It’s easy to get caught up in all the fancy-schmancy, dress up, bubbly, sparkly side of Valentine’s Day. But let’s all go back and remember Valentine’s Day as a kid. Class parties, paper valentines with your favorite cartoon character, and maybe even a love note from a secret admirer.
Last year in my 5th grade classroom, we had a seriously sweet first crush moment. One of the boys in my room brought an adorable little stuffed dog with a note to give to one of the sweetest, quietest, most innocent girls in the class. He tried to give it to her privately but, being a classroom full of fifth graders, a small crowd formed and the gift became more public. He blushed, she blushed, and I just watched and smiled from across the room. Later on, I asked her what the note said. She showed it to me and it was so sweet, innocent, and age appropriate. “I like you,” it simply said. Love it.
These cookies remind me so much of that adorable moment. They’re fun, simple, and sweet. Just like the best Valentine’s day memories.
Cherry-White Chocolate Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, Christmas Cookies
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 TBSP (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract or paste
1 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. dried cherries, chopped
1 c. macadamia nuts, pecans, or other preferred nuts
1. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix to combine, about 30 seconds. With a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Add chocolate chips, cherries, and nuts and mix until fully incorporated.
4. Using a standard-sized cookie scoop (about 2 TBSP worth of dough), roll dough into balls and place two inches apart. Place both baking sheets into oven and bake until edges are set but centers are still puffy and soft, 15-20 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool on sheets, 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to completely cool. Makes about 5 dozen. (Cookies freeze well.)