Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Gift to You - White Chocolate and Cherry Brandy Bites

This is recipe is my own creation based on a cookie I saw in a magazine. Brandy soaked tart dried cherries are mixed with white chocolate, nutmeg, and orange zest to create a confection just for adults. Unless, of course, your children have developed a taste for hard liquor. In that case, hide the brandy and these cookies!

1 cup sweet, unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour ( I use King Arthur All Purpose)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
about 12 oz dried tart cherries ( I use Montmorency)
zest of one large orange
about 10 oz chopped white chocolate
750 mL or larger bottle of brandy

Pour the cherries and brandy into a bowl and let the cherries soak for at least 30 minutes. They can soak longer, too - no worries. Once you're ready to use them, drain off the brandy.

Preheat oven to 350.   Cream the sugars and butter until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until thick and fluffy. Don't rush this part! You'll see the butter mixture change texture and color. When it's thick, fluffy, and lighter than it was to begin with, you're ready to move on to the next step. I don't use a stand mixer. Instead, I use an old school Kitchen Aide hand mixer.

In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Dump the flour mixture on top of the butter mixture along with the drained cherries and white chocolate. Adding the cherries and chocolate now ensures they'll be coated with flour which helps keep the cherries from sinking to the bottom of the cookie. Mix the moist and dry ingredients but don't over mix!!! The more you mix the flour, the more gluten you create which produces a tough cookie. Just mix to combine. It should only take about a minute.

Ready for the cookie sheet

Bake on an insulated cookie sheet for 14 minutes or so. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a foil or parchment lines counter top. I never use a cooling rack. It promotes air circualtion and gives you a dry cookie. Once the cookies are cool, store them in an air tight container. Your stomach works well! These are even better the next day.

Yum! If you make these, let me know how they turned out!


  1. Now these cookies are right up my alley! Is the extra large bottle of brandy so you can have a drink while you bake? Great tip about the cooling rack too, I never would have thought of that.

  2. Mmmm, what a great idea to soak the cherries...your guests will be pleasantly surprised ;)

  3. Now we're talking. They look wonderful.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. First the fudge and now these cookies--If you keep this up, I'm going to invite myself over! I'm not a great baker but this looks like something fun to try with family who are more skilled in the kitchen than I am.

  5. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. I can almost taste them!

  6. I'll just take the brandy with the cherries in it please. :)

    On my roses: all but one of them (including the knockouts) suffer some blackspot in the fall because I don't spray at all (so from mid Oct on you have to selectively look past some yellow leaves), but none get it badly. If I just sprayed just once in early October, I would solve that issue but I'm way lazy when it comes to that stuff. The only one that doesn't is a Madame Alfred Carriere climber but I think it might be touch and go there hardinesswise. They are v cold wimpy. Thanks for your recommendation. I am always on the lookout as well and particularly the DA's I lust after, but I get scared to actually plant because of the horror stories.

  7. Yum! Good to know about the montmorency cherries. I love the canned version for pies. Added to my shopping list for this weekend.

  8. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Don't those cookies look good! I am not much of a baker, but I am tempted by the picture, so I copied down the recipe. I always use a cooling rack, but after reading that it makes cookies dry, I think that I may try to cool them on parchment instead the next time I bake.

  9. Those cookies look amazing! The fudge too. Yum. It's supposed to rain this afternoon and I need to start on my Christmas baking, so your posts are very timely.

  10. I don't really like cooking, however if it involves sweets I am all for it. Those look wonderful!!

  11. What a great looking cookie!! Love this time of year, so many great cookies. Happy holidays to you!!


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