Cherry Whirly-Swirly Cookies
Dawn Bailey, Ganache Hill test kitchen chef Brett Bailey's sister-in-law, is the director of nursing at a world-renowned Cleveland, Ohio, hospital. Dawn loves to bake, especially cookies. In fact, she usually starts baking for the Christmas holidays right after Halloween. In the year 2000 she baked more than 300 dozen cookies. Dawn does a lot of research to come up with her own recipes; she is also organized about her cookie production, preparing and freezing the dough many weeks in advance, then baking for friends and family just days before the holidays. This one is a veritable vortex of cherries and chocolate, a soft-textured chocolate spiral that rolls alongside a crisp cherry swirl.
Makes Twenty-Four 3- to 3-1/2 inch Cookies
Cherry Cookie Dough
5 ounces I.Q.F. (individually quick frozen)
dark sweet cherries, thawed
6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-ounce pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pure cherry extract
1/4 teaspoon red food color
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted onto a large piece of
parchment paper (or wax paper)
Chocolate Cookie Dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-ounce pieces
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 large egg white, lightly whisked
Make the Cherry Cookie Dough
Place the cherries in the mini-bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process for 30 seconds until puréed (this should yield 1/2 cup puréed cherries). Set aside.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium for 2 minutes until soft. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add the cherries, cherry extract, and red food color and mix on medium-low for 30 seconds, then beat on medium for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Operate the mixer on low while gradually adding the flour; mix until incorporated, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Now beat on medium until a dough is formed, about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a 12-x-20-inch piece of parchment paper (or wax paper). Use the palms of your hands to press the dough into an approximately 5-x-8-x-1-inch-thick rectangle. Place another 12-x-20-inch piece of paper over the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an approximately 10-x-18-x-1/4-inch-thick uniformly flat rectangle. (Unless you are a professional cookie dough roller, your rectangle will have rounded edges. Don't be concerned, these will be trimmed away.) Set aside at room temperature while preparing the Chocolate Cookie Dough.
Prepare the Chocolate Cookie Dough
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a sifter combine the flour and cocoa powder. Sift onto a large piece of parchment paper (or wax paper) and set aside until needed.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix on low speed for 1 minute; then on medium for 2 minutes until soft. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add the semisweet chocolate, and mix on medium speed for 20 seconds. Thoroughly scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Operate the mixer on low while gradually adding the dry ingredients; mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the heavy cream and mix on medium until combined and a dough is formed, about 45 seconds. Transfer the dough to a 12-x-20-inch piece of parchment paper (or wax paper). Use the palms of your hands to press the dough into an approximately 5-x-8-x-3/4-inch-thick uniformly flat rectangle. Place another 12-x-20-inch piece of paper over the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an approximately 10-x-18-x-1/4-inch-thick rectangle.
Remove and discard the top pieces of paper from both the rectangles of dough. Lightly brush the top surfaces of the rectangles with the egg white (you will use about half the egg white; discard whatever remains). Invert the chocolate dough rectangle onto the cherry dough rectangle. (Now both pieces of dough will be sandwiched between 2 pieces of paper.) Use a rolling pin to lightly roll a few times over the paper on the chocolate dough (this will bond the doughs). Remove the paper from the top of the bonded dough. Starting with the narrow side (the 10-inch-wide side) nearest you, roll the bonded dough rectangle away from you, using the paper beneath to help lift the dough over onto itself (this will create an interior spiral of the two doughs). Continue to roll the dough to the opposite end, making a tight roll. Now wrap the paper around the dough (from this point I will refer to the dough as a roll). wrap the roll with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, about 2 hours.
Remove the roll from the refrigerator and place on a clean, dry cutting board.
3/8-inch-thick slices. Divide the slices among 3 nonstick baking sheets, 8 evenly spaced slices per sheet.
Place 1 baking sheet on the top rack and 1 baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for 19 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to center halfway through the baking time (at that time also turn each sheet 180 degrees). The third baking sheet may be placed in another 325 degree F oven or held at room temperature and then baked after the first 2 sheets are removed from the oven. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool to room temperature on the baking sheets, about 20 minutes. Store the cooled cookies in a tightly sealed plastic container.
The Chef's Touch
Find cherry extract near the vanilla extract on the spice aisle at your supermarket.
Dawn's Chocolate Cherry whirly-Swirly Cookies will keep for 2 to 3 days at room temperature if stored in a tightly sealed plastic container. For long-term storage, up to several weeks, the cookies may be frozen. Freeze in a tightly sealed plastic container to prevent dehydration and permeation by freezer odors.
Celebrate with Chocolate
Totally Over the Top Recipes
by Marcel Desaulniers
William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins
Price: $24.95; Hardcover
Recipe reprinted by permission.
Celebrate with Chocolate
This page created December 2002