Chocolate Then, Now, and Forever

Chocolate-Cherry Black Forest Cookies

There are those among us who must eat chocolate every day. I’m not talking about food bloggers. I’m talking about regular folks who see food’s main purpose as sustenance. Then there are those among us who can take it or leave it. In this case I am talking about one particular blogger – me.

For the chocolate addicted there is a whole library of source material. This little blog has even dedicated 58 of its 1,509 recipes to cocoa confections.

58 out 1,509 may not seem like so many, but it does show how far into the culinary world the subject reaches. So far that this non-aficionado feels compelled to join the party.

I’m not saying I don’t like chocolate. I’m only saying I don’t love it. I think it can be a real treat every now and again. Some of the creations I’ve seen are indeed drool-worthy. But I come to the subject more as an interested party than some sort of wild wide-eyed fanatic.

I say interested party because I grew up North America. Chocolate plays an important role in most American childhoods. Do you remember when each individual Three Musketeers bar actually came in three pieces? Neither do I. It became a single bar in 1945. But the lore about that three-piece candy bar became an important bonding tool for my granddad. I remember him shaking the candy bar, still in its wrapper, before he’d hand it over. He’d say he was looking for the package with three pieces inside. I presume because he had three grand kids he wanted to tease.

If you’re of a certain age I don’t have to tell you about the allure of Rocky Road ice cream, Jello‑O pudding (the kind that made a thick skin on top when you left it alone long enough), or (my favorite) the back of the bag chocolate chip cookies. 

Oh, and spongy chocolate birthday cake. I don’t believe there was any other kind in 1972. 

I like chocolate cake so don’t run off in a huff. But these days I’m fine with relegating it to other people’s birthdays. But, I want to go on the record, I don’t get the chocolate ice cream that’s often served with cake. I can be amazed by dark chocolate sorbet, but most standard-issue chocolate ice cream doesn’t even remotely taste like its namesake.

I do however become more interested in chocolate when it’s paired with something delightful. Mint works, but caramel comes first to my mind. Add a few walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, or even peanuts and I’ll take even more notice. But the reining royalty in chocolate duos is its marriage with cherries. You can reach for a box of Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordials and be perfectly satisfied. It’s the only instance I can think of where chocolate and booze work well together. There’s some kind of alchemy in the syrupy liqueur with its strong cherry flavor that just works. So look for the boozy kind.

But the world is populated with worshipers of the dark god and we’re smack dab in the middle of the holidays. So that means cookies and I’m sending you Black Forest Cookies as cherry Christmas cheer. GREG

Chocolate-Cherry Black Forest Cookies 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 12Source Anna GinsbergPublished

You may use 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water

Chocolate-Cherry Black Forest Cookies


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 2 tablespoon strong espresso (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounce semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • 2 cup dried cherries (each carefully cut in half with a sharp knife)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick foil.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Melt butter in a microwave-safe medium mixing bowl. Add cocoa and stir until smooth. Stir in the egg, coffee mixture and vanilla. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture in 3 or 4 additions until just combined. Fold chocolate chips and cherries into the dough until evenly distributed. Shape into generous 2‑inch balls using a 1‑ounce cookie scoop or 2 tablespoons. 

Roll balls generously in powdered sugar, then arrange on prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 — 14 minutes or until cookies are cracked, yet still soft, do not over bake.