Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Recipe for Special Christmas Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Pistachio Cookies and the Winners of the Christmas Book Give-Away

Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Pistachio Cookies

For my Christmas book give-away, I asked you tell me the name of your favorite Christmas cookie. And, boy, did you name some exciting ones! From Italian Taralles, knot cookies with the icing and sprinkles, to American Cranberry Turtle Bars to Austrian Linzer cookies, you covered the gamut of beloved international holiday treats.

However, four cookies topped your list of favorites. They are:
  • Rich, buttery shortbread
  • Simple sugar cookies
  • Spicy ginger cookies
  • And my favorite of the four, classic chocolate chip cookies
Americans in particular love a good chocolate chip cookie. That's in large part do to Ruth Wakefield, a home baker in Massachusetts, who in 1930 opened a lodge call The Toll House Inn.

One day as she was making her Butter Drop Do cookies, she tossed some Nestle semi-sweet chocolate into the dough expecting it to get all melty. It didn't. In fact, the cookies were tantalizingly creamy and chocolaty, becoming an instant hit at the Inn. Eventually Ruth ventured into a partnership with Nestle and, lo and behold, the famous Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie was born. Nearly 80 years later, they remain one of America's favorite cookies.

Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Pistachio Cookies

So for all of my fellow chocolate chip cookie lovers out there, I've got a special Christmassy chocolate chip cookie for you: Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Pistachio Cookies. When you bite into the slightly crisp exterior, you'll discover a soft chewy center studded with sweet chocolate chips, tart dried cherries, and rich pistachios.

Just to prove how good these cookies are,when my mom was here, I asked her to taste one to see if she liked it. She said, "I'm not a fan of chocolate chip cookies, honey." "Aw, come on, just taste one," I implored. She took a bite, paused, smiled, and said, "Now, that's what you call a chocolate chip cookie." Maybe I should call Nestle.

These are going into the big cookie jar along with scores of other international Christmas cookies. Click on the logo for details to submit yours and see all of the delicious cookies here.

Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Pistachio Cookies
These chocolate chip cookies are slightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, where you'll discover sweet chocolate, tart cherries, and rich pistachios.

Makes about 30-35 cookies
Print recipe only here.

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup finely chopped pistachios

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and center a baking rack. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars; beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; add to the large bowl, and beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, cherries, and pistachios.

Drop 2 tablespoons of cookie dough 2 inches apart (as they will spread) on the parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until firm and golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes.

To store cookies, layer between pieces of waxed paper to prevent sticking and place in an air-tight container. Properly stored, cookies should last up to a week.

Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Pistachio Cookies

Now, thanks to the help of Random.org, I'm happy to announce the winners of the Christmas book give-away:

Lucky #48--Claire, whose favorite cookies are Nanaimo bars
Lucky #57--Culinarywannabe, whose favorite cookies are Haystacks

Congratulations to you both! Please email me your full names and addresses so I can send you the book.

Save This Page on Del.icio.us