Thursday, February 14, 2013

FFwD Valentine's Cookie Exchange - Dark Chocolate Cookies with Sour Cherries

Despite this week being one of the most demanding of my working life, I left for work with a spring in my  step this morning - because I was off to the post office to pick up my FFwD Valentines Cookie Exchange package from the post office!  It arrived right on time on Valentines Day, but unfortunately I did not get home in time to pick it up before the post office closed.

Off to the post office I skipped at 7.30am today, and there was my parcel, neatly wrapped in brown paper.  The yellow tape on the outside and a note inside indicated that the Australian Quarantine service had been there before me:

but nothing could spoil my excitement at receiving a parcel of cookies all the way from the USA.

My cookies were from Maggie of Always Use More Butter - thanks Maggie!  Inside the Tupperware container in the package, I found some beautiful bright dotty paper:

which I lifted to reveal the carefully wrapped contents:
On top was a beautiful heart mobile carefully hand crafted by Maggie:
together with a card that was very appropriate to send to Australia, land of the marsupials:
with the following punchline and message inside:
and beautifully individually wrapped in wax paper were the Dark Chocolate Cookies with Sour Cherries pictured at the top of this post, in perfect condition.  These cookies were baked by Maggie from a recipe in Martha Stewart's Cookies book, and they are special to Maggie, as she made them as favours for her wedding.  Thanks Maggie for sharing such a special recipe with me.
And the taste of these cookies?  Absolutely scrumptious!  Chunky, deeply chocolatey cookies are offset by the zing of sour cherries, making them just right.  Because I opened my package at work, I shared my cookies with a select few people, who were amazed at receiving a homemade cookie all the way from the USA, and all of whom enjoyed them as much as I did.  I still have a couple of cookies left for the weekend, just for me.  I look forward to eating them very much.
If you are dying to try these delicious cookies for yourself, you will need:
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups dried sour cherries

Preheat oven to 350 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.

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 chocolate and cherries.  Maggie also added in some white chocolate chunks.

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. 

Thanks to Alice of A Cooking Mizer for organising this fun event, and to Maggie for sending me my package.