My daughter, my husband and I are big time foodies! It's not unusual for the 3 of us to get in the car and drive 15+ miles in horrible Los Angeles traffic just to try a taco. Case in point, Guisados in East L.A., and Taco Maria (recently voted Restaurant of the Year in the LA Times!) in Orange County. So, it befuddles me that my son can be so indifferent in regards to food. I've been putting dinner on the family table for years and although I can prepare chicken 100 different and delicious ways, to him it's just, "chicken again?" A few years back we went on a fun food tour in New York City, the poor kid just couldn't keep up, moaning loudly, "I can't believe we're still eating."
So, when one day he was sitting on the couch in the other room he made a comment about cookies I had made, you can bet my ears perked up! "Mom, I don't know what you did to these cookies but I REALLY like them." And, then bonus he even went on to describe why he liked them. "They're kind of crispy on the outside but the inside is chewy. Not too sweet and the cherry is a nice surprise." Of course, then his foodie sister says, " They're like a French macaron." Snob.
For my son's birthday last month I sent him a box of these cookies but changed things up by adding a chocolate chip inside - inspired by seeing my husband sticking a Cherry Almond cookie in the microwave with a Hershey's Kiss on top.
Also, I've found that I can actually make these with just a bowl, a wooden spoon, a chopstick, a melon-baller and muscle. If you're not up for an intense arm workout, then use a food processor.
Cherry & Chocolate Almond Cookie
Adapted from Bartavelle's Almond Sour Cherry Cookies recipe.
35 dried cherries
35 semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups almond flour
2 cups sugar
3 egg whites, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of sea salt
Soak the cherries in hot water to soften. Drain and gently squeeze out the excess water.
In a food processor (or, large mixing bowl), combine well the almond flour and sugar.
Add the egg whites, almond extract and salt. Mix and pulse until dough comes together, you will probably have to go in a couple times with a wooden spoon to move the dough so it can continue mixing. Turn out dough onto plastic and wrap. Place dough inside refrigerator to chill at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Using a melon-baller form 1-ounce (2 tablespoons) balls.
Using the fatter end of a chopstick poke a hole in each ball and insert 1 cherry and 1 chocolate chip. TIP: Dipping the chopstick end in water between pokes helps to prevent the dough from accumulating on the chopstick.
Pinch ball close, then roll the ball to make smooth.
Place on parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart and flatten each ball slightly.
Bake for 11 minutes, rotate pan and bake additional 11 minutes. Tops should be lightly colored. Do not over bake.
Cool completely before storing. They'll stay fresh in an air tight container 2-3 days. If you need to store them longer, move into the freezer. They actually freeze pretty well. Defrost in fridge and serve room temp.
Makes about 30-35 cookies.