The Great Cookie Experiment – Cherry Chocolate Cookies

Once again, Julie and the Great Cookie Experiment.

It turns out that I can’t discard the recipe for Frosted Orange Cookies just yet- it’s on the same page as the Cherry Chocolate Cookies, so until I copy this one into another location, they are stuck together with one another.

I wrote down several cherry recipes because I happened to be in a cherry mood at the time.  My husband really loves chocolate and cherries together, so anytime I find a recipe that makes good use of these, I pay attention.  Every year, when cherries are cheap, I make use of my food dehydrator and dry a batch or two to throw into recipes.  Most of these dried cherries end up in bowls of oatmeal for breakfast, but I hoard a precious few for special dessert recipes

When I made these, they were an instant hit.  My girls loved them, and asked for more than one.  My husband asked how soon I could make them again.  He even suggested that I make a batch to bring to some neighbors who had just moved in.  That night, at our game night, all of the friends really liked them as well.  Best yet, my friend the foodie, who writes this blog for Cornabys and has taught me tons about cooking, asked for the recipe.  In other words, we have a winner here!  It stays in the book, and goes on the list of standard favorites.  It has a great chewy texture, a wonderful rich cherry taste, and the semi-sweet chips really enhance the flavor.  The orange zest and cinnamon do not distract from the cherry taste, but really complements it well.  I need to make these again soon!

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup dried cherries, chopped

1/3 cup hot water

6 Tablespoons shortening

6 Tablespoons butter, softened

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

2 eggs

3 teaspoons grated orange peel

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups quick cooking oats

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a small bowl, soak cherries in hot water for at least 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream the shortening, butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, orange peel and vanilla.  Combine oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips and cherries with liquid.  Dropby rounded Tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.  Cool for 1 minute before removing from pans to wire racks.

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