I am a big fan of dark chocolate, and dried sour cherries, and marzipan so this was a no-brainer choice from The Year of Miracles by Ella Risbridger. I've read her previous cookbook Midnight Chicken, which is about her partner dying of cancer (and recipes).
This book starts with: 'This is a story about grief.' But it is wonderfully uplifting, and full of memories - and food, and wonderful food drawings! I loved it. I think it should more rightly be called a memoir with recipes - which is a fave genre for me.
She also writes novels and children's books (I love children's books), and is just a bit of a marvel, really. I remember that Marian Keyes also wrote a baking cookbook to write herself out of grief and mental health issues. All that love going into food is a marvellous restorative to our spirits. So bake, my friends! It is a wonderfully soothing thing to do.
|so fudgy, so chocolatey, so cherryful ...|
Makes 18 cookies: (see Notes)
200g./7 oz butter
300g./10.5 oz dark soft brown sugar
100g./3.5 oz dark chocolate (I suggest Lindt)
50g./1.8 oz marzipan (see Notes)
1 large egg plus an extra yolk
200g./7 oz plain flour
50g./1.8 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
50g./1.8 oz dried sour cherries
smoked sea salt flakes
Pre-heat your oven to 180C/356F
Melt the butter over a medium-low heat till it starts to foam, and nearly catch on the base (says Ella), turns brown and has a strong smell - it can take from 5-8 minutes (see Notes)
Beat the butter and sugar together till well combined - I used electric hand beaters tho' Ella says to use a stand mixer (Ella, I don't have one!)
Chop your chocolate and marzipan into all sorts of crazy chunks - big, small, slivers, whatever you fancy ...
Add your egg and egg yolk into the butter/sugar mixture, and beat some more
In goes the flour, cocoa and bi-carb and yes, you beat well again
Now gently fold in your chocolate, marzipan and sour cherries
Grab a lined baking tray and a dessertspoon, and spoon on no more than 6 cookies at a time onto your tray - Ella is vehement that you put only 6, as they 'must not join up!'
Sprinkle them with sea salt flakes and bake for 9 minutes - she is also adamant and vehement that you bake them for this time, tho' she does suggest giving them one minute more or less on your next batch if they are not to your liking
I baked 2 trays at once, then the remaining ones, as my tiny, wee oven only holds 2 trays at a time
Let them cool on a wire rack, and don't worry that they appear underdone - Ella swears they are okay. and indeed they are! They firm up a bit as they cool, tho' they are still tender and fudgy and so very delightful to inhale
Ella says this recipe makes 24, but I made 18 medium-sized cookies. Go with my bigger ones, I say :=) But you do you
I bought dark-chocolate-covered marzipan from the supermarket. Delicious!
Burnt butter was something new to me! Maybe I've made it once in my life many moons ago, but I don't remember. So basically, I had to keep browning it for longer than I expected! It really foams up, and goes dark brown, just the way it should
|the butter starts to foam|
|going brown with brown specks on the bottom of the pan|
|very golden-browny brown|
|beating in the sugar and eggs|
|folding in the chocolate and marzipan after the flour, cocoa and bi-carb|
|this is one heck of a stiff batter, my friends|
|ready to eat after baking for 9 mins. at 180C/356F|
|so fudgy and delicious|
|her fabulous cookbook cum memoir|