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Archive for February 7, 2010

TIP OF THE DAY: Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies For Your Valentine

Our previous post is a recipe for Valentine shortbread cookies. But don’t stop there—make Cherry Chocolate Chip cookies as well.

February is National Cherry Month. Even though fresh cherry season is in July, you can guess that National Cherry Month honors George Washington, born February 22, 1732 and immortalized for his honesty in the legend of the cherry tree (he ‘fessed up to his father that he cut down the precious tree).

This chocolate chip cookie recipe uses delicious dried cherries, made from last summer’s harvest.

And don’t stop with cookies: Enjoy the dried cherries in everything from breakfast yogurt, cereal and pancakes; to luncheon salads; to sauces for meats and poultry at dinner. For snacks, make cherry caramel corn by tossing hot popcorn with sweet butter and adding dried cherries and honey-roasted pecans; then drizzle with caramel. Or, make a cherry trail mix.


Cherry chocolate chip cookies: a yummy twist. Photo courtesy Cherry Marketing Institute.

  • Get fun cherry facts and the history of cherries. (By the way, George Washington did not cut down a cherry tree—his biographer made up the story!)


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RECIPE: Bake Heart-Shaped Shortbread


Decorate plain shortbread with small
chocolate hearts or other garnishes.
Photo courtesy Chobi Capeta | SXC.

Show how much you love them by baking Valentine’s Day cookies. Here’s a recipe from Tracy Anderson of Woodhouse Chocolate, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week and producer of magnificent Valentine’s Day chocolate boxes.

Shortbread has three simple ingredients—flour, sugar and butter. In addition to using a quality flour, the secret to great shortbread is in the butter.

Tracy prefers salted Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter (it’s imported from Ireland). We use Cabot unsalted butter (winner of the World Cheese Championships in the Unsalted Butter category). Try using a different brand of butter each time you make the recipe to see which you prefer.

This recipe bakes the cookies at a lower temperature for a longer time.



– 1 cup butter (8 ounces)
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– Grated zest of 1/2 an orange
– Optional decor: heart-shaped chocolates, chocolate chips, sprinkled chopped chocolate, gold leaf, fleur de sel)


1. Preheat the oven to 250° with the rack in the middle.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar (about 1 minute).
3. Add the orange zest, mix well, then add the flour. Mix until completely incorporated (about 2 minutes).
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form a ball. Flatten it out slightly with your hands, then roll to 1/2-inch thick. This is much thicker than other cookies you may have made.
5. Cut with a metal cookie cutter (or you can just cut into squares with a knife). Put on a heavy-bottomed parchment- (or foil-) lined cookie sheet and bake for about 90 minutes, until just turning brown on the bottom.
6. To decorate the shortbread: cool 5 minutes to melt chopped chocolate and sprinkled garnishes; 10 minutes to press a heart-shaped piece of chocolate into the cookie top.

Though you’ll want to eat these right away, shortbread will stay fresh in an airtight container for about a week, or it can be frozen for several months.


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