Valentine's Day

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Valentines

February 23, 2011
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

For Valentine's Day this year I wanted to come up with a chocolate cookie that picked up on chocolate-covered cherries. And even though I'm not a big fan of the syrupy candies, I do think tart dried cherries are the best dried fruit Mother Nature invented. So I came up with a chocolate roll-out cookie by interpolating recipes from smittenkitchen and epicurious. But for this chocoholic it was not enough; therefore I gave them a bath. In dark chocolate. Did I mention the Cointreau? The cherries get a soaking for the aromatic and softening effects. These cookies are very good on their own, but wicked good when dipped. —Sadassa_Ulna

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Sadassa_Ulna is an architectural designer from Philadelphia.
WHAT: A Valentine's Day cookie all grown up: dark, sultry, and boozy.
HOW: Soak tart cherries in Cointreau, then work them into a chocolatey dough. Chill, cut, bake, and dip.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Reminiscent of those gooey cherry cordials -- but oh, so much better -- these cookies hit that chocolate, cherry, and boozy craving that comes around each February. We've subbed in vegetable oil for the shortening in the glaze, and it still works like a charm. —The Editors

  • Makes about 60 small hearts
Ingredients
  • Roll-out Chocolate Cherry Cookies
  • 1 cup tart dried cherries (NOT "sweet, dark")
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, brought to room temp.
  • 2-1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Dark Chocolate Coating*
  • 7-9 ounces dark chocolate*
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • white pearl sugar, OR
  • white chocolate**, optional
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Roll-out Chocolate Cherry Cookies
  2. In a small [microwavable] bowl, mix Cointreau and vanilla together; chop cherries into small pieces and place in bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds (or allow cherries to absorb liquid overnight).
  3. Sift flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a medium bowl, set aside.
  4. Melt chocolate by doing the following: place in small microwavable bowl and cook for 45 seconds, then stir, then cook at 20 second intervals - stirring after each - until smooth. You can also melt your chocolate in a double boiler over boiling water. Allow to cool until comfortable to touch but still very pliable.
  5. Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer; add eggs and mix thoroughly. Add melted chocolate and mix until color is uniform.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add cherries and mix to incorporate.
  7. Place dough between 2 long sheets of wax paper; roll with a rolling pin until almost the size of a standard cookie sheet.
  8. Chill dough for at least 45 minutes; if you are impatient and have the room stick it in the freezer.
  9. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove top wax paper, cut the thin slab into two equal pieces and wrap one and put it back in the fridge. Roll the other half between wax paper until double the size, about 1/4 inch thick, maybe thinner.
  10. Using a cookie cutter, or a little round drinking glass, cut out cookies (or cut rolled dough into 2" squares or diamonds, etc. with a knife) and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. bunch up scraps and re-roll; if dough gets too sticky put it in the freezer for a few minutes.
  11. Bake for 9-12 minutes; times will vary according to size of cutouts. Cool cookies on sheet for five minutes.
  1. Dark Chocolate Coating*
  2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the shortening. Drop the cooled cookies upside-down into the chocolate, and fish out with a fork and place on a rack to set. When the coated cookies lose their gloss, decorate with white pearl sugar or melted white chocolate dots if desired.
  3. * I did not have "couverture" chocolate, the type used for dipping chocolate; it has extra cocoa butter, which is why I added the palm oil. I used the Trader Joe's Belgian Dark, the type that is sold in packages of three small bars. To me this type is smoother than the huge one-pound bar that TJ's sells. ** I'm not really a fan of white chocolate, but I happened to have some Valrhona white chocolate feves. I put about 10 in a tiny bowl and nuked for 15 seconds, stirred, then another 15. It worked, and being impatient I dropped dots and swirls from a teaspoon. . .

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Review
Sadassa_Ulna

Recipe by: Sadassa_Ulna

Growing up I was the world's pickiest eater, that is, until my children were born. Karma. Neither of my parents were much into cooking; it was the height of eating fat-free or anything with oat bran added. I taught myself some basics, mostly baking, following the guidelines of a well-worn copy of Joy of Cooking. I was a ballet dancer and a teacher suggested I lose weight. As I began reading about diet and nutrition I became interested in natural foods, which led to a job at a macrobiotic natural foods market in Center City Philadelphia; this was way before Whole Foods came to the area. I learned a lot about food in general. I ate strictly vegan for a while, although I don't now, but I still like it when a recipe can taste great without butter or bacon! In short, my approach to cooking is idiosyncratic, and I don't know very much about cooking meat or proper technique. I love to bake and I am still working on expanding my palate and my repertoire. The hardest part is getting the whole family to try new things! So aside from my food status, I am an architect who likes to garden and play music. I'm married with two kids, and I hope to get a dog someday.