Mmm hmmm. Today was “Malfunction Monday”. Nothing went right.
I wasted an entire morning sitting in traffic in completely miserable weather and never made my destination, none of the things I was waiting on arrived, my laptop is on the fritz, I am trying very hard to do all the things my dentist told me to do so I don’t have to fork over cash I don’t have for what I think will be an inevitable root canal… grumpgrumpgrumpGRUMPGRUMP.
So, I gave up. Yup. Some days, it’s better to quit while you’re ahead and start over tomorrow.
When I finally got back to my office (which was in a horrible state of chaos – not calming at all), I made myself a big mug of chai tea, grabbed a few of these babies, patted my dog on the head and took a deep breath. Then I very calmly, sorted out my desk and work table while sipping my tea and nibbling my cookies and by 5pm, I was tolerable company again.
These are my new favourite cookie. Ummm.. ok, I know I say that every time I make a new cookie but, roll with it! The original recipe called for dried cherries, which I think would be awesome but… they cost more than 3x the cranberries! So cranberries it is/was and it’s a perfect tart contrast to the sweet cookie and rich chocolate.
Yeah, yeah, it’s early for Valentine’s Day. And I’m a Valentine Grinch. But January is gross and I need something pretty.
Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Cookies
* adapted from Martha Stewart Living’s Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Cherry Cookies, these are a thin, chewy tart and sweet cookie
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter or margarine, room temp
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
12 ounces (12 squares) coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups dried cranberries (or cherries, blueberries)
Beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one
Add vanilla and continue beating
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
Slowly add to the butter mixture and beat mix well
Add cranberries and chocolate and combine well.
Refrigerate dough for 1 hour
Preheat oven to 375F
Rough dough into 1 1/4 inch balls (about 2 tbsp each) and arrange on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart (you can make larger 3tbsp cookies as well – space them about 3 inches apart).
The dough will become quite sticky so I rolled them in batches, letting the dough sit in the freezer for 5 minutes in between.
Bake for 12 – 14 minutes until the edges are golden.
Let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before transferring them wire cooling racks.
Oh, and a tip.. these are so good eaten just out of the freezer – the cranberry flavour really pops!
Photo 1: 50mm, f3.5, 1/30, ISO400, +1 exposure compensation
I got the idea for the cone when I was throwing out the parchment paper from the used cookie sheets. It was an experiment and next time I would take much more care to use a straight edge and form the cone better. My ribbon was too long as well so it’s kinda bunched up under the cone. The cone is held together at the end with a paper clip and there is an extra cookie resting on top of the end to keep it flat! (It looked really ugly to be honest!)
This is backlit from the kitchen window while I held a piece of white foam board in front of the display to reflect some of the light back onto the scene.
Photo 2: 50mm, f2.5, 1/50, ISO400, no exposure compensation
Nothing special with the setup and the scene is lit from the left by the window. No reflectors
Photo 3: 50mm, f2.8, 1/40, ISO400, +1/3 exposure compensation
Few challenges here: the ribbon. God, ribbons are a pain in the bum. If I figure out a way to make them easy, I’ll let you know. My depth of field was too shallow. I think f3.5 would probably have been better.
This is the reverse from Photo 1: front lit by the window with the white foam board in behind to reflect the light back.