dark chocolate chunk cookies with dried cherries and walnuts

I’m not sure if this is true where you live, but here in Brooklyn this has been the weirdest, craziest winter I’ve ever seen.

dark chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and walnuts

To start with, up until very recently we’ve barely had anything even remotely close to an actual “winter”. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but on Christmas eve it was almost 70 degrees outside. On Christmas day we had to open all the windows in the house while I made dinner, but with the oven on all day we were still all overheated and sweaty by dinner time, even with the open windows.

dark chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and walnuts | Brooklyn Homemaker

After Christmas it was more of the same. Temperatures didn’t dip below freezing until well after the new year, but even then snow flakes were nowhere in sight. Having grown up and lived in New York State for my entire life, this is the latest and longest I’ve ever waited to see flakes of frozen water fall from the sky.

dark chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and walnuts

Then, practically out of nowhere, we got dumped on.

A few days before it happened they mentioned the possibility of a blizzard on the news. As the day of the blizzard grew nearer, the predictions grew bleaker and more serious. They even named the storm the same way they name hurricanes. Winter storm Jonas. Since when do we name winter storms?
By the morning before Jonas came to town, they were practically predicting the end of the world, by snow and freezing and ice.

I’ve been around this block before though, this unpredictable New York State weather block, so I took the impending “snowpocalypse” with a grain of salt.

dark chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and walnuts

Then it hit us. I checked the window just before bed last Friday night, and saw that a few flakes were just beginning to stick. I honestly expected that I’d wake the next morning to find an inch or so of accumulation, and turn on the news to hear apologies and oopsies from our local meteorologists. It’s happened before.

My alarm woke me early Saturday morning, and before I started to get ready for work I checked the window. I suppose I shouldn’t have been, but I was shocked to see that we already had about six inches on the ground, with plenty more on the way. Part of me thought it wouldn’t keep up though, and I had to go in to work anyway, so I went about my day. It wasn’t until I got to work, my beard covered in snow, that I started to realize it wasn’t letting up. It was getting worse. Some of my coworkers couldn’t even get in for the day because the trains couldn’t get through.

By noon the governor had issued a state of emergency and they were announcing bus closures and travel bans. Not long after that the police commissioner sent out a tweet saying that anyone found driving on the roads in NYC would be arrested. Staff at work, myself included, started to panic and since there weren’t many customers to speak of, we closed early and trudged our way home while we still could. Luckily the train line I live off of runs underground. There were delays, but it was still running. I walked home from the train down the middle of the street, since most sidewalks in my neighborhood hadn’t yet been shoveled.

dark chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and walnuts

The next morning the clouds parted and the sun came out, but the sidewalks still weren’t shoveled, the intersections not clear to pedestrians, and the streets were barely plowed. I was practically snowed in, and with nothing to do and nowhere to go, I figured I may as well bake some cookies.

dark chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and walnuts

I didn’t want to brave the streets so I dug through the cupboards and took inventory of what we had in the house. My mom gave me a big bag of shelled walnuts the last time I went to visit, and I had an extra bag of dried cherries leftover from my Christmas pork roast.  I didn’t have any chocolate chips in the house, but I did have a big ass bar of 72% dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s. (incidentally, I’m not sure if you have a TJ’s near you, but I seriously can’t sing enough praises for the price and quality of their chocolate. I generally try to avoid specific product endorsements, but their “Pound Plus” bars are a dream come true to someone who loves chocolate almost as much as he loves to bake.)

dark chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and walnuts

In keeping with the extremely unusual and unpredictable nature of this winter, it’s less than a week since our “snowmageddon” and it’s melting away as quickly as it came. There will be nothing left but memories and instagram photos in a few days more.

dark chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and walnuts

Whether you’re snowed in or just want a sweet treat, these cookies are THE BOMB!

The cookie itself is buttery, soft, chewy, delicately salty, and perfect in every way (Thanks Martha). Twice as much brown sugar as white ensures a tender chewy cookie that stays soft for days. Rather than the traditional chocolate chips though, this cookie is loaded with pockets of rich and melty bittersweet dark chocolate; studded with bits of chewy, sweet, tart, and jammy dried cherries; and peppered with just enough crunchy, toasty, nutty, earthy, ever-so-slightly-bitter walnuts to tie it all together. These three ingredients were seriously made for each other.

What are you still doing here? Go preheat that oven and take that butter out to soften!

dark chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries and walnuts

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Dried Cherries and Walnuts

  • Servings: makes approximately 32 cookies, depending on scoop size
  • Print
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup chopped walnuts
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar (light would work fine too)
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups dark chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup chopped dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer, and toast for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until they smell toasty and nutty. Cool and roughly chop.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars and beat on medium-high speed until very light and fluffy, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well combined, for about 1 minute. Add flour, mix until just combined, then stir in the chocolate, cherries, and walnuts just until evenly distributed.

