Cookie Monster

Everyone knows Sesame Street growing up - one of my favorites on the show was Cookie Monster. I really got a kick of seeing him eat that plate of cookies ... you know, with the cookie crumbs flying all over the place and him growling, "AWWWWM-num-num-num-num .... " Those googly ping pong eye balls dangling and darting in opposite directions always got me giggling.

I've been baking these amazing cookies recently that got me turning cookie monster. Not just me, but both kids and a grown man. We're all craving and loudly munching these cookies and the plate barely lasts until the morning. The bitter sweet chocolate coupled with the sour cherry bites cause a wedding in your mouth. Wow, these cookies are turning me sappy tongued. Ok, bake these and you'll find your family demanding, "Me want cookie!"

Katie Lee Joel’s Dark Chocolate Chunk and Dried Cherry Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

    * 2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
    * 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1 teaspoon baking powder
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    * 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
    * 2/3 cup granulated sugar
    * 2 large eggs
    * 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    * 8 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (be sure to use a high-quality chocolate with more than 60% cacao)
    * 1 cup dried cherries (about 6 ounces), coarsely chopped
    * 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375º F.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl using a handmixer), beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture. With a wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate, cherries and pecans (if you’re using them).

Scoop by heaping tablespoonful onto two nonstick or greased cookie sheets. Bake until golden and chewy, about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets after six minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool and repeat the process with the remaining dough.

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