Having just come back from a trip to Michigan, I am all about the cherries right now. Sweet cherries, tart cherries, dried cherries, juiced cherries, Chocolate Cherry Coconut Cookies,.... basically any form I can get cherries in, is good for me. In my opinion, cherries are my favorite part of summer. Besides of course, being tan and bronzed. That's pretty awesome too.
I headed out to Michigan a few weeks ago and set up shop in Traverse City with the Cherry Marketing Institute. I was there, along with a few other bloggers, to learn all about tart cherries. Want to know a secret? I'd never had a tart cherry until this trip! GASP. What on earth was I thinking? I've had plenty sweet cherries in my lifetime. I mean, I practically eat my weight in Rainer cherries on an annual basis. I can't get enough. I was excited to finally get to try a fresh tart cherry and turns out, I'm totally obsessed.
We toured a few cherry orchards and picked Montmorency and Balaton cherries. They were drop dead gorgeous, bright red in color, slightly tart but not sour, and literally so tasty. Plus they are picked in the coolest way ever. Because these cherries aren't really eaten fresh, they shake them off the trees and then transport them to their respective homes where they will get turned into dried cherries, pies, jams, BBQ sauces, etc. I made ya a video in case you wanted to check it out, which you should, because it's one of the coolest things I've ever seen.
Getting fresh tart cherries in your local markets might be tough. After learning all there is to know about tart cherries, it boils down to the fact that in their freshly picked state, tart cherries are super tough to ship. But not to fear, there are some really amazing people that dry tart cherries and then you can get them basically all over the place! And they make for the most excellent Chocolate Cherry Coconut Cookies!
Tart cherries are also crazy good for you. I'm not a nutritionist so I'm just going to point you in the right direction so you can read about all the fab health benefits that come with eating tart cherries. And because tart cherries are so good for you, that means you get to eat double of these Chocolate Cherry Coconut Cookies and not really worry about it.
Chocolate, Cherry and Coconut Cookies
- 8 oz unsalted butter, softened 2 sticks
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup shredded coconut
- 1 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
- In a large mixer, combine the butter and sugars with a paddle attachment. Mix together for 2 minutes until the sugars all incorporated.
- Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and mix.
- Add the flour, baking soda, sea salt and baking powder and slowly combine, making sure not to over-mix the batter. Mix until the last bit of flour gets incorporated and then stop.
- Add the coconut, oats, chocolate chips and dried tart cherries and gently fold them into the dough with a sturdy spatula. Refrigerate batter for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using a 1 inch scoop, scoop 12 cookies onto each parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer sheets into over and bake for 14-16 minutes until the cookies just slightly turn a golden brown color on the edges but are still soft and chewy in the middle. Remove from oven, transfer to cooling rack. Repeat process for remaining dough.
- Store cookies in the fridge for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. I have no idea if they last longer than that because I always eat them within the first few days anyway!