifying, gelatinous goo. But these cookies are something differently entirely. They are a bit like the crackly-topped black and whites but with more complexity - the tart chew of dried cherries, the cloyingly sweet white chocolate chips and the richness of a brownie-like batter that has just enough body to stay out of the fudge category. It's practically perfect in every way.
Now, when you have melted and mixed and married everything together, your "dough" will look more like a pourable brownie batter - everything is just as it should be. A night in the fridge will bring the batter together and it will be a pleasantly soft and scoopable dough. Get on it.
Black Forest Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Baked
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
6 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Over a double boiler or in short bursts in the microwave, combine the dark chocolate and butter. Heat until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for a bit.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed for about 5 minutes - it will lighten in color and thicken. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla, beating again for about 10 seconds.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
Using a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula, fold in the chips & cherries. The dough will be very loose - pourable like brownie batter rather than cookie dough. That's just how it should be, not to worry. Refrigerate the dough for at least 6 hours or overnight - it will firm up quite a bit.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons (about the size of a ping-pong ball) onto the baking sheets, about an inch or two apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops of the cookies crackle just a bit. It's better to underbake these cookies by a minute than to bake them too long. Remove the pans from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the pans for about 2 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or you can freeze them for about a month.