cherry chocolate-chip walnut cookies


Okay. I dare you to make these and not eat at least six the minute they pop out of the oven. It's basically decadent trail mix baked into a cookie. I win because, as far as I know, I made this one up.

Okay, I just did a quick Google search - turns out I didn't, but I can still live with that. These were that good.

I came home from work the other day and really, really, really needed a cookie. You know the kind of day I'm talking about. Long, stressful, noisy. I had an incident on the train with an older gentleman that would be cruel to discuss on a food blog. No more details are necessary.

Cookies help on our best days, I think, so there's really no harm in accepting their cure on one of our worst. This is the perfect recipe to keep on hand for just those moments. You will need:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter, softened (ZING)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups of your favorite chocolate chips (I like semi-sweet best for cookies)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cherries, chopped

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine your dry ingredients, using a whisk, in a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together your butter, sugars (AH!) and vanilla extract until creamy. If you've had a particularly bad day, you may be tempted to stop the whole process here and dig into this bowl with a ladle. But keep going, persevere past this point; I promise, it's worth it.

Add your eggs, beating well with each addition. Slowly beat in your flour mixture. Add your chocolate chips, folding in with a rubber spatula. Repeat this step with your walnuts and cherries.

Drop rounded tablespoons (or bigger, again, depending on your day) on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes. I made my cookies relatively small - you know, so I could eat more and feel less bad about it - and found that 10 minutes made for the perfectly chewy-with-crisp-edges cookie.

What bad day? That's exactly what you'll think to yourself after you've had a few of these - after a sensible dinner, of course. A bit of crunch from the walnuts, melty chocolate and a tart sweetness from the cherries, this cookie may be all you need to face the world again.