Chocolate Anise Cookies with Dried Sour Cherries
1/4 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, for melting into the dough
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon whole anise seeds
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon hot tap water or substitute: 1 teaspoon brewed coffee
1/2 cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, for stirring into the dough
1/3 cup dried sour cherries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. In a microwave safe container, melt 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate on 50% power. In a small bowl combine instant coffee and hot water. Stir to dissolve granules by mixing with a small spoon. Set aside. Place anise seeds in a small re-sealable plastic bag, and with a heavy bottomed pan, gently pound to break up and slightly crush the seeds- this will help to release the natural oils and make the seeds more aromatic.
In a mixing bowl combine butter, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and anise. Beat on medium low speed for 1 minute until mixture resembles a course crumb. Add egg and coffee mixture and beat on low speed to combine. Add melted chocolate and mix on low (making sure to stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl). Add ½ cup chocolate chips and cherries and mix again. Chill dough in freezer for 15-20 minutes until firm or refrigerate for an hour. Scoop 1 tablespoon portions of dough and roll into a ball. Dough will be slightly sticky. Chill dough again for at least 10 minutes.
Put both sugar in two separate plates or shallow bowls. Place each cookie in granulated sugar and roll to coat all sides. Then place cookie in confectioners’ sugar and roll to coat. Place on a greased cookie sheet and repeat with remaining cookies. Bake for 5-6 minutes - Rotate tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes being careful not to over bake. Cookie will be chewy on the edges but soft on the inside. The baking time of 5-6 minutes is if the dough is chilled properly as instructed and then baked. The baking time would be less if the dough was warm when it went into the oven. If the cookie is over baked it will be dry all the way through. Let cool completely.