Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Pistachio Cookies

choccherrychip.jpgAmericans in particular love a good chocolate chip cookie. That's in large part do to Ruth Wakefield, a home baker in Massachusetts, who in 1930 opened a lodge call The Toll House Inn.

One day as she was making her Butter Drop Do cookies, she tossed some Nestle semi-sweet chocolate into the dough expecting it to get all melty. It didn't. In fact, the cookies were tantalizingly creamy and chocolaty, becoming an instant hit at the Inn. Eventually Ruth ventured into a partnership with Nestle and, lo and behold, the famous Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie was born. Nearly 80 years later, they remain one of America's favorite cookies.

So for all of my fellow chocolate chip cookie lovers out there, I've got a special Christmassy chocolate chip cookie for you: Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Pistachio Cookies. When you bite into the slightly crisp exterior, you'll discover a soft chewy center studded with sweet chocolate chips, tart dried cherries, and rich pistachios.

Just to prove how good these cookies are,when my mom was here, I asked her to taste one to see if she liked it. She said, "I'm not a fan of chocolate chip cookies, honey." "Aw, come on, just taste one," I implored. She took a bite, paused, smiled, and said, "Now, that's what you call a chocolate chip cookie." Maybe I should call Nestle.

These are going into the big cookie jar along with scores of other international Christmas cookies.

Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Pistachio Cookies
These chocolate chip cookies are slightly crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, where you'll discover sweet chocolate, tart cherries, and rich pistachios.

Makes about 30-35 cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup finely chopped pistachios

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and center a baking rack. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars; beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; add to the large bowl, and beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips, cherries, and pistachios.

Drop 2 tablespoons of cookie dough 2 inches apart (as they will spread) on the parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until firm and golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes.

To store cookies, layer between pieces of waxed paper to prevent sticking and place in an air-tight container. Properly stored, cookies should last up to a week.


Susan Russo is a free lance food writer in San Diego, California. She publishes stories, recipes, and photos on her cooking blog, <Food Blogga and is a regular contributor to NPR’s <Kitchen Window. She is also the author of  Recipes Every Man Should Know and The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches.