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Chocolate Coma Cookies

1 cup blanched slivered almonds
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (2 1/3 1.5-ounce bars of Godiva Dark or 1 1/2 3-ounce bars of Lindt bittersweet chocolate)
1 cup dried tart cherries
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (1 regular size bag)
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two cookie sheets.

In a nonstick pan, toast the almonds over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for about 5 to 10 minutes, until they have just begun to turn brown and emit a nutty aroma. Turn out onto a plate to cool. Chop the chocolate bars into small chunks, no larger than large chocolate chips, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cherries, chocolate chips and oats and set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add sugars and beat the butter until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat the mixture until well combined, about a minute. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and beat at low speed until well-combined, less than a minute. Add chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, cherries and nuts. Using a sturdy wooden spoon, mix well by hand, until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Using a 1-tablespoon scoop, measure out cookies (about a dozen per sheet). Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies have set and are slightly flattened and light brown. Cool on sheets 2 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes 6 dozen cookies.

"Tough Cookie" by Diane Mott Davidson

Sunday, March 26, 2000

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