December 03, 2016

Chocolate Cherry Bombs: No-Bake Chocolate Drop Cookies


My mother called these "Summer Cookies" because you could make a batch on the hottest day of the year without turning the oven on, but they are equally delicious in colder months (and set up faster, too). These are dense, chewy, sweet little bombs. You can of course vary the fruits as you like. We made these with just raisins when I was a kid, but I really like dried cherries (sweet or sour cherries) either instead or in addition. Dried cranberries would also be delicious.

This would be an excellent recipe to make for a cookie exchange, because it makes a large batch that takes very little time. Oh, and everyone seems to love them, even if they are skeptical at first glance.

This batch is vegan, as I made it for a dietarily-mixed workplace function, but you could replace the coconut oil with butter, and the oatmeal cream for milk to get my mother's original version. The recipe can be halved or doubled to meet your needs.

Note: Because the salt grains are large and added with the dry ingredients, they don't dissolve quite as much as they might otherwise. This means that you'll get an occasional extra little crystalline crunch as you bite into the the cookie, with a burst of extra flavour. I think it's a lovely feature, but if you prefer to have that salty bite less prominent, simply use half the amount of fine grain salt, or add it to the chocolate mixture while it is on the stove so it has the chance to dissolve.

Chocolate Cherry Bombs

Makes about 6 dozen small ones

1 litre (4 cups) raw (or brown) sugar
250 mL (1 cup) cocoa powder
125 grams coconut oil (or butter)
225 mL oat milk (or dairy milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 litres (6 cups) rolled oats (thick cut, not instant)
125 mL (1/2 cup) dried shredded coconut (unsweetened)
125 mL (1/2 cup) raisins
250 mL (1 cup) dried sweet or sour cherries
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt or Kosher salt

In a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, heat the sugar, cocoa powder, coconut oil (or butter), and milk. Let the mixture cook and bubble for about 3 minutes, stirring well.

In a second bowl, combine the dry items: oats, coconut, raisins, cherries, and salt.

Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract. Then add all of the dry mixture, and stir vigorously with a sturdy wooden spoon until there are no more dry patches and everything is thoroughly integrated.

Use a small disher or a tablespoon to drop cookies onto parchment, waxed paper, or foil lined trays (ideally, something that fits in your fridge or freezer if it's hot out). They don't expand, so you can pack them quite closely. You can make them any size you like, but because they're so sweet and intense, I make them quite small. You can always have more than one.

Let the cookies harden for an hour or so before serving (it might take longer in warm weather, unless you refrigerate them). You can store them in a waxed-paper lined tin in the cupboard or fridge.



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