Monday, January 10, 2011

Wagnerian Cookies

Kirsten Flagstad
The Ultimate Wagnerian Soprano

It’s unclear who first paired chocolate with cherries, but I do know that the Germans came up with the ultimate expression of the combination in the Schwarzwälderkirschtorte, the Black Forest Cake.  The Black Forest Region in the German state of Baden-Württemberg is famous for it’s sour cherries and it’s local maids dressed in black jumpers adorned with red pom-poms worn over a white blouse.  It’s rumored that a local baker smitten by such a girl created the chocolate confection decorated with cherries.  It’s not true that it also gave birth to the alternative meaning of tart.

Whatever the origins of the Black Forest Cake, I promise you that a couple of these cookies and you will be hearing Wagnerian sopranos.   A Kirschwasser accompaniment is optional.

The Ultimate Black Forest Cookie


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/3  cup  Hershey Special Dark Cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup  sugar
  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup  dried tart cherries
  • 1/3 semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture. Beat just until combined. Fold in cherries and chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto non-stick baking sheets or parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or just until set. Remove from oven; cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Makes 30 cookies.

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