Monday, June 22, 2009
My daughter had a friend whose main attraction was that she had a pet hedgehog. It was adorable. She'd bring it over to play and they'd stroke it and watch it curl up into a ball or waddle its way across the lawn in search of lunch.
I was delighted with this pet. It didn't shed. It ate pests. And it was cute as a button. Who could ask for more in a pet?
The starting point for these cookies was the flavors. I wanted a cookie with almond, cherry, and chocolate sharing the flavor stage. And it had to be in a nice, moist cookie. After a bit of experimenting this is what I came up with. The tang of the dried sour cherries balances out the sweet hits of chocolate and the toasted almonds give wonderful crunch to every bite of delightfully moist cookie. Who could ask for more in a cookie?
I named these Hedgehog Cookies before I baked them, thinking that the almond slivers reminded me of a hedgehog's prickles. After they were mixed and baked, the almond slivers, for the most part, just lay hidden inside the cookie. But I'm keeping the name because they also are small and delightful in unexpected ways.
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup quick oats
12 oz. (2 cups) mini chocolate chips
1 cup toasted, slivered almonds
3/4 cup dried tart cherries, finely chopped
1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2- In a small bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
3- In the large bowl of a mixer combine the butter and sugars. Beat till creamy. Add the corn syrup, vanilla extract, and egg. Beat till well incorporated.
4- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Beat just till the flour is incorporated.
5- Add the mini chips and the cherries and stir till combined. Then stir in the nuts carefully by hand. You want to keep large chunks of nuts.
6- Drop Tbsp of dough onto the prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven 9 - 11 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are set and are just lightly browned. Don’t overbake.
7- Allow the cookies to sit on the cookie sheets for 2 to 5 minutes (the cookies continue baking on the sheets), then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container. Makes about 5-6 dozen (didn’t really count accurately as my family kept eating them as soon as they came out of the oven).