This flavor combination was inspired by, of all things, a cherry lemonade scented candle. I know...kinda weird, right? But it's a fruity relationship made in heaven: sweet and tart, rich but light and bright at the same time.
Initially, I wanted to use fresh cherries in this recipe, but it's not cherry season yet, and none of the grocery stores near me had frozen cherries. I almost gave up, but then, as I was wandering the produce section like a zombie muttering cher-ries under my breath, something caught my eye: dried cherries. Huzzah! Eureka! Yabadabadoo! I had solved that part of the recipe equation.
Next up was the lemon. I wanted these cookies to be lemony but not overpoweringly lemony or tart. So I pulled out one of my old tricks...and added a twist. (Jeeze...I'm all full of puns today.) Longtime readers know my rule of three for citrus flavor. I used lemon zest, juice, and extract. And for a little extra oomph and depth of flavor, I added Lemon Zinger tea--three ways, of course: as an enplumpening liquid for the dried cherries, in the wet ingredients, and (unbrewed) in the dry ingredients.
With the cherry and lemon locked in, I started to think of some complementary flavors and textures to add. This is where the "joy" part comes in. (You know the commercial.) Coconut for a tropical taste and chewy texture and slivered almonds for a toothsome crunch.
Warning: These cookies were really popular with my real-life cookie tasters. Make sure you save a few for yourself!
Makes about 3 dozen cookies. (To see this recipe in process, check out Picturing Cherry-Lemon Joy Cookies.)
|1 stick butter|
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon enplumpening liquid
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons coconut extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
|2 cups coconut|
2 cups hot water with 4 Lemon Zinger tea bags
2 cups dried cherries
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/3 cups slivered almonds
1 cup flour
contents of 6 Lemon Zinger tea bags
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Heat the enplumpening and add the tea bags and dried cherries. Let steep until step 5.
- In your Kitchen Aid or a large mixing bowl, cream together the creamables.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and then add to the creamables. Mix together until smooth.
- Strain the cherries and discard the remaining enplumpening liquid.
- In another large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, fold together until evenly distributed. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamables and wet ingredients. Mix until evenly combined.
- Place the dough in the fridge for 30-35 minutes to firm up.
- Shape dough into balls—about 2 tablespoons each.
- Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Smoosh the dough balls slightly to flatten them a little.
- Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are firm. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Then place cookies on wire racks to cool.