Double Chocolate Cookies with Boozy Cherries

It all started a few months ago, when I soaked some raisins in orange liqueur. I watched them plump up, and when I tried one it was chewy and had the faint scent of orange blossoms. It tasted like Cointreau, but it wasn’t overwhelming. And then I baked with them, and they added a nice little surprise to a pineapple upside down cake. They were perfect.

And then I kept adding rum and coffee liqueur in my baking projects and I thought, I should do this more often, adding little quantities of alcohol in desserts. It gives everything such a sophisticated taste. And I should keep soaking dried fruit in alcohol.

And so it began.

But here’s the thing about soaking dried fruit in alcohol: pretty soon you’ll want to start experimenting with different combinations and before you know it, you’ve made dozens of cookies, so many that your oven can’t keep up and it actually starts malfunctioning, and you get so obsessed with the dried fruit soaked in alcohol concept that you think about it nonstop on vacation, day in day out, and you even give your unsuspecting little sister bites of cherries soaked brandy, wanting to see how it would taste to other people aside from you because you’ve been snacking on it nonstop too, and she spits it out angrily, demanding that you give her bites of white chocolate instead, and did I mention that little sister is blind and had no idea that the cherry you were giving her was soaked (dripping!) in brandy, but you just laugh it off and then think of more ways you can use dried cherries soaked in brandy.


What I mean is:

Boozy cherries = latest obsession.

Adding brandy to prim and proper Martha Stewart cookies = fantastic idea.

I may not always have great results when following Martha’s cookie recipes but lately I’ve been getting more hits than misses.  This time, too, I had a really good feeling about the changes I made. And I was right – adding an extra egg resulted in a thicker, cakier cookie. And adding a splash of brandy turned everything up a notch.

I’ve made a couple of different batches of these cookies. I tried using raisins and cranberries instead of cherries, and I tried adding white chocolate chips in addition to the milk chocolate chunks (making them triple chocolate cookies). They were good, too, but my first batch – recipe below – was my favorite. The cookie base with unsweetened cocoa was a nice backdrop for the sour cherries and sweet milk chocolate chunks. The dough will be fairly wet, so make sure to chill it first before baking. You’ll end up with dense, brownie-like cookies that friends and family members will be fighting over for. And no, it’s not because they’re drunk on brandy. That’s only me. I mean my sister.

Yield: 3 dozen cookeis

Double Chocolate Cookies with Boozy Cherries


1 1/2 cups dried cherries
1 cup brandy + 2 tablespoons
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I used good old Hershey's)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Pound Plus bars from Trader Joe's)


  1. Soak the cherries in 1 cup brandy for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In a big mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy (you can use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or just manually with a fork and a wooden spoon). Add eggs, vanilla extract, and remaining two tablespoons of brandy; mix together until well combined. Add the dry ingredients, and mix together until just combined. Do not overbeat or overmix. With a wooden spoon, fold in chocolate and cherries.
  4. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Form 2-inch balls of dough. You'll end up with about 36 cookies. Place balls on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart. Bake until slightly puffed and cracked, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, up to 3 days.

recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Dark Chocolate Cookies with Sour Cherries

Do you have a favorite dessert with liqueur?

And speaking of booze, I used a random number generator to determine the the winner of the Boston Wine Expo Tickets and Filipino Chocolates Giveaway and it is … ASHLEY!!

Congratulations! I’ll be contacting you via email to get your mailing address. See you at the Boston Wine Expo! Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.


27 Responses to “Double Chocolate Cookies with Boozy Cherries”

  1. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted January 22, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Oh, these cookies are PERFECT for my dad’s upcomnig 6oth bday. He LOVES chocolate and cherries and often can’t decide which to feature in his celebratory desserts. Thanks, Bianca!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 22, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Yay! I was originally going to make these for my dad’s birthday too (but ended up making a cake instead). But my dad also loved these cookies!

  2. #
    Megan posted January 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    These look amazing! Martha Stewart has some really awesome cookie recipes.

  3. #
    Michelle Collins posted January 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Soaking just about anything in booze is a fabulous idea. I love making chocolate based desserts with a good stout!

  4. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking posted January 22, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I love the cherry-chocolate combination and these cookies look devilishly delicious! Such a great recipe, Bianca. Thanks for sharing!

  5. #
    Erin|The Law Student's Wife posted January 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Oh my goodness. You can feed me these cherries ANYTIME! I love cherries+dark chocolate and can only imagine how much better they’d be soaked in brandy…really what wouldn’t be?!

  6. #
    Daisy posted January 22, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    i’m on board with this whole booze soaked dried fruit trend you are starting.

  7. #
    Meghan posted January 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I love boozy cherries! I like to soak mine in a nice Zinfandel for a topping on salmon. Zinfandel brownies are also quite good. :)

  8. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted January 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve never had boozy cherries, but it sounds delicious! I clearly need to get on board with this booze-soaked-fruit trend!

  9. #
    Sacha posted January 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Oh, yum. Chocolate and cherry made even better. I would love these!

  10. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted January 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I am totally behind your boozy fruit obsession and seeing the amazing results :)

  11. #
    Sues posted January 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Awesome, awesome idea!! I just read a post with tea soaked raisins and now I totally want to soak some fruit in something… probably booze! :)

  12. #
    Shannon posted January 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    this is genius! sounds absolutely wonderful :)

  13. #
    Val posted January 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    What more could a girl want in a cookie – chocolate and booze!! Perfection.

  14. #
    The Squishy Monster posted January 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Oooh my. What a sexy treat =) I’d love to gobble these up with a mug of spicy cocoa =)

  15. #
    grace posted January 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    cherries are even better to plump than raisins because they suck in even more of the good stuff. next time, try prunes. :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Oooh awesome idea to try prunes next, thank you!

  16. #
    Megan posted January 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I love brandied cherries. I first had them in a chocolate. They look good in cookies too!

  17. #
    Simply Life posted January 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    what a fun idea for cookies! I’m sure these are incredible!

  18. #
    CCU posted January 25, 2013 at 3:11 am

    I would eat this cookie everyday my friend :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  19. #
    petit4chocolatier posted January 25, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    These are my kind of cookies!! Brandy, chocolate, and cherries…, triple yum!!!

  20. #
    Maria @ Pappa Don't Preach posted January 25, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Pure genius! I will not judge you for feeding unsuspecting children booze soaked dried fruit. I mean, it IS fruit after all! ;)

    I’ve soaked cherries to use as additions in jello shots (holy cow) but I would never have thought to bake with them!! I’m so into this and can’t wait to give these a try. I would imagine they would be a great treat to share on Valentine’s Day!

  21. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted January 26, 2013 at 9:38 am

    These look really awesome! I love the addition of brandy in here.

  22. #
    Honey What's Cooking posted January 28, 2013 at 1:02 am

    looks so delicious. never tried cherry and alcohol together, but I bet it is delicious, especially when combined with chocolate. Awesome cookies.

  23. #
    nina posted January 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    these look amazing, love the cherry chocolate combination:)

  24. #
    JulieD posted January 29, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Boozy Cherries in a cookie, what a great idea!!

  25. #
    Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings posted January 29, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Since I am severely allergic to alcohol, I’ve given up of trying to drink them! I did find a way around this dire situation, though! I cook and bake with alcohol!!! Believe it or not, for a non-drinker, I have a HUGE liquor cabinet! It’s because I LOVE to bake and cook with wine, liquor, liqueur, beer, etc. My latest post is actually a boozy chocolate-coffee cake based on the drink, Black Russian :) Guess we’re both in the same boozy “wavelength” right now!

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