Scoop dough out using a portion scoop and place cookies about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I like big cookies so I used a #24 scoop, which works out to about 3 tablespoons of dough per cookie. You can make smaller cookies, and you’ll end up with more individual cookies, but you’ll need to reduce the baking time by a few minutes. Alternatively you can make larger cookies with a smaller yield, but you may need to extend the baking time by 2 or 3 minutes.

Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, around 11 to 13 minutes for 3 tablespoon sized scoops. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. 

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35 comments

  1. Wow, they were arresting people for driving?! That’s intense. It has been a pretty bizarre winter here in Michigan as well – I’m not used to seeing grass this time of year! These cookies look delicious. You can’t go wrong with the combination of cherries, walnuts, and chocolate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah- there was a blizzard a few years back, in 2010 I think, and a lot of people got stuck in the road because they were trying to drive in it and there were abandoned vehicles all over the city. Then the plows and emergency vehicles weren’t able to get through because of them.
      I’m assuming that’s why they said they’d arrest people on the roads.
      And- thanks! These cookies were definitely a welcome respite from the storm!

      Like

      1. Oh, that makes sense. In the 6 years since I left CA (living first in Philly, now in Michigan), I haven’t actually experienced blizzard conditions. Weirdly, I’d like to experience it at least once, but be careful what you wish for, right?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Stuck in Williamsburg Store-well you had the good sense to get outta there-close early and head home. You are use to snow and we are use to having dumb butt names put on Storms albeit snow/hurricane/tropical storms-whatever… Go bake, it makes everyone feel warm and cozy, right? Love cookies, love TJ…It is a win-win Tux!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And…what a storm it was for you all. Heavy snow to shovel I was told by Suzanne in Clinton Hills; she finally had some help with it. That’ll break your back. As for these ridiculous names-really idiotic! Like I don’t want to know them personally. LOL The cookies are the bomb Brian!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I live in Australia and I’ve never even seen snow, let alone a snowstorm! I know it must have been an inconvenience and dangerous, but goodness me it does sound like a beautiful excuse to stay inside and get cosy! And all that snow is so beautiful!
    We are currently in the middle of a long, hot (100+ F) summer and this weekend we are supposed to get lots of thunderstorms. Another great excuse to stay inside and bake cookies :)
    I love the combination of cherries, walnuts and dark chocolate. What a grown up chocolate chip cookie. Of course, I will still be gobbling them down in a childish fashion as soon as they come out of the oven!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man. I’ve seen enough snow to last me a lifetime. I’ve lived in New York State my whole life, and where I grew up we were very used to big snowstorms. The problem with that much snow coming down in NYC that quickly is where to put it. It’s gotta get off the roads, and off the sidewalks – so it ends up just getting piled up in a narrow strip in between- piled three or four feet high!
      Anyway- I love a good thunderstorm. Give me a thunderstorm over a snowstorm any day of the week!

      Like

  4. Your Christmas almost sounds like an Aussie Christmas! The weather is absolutely whack all over the globe right now. These cookies look amazing, I have a msssive bag of dried cherries in my cupboard that I flew back to Aus all the way from Michigan last year. I think I will be cookie making.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never had a Christmas quite like it! My husband is from L.A. so it was normal to him but I couldn’t believe it!
      As for these cookies – run and get that oven preheating now! You won’t regret it, I promise! :)

      Like

  5. Tux we got hammered down here in Northern VA. 30-inches at our house! The streets are still a mess. We are used to quite so much snow. The cookies are to die for! I’m glad I didn’t have any of them handy during my 4 day snow entrapment…lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. holy cow, these look so delicious my mouth is watering! I love these pictures too, especially the simple styling.

    I realize I’m a bit late with this, but I’m glad you guys made it through the epic snow storm! I was thinking of you, but thanks to Instagram, I knew you were alive and well hahah We actually barely got a dusting during that system here in OH, but today and the rest of this week it looks like we’re about to get a few inches!

    PS. I prefer this kind of recipe to the salad one. Just sayin. K thanks :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! If I could live on chocolate chip cookies alone and not worry about keeling over from a heart attack, I totally would!
      I’ve really been trying to make myself play around with my styling lately, but I always find that I’m happiest with a clean simple and straightforward look to the photos. When I try to squeeze too much into the shot or do something too crazy I’m never really happy with it in the end. So thank you! I’m glad to hear the clean and simple approach is paying off!
      And would you believe that a week later all that snow was completely gone? We had almost like 2 feet piled up in the back yard. We had to shovel out a path for the dogs to go out because the snow was piled taller than they are!
      Just over a week later and the yard was brown and barren once again. Oh New York!

      Liked by 1 person

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