Merry, Merry, Take a Cherry

As we ready for this holiday season,  I celebrate by honoring my mother, who passed to me and my younger sister her talents in the kitchen. I believe cooking and baking gave Mother great joy and I know both my sister and I love being in the kitchen and showing off our culinary talents. (Okay, that might be a stretch.)

So, here we are at that time of year when impromptu gatherings have some special warmth (maybe hot cocoa with a dash of Amaretto), an added twinkle (from a sparkling and well-decorated Christmas tree), and that extra bit of cheer and love.  We need it. It’s a cold, weird world out there these days.

My mom began teaching me how to cook when I was in her Brownie Troop 612, and I’ve been baking ever since. Here’s a recipe for Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies that’s perfect to pass off to the hostess of one of those impromptu gatherings.

Have you seen the new Nestle Toll House Delightfulls chips? I accidentally came upon them, not at the grocery store, but at one of my favorite bargain stores – Big Lots. They had four flavors, and the one I’m using tonight is the dark chocolate morsels with cherry filling.

Mom loved chocolate covered cherries, and Santa put a box of them in her stocking every year that I can remember. But here’s what set my mom apart from all other moms: I like chocolate covered cherries, too, but not the cherry. I’d let the chocolate melt in my mouth, then I’d suck away the cherry syrup, then — I’d spit out the cherry. But it wouldn’t go to waste. In fact, nothing ever went to waste in our home. What would become of that cherry? Hold on to your hats, because this might shock you —  Mother would eat it. She would take it right from my fingers and into her mouth. She did that my whole life. Only a mother could do that. Would yours?

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
What you’ll need:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour          3/4 cup sugar

12-oz. of Nestles’ Cherry Chocolate chips
1 tsp. baking soda                             3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. salt                                             1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup softened butter                       2 eggs
1/2 cup 1-minute oat meal flakes

Set your oven to 350-degrees and grease a cookie sheet.
This recipe makes about three dozen 4-inch round cookies.

Combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, salt and oat meal – in a small bowl. (Notice, there is a 1/4 cup more flour in my recipe than in other recipes, and note the addition of oat meal. These two ingredients help make the cookies just a little thicker, but you don’t taste the oat meal in the finished cookies.)
Beat the butter, both sugars and vanilla in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in the flour mixture.

Okay, can I just say that we could stop right here and I’d be happy. This bowl of cookie dough could be my dinner. Is that wrong?

When combined, add the cherry chocolate chips. The new Delightfulls only come in 9-ounce bags, so that’s what I used. (Truth be told: You may have noticed that the bag of chocolate chips was already open. I couldn’t help myself. Mom never would have done that; she exercised complete self-control. I get my sweet tooth from my dad, who always wanted to start dinner with desert.)

Of course, you can add 1 cup of chopped nuts, if you’d like. Mother couldn’t eat them, so I never added them, and didn’t tonight.

Mom always, always let us lick the mixing beaters.

Nothing’s changed there. Yummy!

Using an ice cream scoop, put balls of cookie dough onto your prepared cookie sheet. My baking sheet is a 22-year old, well seasoned, Pampered Chef stone. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Bake the cookies at 350-degrees for about 15-minutes. Keep and eye on them, because you want them to be light in color.

“When I sound the fairy call, gather here in silent meeting,
Chin to knee on the orchard wall, cooled with dew and cherries eating.
Merry, merry, take a cherry, mine are sounder, mine are rounder,
Mine are sweeter for the eater, when the dews fall, and you’ll be fairies all.” ―
Emily Dickinson

One Comment Add yours

  1. Sheryl Paul says:

    This sounds delightful! Writing the recipe down for Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

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