Thursday, December 31, 2009

Chewy Chocolate Raisin Cookies


Growing up my mom was the cookie queen. You could always find homemade cookies in the kitchen, no matter what day of the week it was. When I got older I used to come home from school, while she was still working, and try out new cookie recipes or try master her baking techniques. I still get giddy with excitement when I find a new cookie recipe to try. This one I found in a Martha Stewart magazine I purchased at the airport last month. I made an unexpected trip back home and literally had to pack in 20 minutes. Once I got to the airport I realized I didn't pack my headphones, so I couldn't listen to my I-pod and I had nothing to read. I knew I would go crazy just sitting on the plane so I was off to find some reading material, in other words, a new food magazine! Given that most food magazines were focusing on Christmas I knew there would be some new and fun baking recipes and of course there were several. This particular cookie recipe stood out to me. Raisins soaked in brandy, white chocolate chips, Dutch-processed all sounded heavenly...and of course it was. You could really taste each ingredient in the cookie. The edges were a little crunchy with a soft, chewy center, just perfect. I typically don't enjoy raisins in my sweets, but for this cookie, it worked and it almost felt healthy!!

Chewy Chocolate Raisin Cookies

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1 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup brandy

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup honey

6 oz white chocolate, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Bring raisins and brandy to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and let stand for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, cocoa, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, the baking soda, and salt.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add honey, and beat until creamy. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and beat until combined. Drain raisins; discard liquid. Add raisins and chocolate to dough. Mix to combine.

Whisk together sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Scoop 2 tablespoons dough. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture, and shape into a ball. Roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture again to coat completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart, as you work. Bake until just set and starting to crack, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets.

Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Yield: About 2 dozen

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2009

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