06 December, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Cookies, Day 6

One of the most beautiful and easy cookies we make every year are these little chocolate cherry morsels.  They are soft, fudgy and even though there is only half a cherry on top the flavor really shines through.  Just a light drizzle of chocolate on top at the end really gives these cookies an elegant look that compliments any cookie tray.

Chocolate Cherry Blossoms
2 c. Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, divided
1 3/4 c. organic quick oats
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. organic Dutch process cocoa
1 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
3/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. vegan buttery spread
2 eggs or 2 tsp. egg replacer
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. cherries, pitted, halved and dry

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix oats, flour, sea salt, cocoa and baking powder in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl cream together butter and sugar.  Add in eggs or egg replacer and vanilla, blend well.  Pour creamed butter mixture over oat mixture in larger bowl.  Pour melted chocolate in bowl as well.  Blend with mixer.  When finished put in gallon sized ziploc and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Drain cherries, remove stems, rinse and slice in half, laying on paper towel to dry.  When ready, use a Pampered Chef small scoop or with your hands for 1 inch sized balls and place them 1 inch apart.  With your thumb or a 1/2 teaspoon measurer make an indentation in the ball.  Place one slice of cherry half in the center.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Allow to stand on baking sheet for 2 minutes when finished baking, remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.  When completely cool melt remaining 1 c. of chocolate chips and either with a spoon or squeeze bottle drizzle chocolate over tops of each cookie.  Allow chocolate to set (about 30 minutes) then serve.

P.S.  Yes, I actually used that bottle to decorate these.  I used to sit and drizzle these cookies with a spoon and it would take me 1 hour PLUS to finish a whole batch....this recipe of dough made me 62 cookies with the Pampered Chef small scoop.  They end up being about the size of a JFK half dollar when they bake, so they expand a good amount.  I bought a set of two Wilton squeeze bottles at Wal-Mart in Ogdensburg, NY for less than $2.  It is SO worth the money for the time it saves and for how well it dresses the cookies up.  With a spoon it looked like a hot mess in comparison.  Not many people stare at a cookie when they are eating it...they see a cherry, they see chocolate and in the mouth it goes.  But I like to consume my food with all my senses.  I don't like eating things that look like they came off an assembly line.  Have fun!

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