It is rare to find a person who doesn’t like chocolate cookies. Having said that, I baked a batch recently and my flatmate – who says he doesn’t have a sweet tooth and doesn’t like almonds – devoured them. (He would agree with my use of the word devoured here.) To be fair, though I think I should mention that these are small cookies. More than a mouthful, but definitely not in the same mould as most of the mass-produced cookies you find in coffee shops or supermarket shelves)
I think that these work for three reasons: 1) cherry and almond is a classic combination, but in a double chocolate cookie could be sickly. What stops these from being so, is that you don’t use sweet glacé cherries, but sour dried ones, which for ease of use come in the form of the Green & Black’s 60% cocoa Cherry bar 2) I add flaked almonds to the mixture, which give a chewy and slightly more interesting texture 3) my secret ingredient – cream cheese. This gives a chewy, dense middle to each cookie, but also a crisp, lightness to the edges.
(The amount below makes enough for 40 small cookies. Halve the amount if you’re being a little more restrained)
- 200g soft unsalted butter
- 200g full-fat cream cheese
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 150g plain flour
- 100g white chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 1 Green & Black’s Cherry bar (100g), chopped into chunks
- 75g flaked almonds
- 1 tsp almond essence
Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with baking parchment and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius, fan 160 degrees celsius or gas mark 4.
In a bowl cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar and almond essence, and beat until fluffy. Gradually fold in the flour, then the chocolate and flaked almonds. Drop heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking sheets, allowing room for it to spread (you don’t need to flatten the mixture into rounds at all – they will flatten anyway). Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges and pale on top. Allow to harden for a few minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack.