It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. There are times when I’m creating that I find that to be true. I had this cookie all planned out. it was going to use a combo of flavors I loved- cherries, chocolate and pistachios. But have I ever mentioned that little fact that I’m a mom to two young men? Well, I’m a mom to six, but only three are still at home. So, I went to go get all my ingredients ready (big believer in “mise en place” here… never start cooking until you have everything you’ll need ready to go) and lo and behold, my recently bought bag of roasted and salted pistachios were nowhere to be found. That’s where the “I have two young men still at home” seems to have come into play. I have learned that if I have something that is out of the norm for our household, I need to stash it away somewhere where it isn’t found quite so easily. I must not have heeded my own advice in this case because….. no pistachios. Nada, zip, zilch. All gone.
After I stopped crying and making plans to go live on a deserted island in the south Pacific all by myself, I had to reinvent what I had planned to invent. After a search through the cabinets, I found a bag of roasted and salted pepitas. I originally bought them to make my “famous” :-p pumpkin bread. But for unbeknownst to me reasons, I never got around to making any pumpkin bread this past Autumn/ Winter season. The result being that I had still had a full bag of pepitas. So I improvised. And you know what? These are some seriously awesome cookies. You can never go wrong with browned butter anyway… and then when you add in sweet creamy chocolate, tart cherries and crunchy salted pepitas, you end up with a really really tasty treat. I also sprinkled a little salt on top of the cookies. This is something I had never done before myself, though I’d seen it done elsewhere. I figured “what the heck” and went for the whole sweet/salty thing and oh my gosh, it was fantastic. If you’re not sure, just sprinkle some on one cookie and try it. If you don’t like it, just one cookie wasted. but if you DO, you’ll be in Heaven.
You know the drill…. Get to cookin’!
Brown Butter, Cherry And Salted Pepita Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned to a golden brown color & cooled
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces dried tart cherries
- 1 cup roasted, salted pepitas
- 1 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
- coarse salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
- First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and brown your butter- toss your butter into a medium pot. With the heat on medium high, cook the butter (DON’T walk away!) until it turns a medium (dang, I’m using the word medium a lot) golden brown. Swirl the pan a few times to help it along. Have a bowl ready and once it gets to the right color, immediately pour the butter out into the bowl. Let this cool for about 30 minutes before you continue.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooled butter and both the sugars. Beat on medium (there’s that word again) speed until it is thick and creamy. Add in the egg, egg yolk, cream and vanilla. beat on low speed just until combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Dump this into the butter mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined, scraping the bowl down once.
- Fold in the cherries, chocolate chips and pepitas.
- Line your cookie sheet(s) with a silicone baking mat ( like my favorite ones right here ) or lightly grease. Scoop out large spoons full of dough (about golf ball sized) and shape into a circle in the palm of your hands. Place them about 2 inches apart on your cookie sheets.
- Bake at 350 until golden brown and firm on top, about 16 to 18 minutes. let rest on the pan for a minute, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling. Other than the one or two you snag for yourself to eat all warm and gooey, of course. If desired, sprinkle the tops of the cookies with coarse salt upon taking them out of the oven. If you don’t, that’s cool; they are still some of the most delicious cookies ever.
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