Taste: Annotated Recipe: Chocolate Chip and Dried Cherry Cookies

For 15 years, Metropolitan Bakery has been supplying the city’s daily bread — and feeding our sweet tooth. In this recipe from owner and baker James Barrett, sweets go savory with the addictive addition of sea salt.

Ingredients:

1 c. rolled oats
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 ¾ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ c. unsalted butter
1 ¼ c. granulated sugar
1 ¾ c. light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 ½ c. bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 ¼ c. dried tart cherries
4 ½ tsp. coarse sea salt

Instructions:
Using a food processor, grind oats into a fine oat flour. In a bowl, sift all-purpose flour with baking powder and baking soda. Add oat flour and kosher salt. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate and cherries. Using an ice-cream scoop, portion cookie dough into 18 balls. Place cookies on a parchment-lined tray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet 2 inches apart. Press slightly to flatten cookies and sprinkle each cookie with ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Bake until cookies are golden brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Makes 18 cookies.

Tips:
- Use high-quality “pure” — not “imitation” — vanilla extract for this recipe. Save the vanilla beans for liquid-based recipes, like custards.

- Affordable, reliable kosher salt is a staple in the Metropolitan kitchen, but delicate, briny fleur de sel is best for finishing these cookies.

- Chilling the dough improves the texture (it lets the flour’s glutens relax, for a more tender cookie) and the flavor. After three days, though, the baking soda and baking powder lose some of their leavening power.

- Barrett’s advice: Don’t trust your mixer. After adding the chocolate and cherries, frisage the dough by scraping it onto a clean surface and folding gently with your hands to combine ingredients the mixer may have missed.

- No, the oats don’t make these cookies healthy — but they do give them a crisp texture and slight nuttiness.

- Look for bittersweet chocolate that’s 60 to 70 percent cacao. Barrett recommends Callebaut and Scharffen Berger brands.

- Want more Metropolitan goodies? Look for the bakery’s 15th anniversary calendar — with new and classic recipes — on sale at its stores in Center City, University City and Chestnut Hill.

  • Ilene

    My daughter saw this recipe and wanted to try it. It is delicious, but it makes 6 dozen cookies, not 18. I looked at the amount of the ingredients and knew right away it was wrong, since I bake a lot. You might want to correct this.

  • Susan

    It probably would make 18 cookies if you actually followed the directions and used an ice cream scoop to create the balls of cookie dough. I cut the recipe in half, and it still made 50 cookies of normal size. They were deeeee-lish!!