While certainly no one will argue that cookies are health food, I do think that anything homemade is better for you than something store bought. There’s nothing better than a warm, chewy cookie moments from the oven. It’s even portioned controlled! And a good dough can be changed up to fit whatever is in your pantry or in your cravings. This recipe makes around 4 dozen, which is a lot, especially in our household of two, where neither of us have much of a sweet tooth. I divide the dough in half, make a log rolled into parchment paper and freeze it for another day.
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon separated
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (I like table salt for baking)
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- In a skillet on the stovetop, toast the almonds over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the nuts are golden and fragrant. Once done, transfer them to a plate and let cool (I’ll sometimes pop them in the freezer for a few minutes to help them along)
- In a large bowl, cream the room temperature butter and both sugars until light and smooth, about 3-5 minutes. A hand or stand mixer makes this task a cinch, but a lot of us grew up making cookies with a good old wooden spoon and that still works just as well.
- Combine the eggs one at a time, making sure the first is well combined before adding the second.
- Next add in the almond and vanilla extracts, as well as the baking soda and salt, combine well.
- Slowly add the 2 1/2 cups flour to the dough…add too much at once and you’ll be cleaning the flour off yourself and ceiling. Stop mixing once the flour is incoporated, as over mixing can make the cookies tough.
- In a small bowl, toss the chips, nuts and cherries with the remaining tablespoon of flour. Transfer this to the large bowl and fold into the dough.
- Spoon rounded tablespoons of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, making sure there is a good inch or two between each mound, this will be a dozen on astandard sheet. Parchment paper is completely optional here, but I find it helpful when rotating the pans between batches.
- I like to use 2 sheets, but only bake one at a time, so that each batch is cooked evenly.
- Bake the cookies for about 9-11 minutes. Make the oven light and door window your best friends at this stage, as opening the oven door lets all the heat out and will ensure uneven cooking times. The cookies will be a light golden brown when ready. Remove promptly.
- Let the pan cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing the cookies to finish cooling. A paper grocery bag works wonders, but a wire rack probably works best.
- Serve and nosh
Makes about 4 dozen