Merry Garcia Cookies
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS.
COOKIE EXCHANGE ROCK STAR.
Well, ’tis the season after all to be naughty, so embrace it!
In the midst of ‘super crazy busy season’ filled with food and sweets; this week Nate’s school and our church have a cookie exchange extravaganza. I’m scratching my head, “What should I make?!” I was never really heavily involved in this kind of joy spreading / comfort giving / love sharing ‘activities’. I was, yep, you guessed it: “exclusive.” I said no to so many people, … which leads to activities, … (events and things I considered as hassles), for many many years. I just wanted to be left alone. I was so at home flying under the radar 🙂
As I grow up, fine … grow older – I invite and welcome more and more people into my heart, my house, my kitchen and my table – they then become part of my family. They can bug, hassle, torment … It doesn’t matter, I love it! Therefore, my already busy life then, just got more hectic 🙂 Yes, sometimes I get so overwhelmed by my mostly self-imposed, long to-do list. However, the only way to get out of that “crippling” situation is by doing and working on our tasks diligently and with a willing heart. Complaining makes everything harder, don’t you agree?
As this year ends and the new one is looming, maybe just maybe, you can coming along with me to say ‘yes’ to more people: to more tasks, to more activities and events. Maybe that can be one of our New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know about you, but I think this beautiful life is meant to be so much more when shared with others. Okay, focus 😀 Well, our focus du jour is about sharing, right? This week is a big week for cookie baking-palooza. Sharing some simple, homemade dessert with all the teachers at school; friends, and church staff will help build a stronger community. I truly believe that.
“I think you should make some Cherry Garcia cookies,” my friend Yvette suggested. “I love Cherry Garcia ice cream. I think it’ll make some awesome cookies!” Brilliant! Only later, we googled that there are so many Cherry Garcia cookie recipes out there! So much for being “inventive.” My old art director boss used to say, “Well, there is nothing new under the sun anymore.” Sorry Yvette!
Really, but who doesn’t like Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream? It’s definitely one of my favorites of all time. So… You + Me = Together. Let’s get our apron on and get baking!
Guys, you would love this Merry Garcia recipe. It has the original must have ingredients: cherry and dark chocolate chunks! But no, we don’t stop there. White chocolate chips, cranberries for subtle distinction in texture and tartness, and macadamia (or you can use walnuts, or slivered almonds.) What’s not to love, right? The play of sweet and tart, the intermixture of complexity in flavor and subtle sophistication of taste, makes this cookie truly ambrosial! Hence the name 😉
This is day two of my 12 Days of Christmas cooking. Let’s stay naughty. It’s fun! This cookie makes it totally out of this world enjoyable. Who cares what Santa thinks, I know for sure that he’ll want us to be naughty, considering the kind of cookies we leave him with 🙂 Merry (Cherry Garcia) Christmas, friends!
- 1½ cups dried cherries
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 2/₃ cup cherry liqueur
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 12 oz. white chocolate morsels
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate baking chunks
- 1 cup dry roasted Macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- The night before:
- Macerate cherries and cranberries in cherry liqueur over night in a refrigerator.
- The day of baking:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Take the macerated berries out of the fridge and drain. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Using a mixer, blend butter, sugars, vanilla, & almond extract. Add in eggs, one at a time.
- In a large bowl, toss the berries with white and dark chocolate chunks, and nuts. Fold mixture into the batter.
- Using a cookie scoop (or a table spoon,) place dough onto the lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.