Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Freeze-dried raspberries get pulverized and mixed into the flour for this dazzling take on chocolate chunk cookies.
Freeze-dried raspberries get pulverized and mixed into the flour for this dazzling take on chocolate chunk cookies.

Recipe developer Jesse Szewczyk says these “Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies” taste almost like a pint of Graeter’s black raspberry ice cream.

Me? Having not had the pleasure of trying that famed frozen treat, myself, I’ll just say these babies remind me of a splendid dark chocolate truffle with a jammy raspberry center.

Either way, these cookies definitely satisfy with plenty of bittersweet chocolate chunks playing off the sweet-tart surprise of dried raspberries completely pulverized into the batter.

The recipe is from “Cookies The New Classics” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy, by Szewczyk, a food writer and food stylist, who is also the cookie columnist at The Kitchn.

Freeze-dried raspberries give these cookies a fabulous sweet-tart berry taste.
Freeze-dried raspberries give these cookies a fabulous sweet-tart berry taste.

He spotlights 100 recipes that take you beyond the same ‘ol, same ‘ol chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies with chapters divided into flavor attributes such as “Boozy,” “Smoky,” “Savory” and “Tart.”

The only problem you’ll have is trying to decide which to make first — “Chocolate Tahini Bars,” “Salted Absinthe Fudge Squares, ” “Sweet Potato Snickerdoodles,” “Manchego Linzer Cookies with Quince Jam,” or any number of other irresistible sounding ones.

I’ve enjoyed baking with freeze-dried fruit lately, so that’s why “Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies” caught my eye. Light as a feather and crisp as can be, freeze-dried fruit adds a lovely crunch, a huge boost of flavor, and beautiful color to baked goods.

The dough is plenty pink. But the cookies bake up more pale than that.
The dough is plenty pink. But the cookies bake up more pale than that.

However, I will have to say that my cookies didn’t quite resemble the photo in the cookbook, which showed deep pink ones, so vivid they stop you in your tracks. Instead, mine were closer to a regular chocolate chunk cookie hue with a subtle pale pink cast to them. Now, the original recipe did call for two 1.3-ounce bags of dried raspberries. I had two 1.2-ounce bags. Even so, I don’t think 0.2 ounces would have added that much more color, do you?

A new holiday favorite.
A new holiday favorite.

Because the pink is so faint, though, it almost makes these cookies more fun when someone takes a bite expecting a regular chocolate chunk cookie, but gets the surprise of something far more complex and unusual instead.

The cookies bake up crisp on the edges and chewy within. And they are definitely a cut above for your holiday cookie platter.

Look closely and you can make out little pink speckles from the pulverized freeze-dried raspberries.
Look closely and you can make out little pink speckles from the pulverized freeze-dried raspberries.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

(Makes 20 cookies)

2 1/4 cups spooned and leveled all-purpose flour

2 (1.3-ounce) packages (about 3 cups) freeze-dried raspberries

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set 2 racks at the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Combine the flour, freeze-dried raspberries, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the raspberries are completely broken down into a fine powder that mixes with the flour, 20 to 30 seconds. There should be no visible pieces of freeze-dried raspberries.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through, until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. (Alternately, use a hand mixer and large bowl.) Turn the mixer off and add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until very fluffy and lightened in color slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Mix in the chopped chocolate with a rubber spatula.

Using a medium 1 3/4-inch cookie scoop or 2 tablespoons, portion out the dough and roll into balls. Place the dough balls at least 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets (about 10 per sheet).

Bake both sheets at the same time, swapping the top sheet to the bottom rack and the bottom sheet to the top midway through baking, until the tops of the cookies crack and the bottoms are just starting to brown, 9 to 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

From “Cookies The New Classics” by Jesse Szewczyk

More Baking Fun With Freeze-Dried Fruit: Big Raspberry-Rye Cookies by Heidi Swanson

And: Red Velvety Strawberry Cake by Alex Guarnaschelli

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