Using a name like “Cherry Garcia” will always catch your attention and I am sure raises expectations. Obviously, these cookies are not anything like the famous ice cream (which is my favorite,) but they are good. I had to look all over for cherry brandy. I finally found “cherry-flavored brandy,” at BevMo. I am not sure but I am suspicious this is like imitation cherry brandy. Since I know nothing about booze, I am not sure. If you are not up to looking all over town, I am sure they would be good with just regular cherries. I would probably skip the softening in boiling water, as well, to give the cherries more character in the cookies. I like chewy dried cherries in my cookies.
1 cup dried sour cherries
1/3 cup cherry brandy
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup coarsely chopped white chocolate
¾ cup coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Plump dried cherries by soaking them in boiling water to cover for a couple of minutes. Drain well and toss with cherry brandy.
3. Let cherries sit in brandy for a couple of hours, or even overnight for the best flavor. Drain before using.
4. Cream butter with both sugars.
5. Blend in egg, vanilla and almond extracts.
6. Fold in salt, baking soda and flour.
7. Fold in cherries, chocolates and nuts.
8. Drop in 2-tablespoon balls onto baking sheets.
9. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, 12-14 minutes.
10. Cool on racks.
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