I haven't been cooking too much lately. I've found a few go to dishes, and seem to lean on them quite heavily - eggs in purgatory being the prime example. I really can't get enough of that.

I've been baking an awful lot though. I find baking extremely enjoyable, and a great use of a Sunday. The problem with my new found love of baking is that I couldn't possibly eat a few dozen cookies, or biscotti, or caramels (I guess that's not baking, but still sweets), or cupcakes. Fortunately, I have fifteen people working for me, and they're happy to gobble up whatever I bring in. I've also sent some out to my wife - mostly biscotti as it holds up so well - and some to my brother in Nova Scotia.

I've mostly focused on chocolate based recipes (like chocolate salted caramels or chocolate cupcakes); I gave up chocolate over three years ago as a New Year's resolution, and it has stuck. I eat chocolate once a year - January 1st - but abstain the other 364 days. So baking with chocolate works out perfectly; I get to bake without any temptation or calories. Occasionally I make something without chocolate and treat myself. This recipe is not one of those occasions.

Triple Chocolate Cherry Cookies:

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 oz. bittersweet baking chocolate, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/3 cups white vanilla baking chips (I could not find these and used white chocolate chips - I'm not sure they would have been 'triple chocolate' otherwise)
3/4 cups maraschino cherries, coarsely chopped (forgot to buy these and replaced with Rice Krispies)
1 tsp. oil
24 maraschino cherries, halved (whoops!)

Pre heat oven to 350° and lightly grease cookie sheets. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate, vanilla, and eggs. On low speed, beat in flour, cocoa, and baking soda until mixed. Fold in 1 cup of the chips and the chopped cherries (or Rice Krispies!). Drop rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake 9-11 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes and then move to cooling racks to cool completely. While the cookies are cooling, place oil and remaining chips in a small bowl and microwave until melted (recipe says high power, but I used low-medium power). Mix together until melted and smooth. Spoon a drop of the glaze in the center of each cookie and top with a cherry half; drizzle the rest of the mixture over the cookies. My batch made five dozen.

Nobody really noticed the Rice Krispies. Oh well. These were a hit, and certainly looked delicious. Without white chocolate chips, I don't know how these would be triple chocolate - there's the melted chocolate and the cocoa.... that's only two chocolates.

By the way - the cupcakes I linked to above were described several times as 'the best cupcake I've ever had'. They smelled amazing. I found out while frosting these that frosting is tough work. It's really hard on the forearms. There's a very good chance I was doing it wrong, though.


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