Friday, October 29, 2010

Twelve Weeks of Christmas Cookies—Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters and Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters and Pistachios Cookies

IMG_4501

Sunset at our house, Thursday, October 28, 2010—gorgeous! (snow capped mountains)

12 Days

Here we are again with the weeks just slipping by.  It’ll be Christmas before we know it.  Never fear, I’m here to help, along with another 50 others or so (links at the end of this post) who are all sharing ideas with you for your holiday baking this year.  Every Friday we’re posting treats you, too, can make to share with those on your goodies list.

This is week five.  One of my favorite fruits is in season right now—pomegranates!  Sure, they might be a little work, getting all those ruby red arils out of  their skin, shell, what is the protective outer part of the pomegranate called?  Anyway, they are worth it to me.  We ended up with 13 POM’s this week and are loving having them.  After removing the arils from one pomegranate and having a good heaping cupful, and knowing we still have a lot left, I decided to try something. 

I melted some good dark chocolate, dumped in some pomegranate arils and stirred it to coat them all.  Then I spooned a good teaspoon sized mounds onto a wax paper lined baking sheet.  I stuck them in the fridge for a few minutes to let the chocolate harden.  I wasn’t sure what they would be like.  But I’m here to report I think they taste great.  I think the chocolate goes great with those little red, juicy jewels.  And I think just as is they would be fun to put some in a nice cellophane bag tied with a red ribbon to give away.

IMG_4471

Before the chocolate hardened, I set an aril on top of each one.

I froze some of them, I just wanted to see how pomegranates are frozen and then thawed.  They are really good frozen, kind of like eating frozen grapes.  And they were just as good thawed as they are fresh.  I’m going to have to freeze more of the arils.  I’m not sure we can eat through 13 of them fast enough.

After making the clusters, I had another idea.  I made another batch of the chocolate covered arils, but made them much smaller.  (And then I took some horrible pictures of them.)

IMG_4477 

All this so I could make cookies with the chocolate covered pomegranate clusters.  I’d never baked arils in anything before either, so I wasn’t sure how this would work, but decided to try it anyway.

Cookie success.  Most of the arils didn’t pop open, they stayed in their ruby shape, full of juice.  Some of the chocolate covered ones did come out of the chocolate, but it was all there in the cookie, so I thought it worked well.  I added pistachios as well (going for the red/green theme there.)  I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

IMG_4489

Here’s the recipe I made.

Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters and Pistachios Cookies, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

6 ounces dark chocolate, melted

1 cup pomegranate arils

8 1/2 ounces all purpose flour (240 grams)

1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 heaping teaspoon salt

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, still cold, but slightly softened

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) brown sugar

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons (112.5 grams) granulated sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate covered pomegranate clusters

1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Prepare the clusters by mixing the arils in with the 6 ounces of melted chocolate and spooning little mounds of them on a wax paper lined baking sheet.  Set the sheet in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets parchment paper.  Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk together.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium high for 2 minutes, add the sugars and continue beating 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.  Scrape sides of bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat 2 minutes.  Then add the dry ingredients and blend on low just until mixed.  Stir in the chocolate covered pomegranates, pistachios and chocolate chips with a wooden spoon or spatula. 

Put heaping tablespoonfuls on baking sheet (eight at a time).  Bake for 14-16 minutes.  Let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Makes 18-24 cookies, depending on size.

IMG_4495

Here’s one of my favorite things to do with chocolate chip cookie dough—put a good amount in a small four inch individual baking pan, top with two big chocolate/POM clusters, add more cookie dough to cover the clusters, bake for 20 minutes.  Mmm, ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookie!  I’ve done this with many other things hiding inside.  Molten Lava Chocolate Chip Cookies, Mint Chocolate Chip Truffles Molten Lava Cookies, Hunky Chocolate Chip Cookies to name a few.  You could try any chocolate Halloween candy in the center—these are perfect cookies and great with a big scoop of ice cream.  Or just stack up a few of these big cookies and wrap nicely for holiday gifts!

Check the links at the bottom for lots of other holiday ideas and get ready to bake, bake, bake.  The holidays are comin’……



19 comments:

Julie said...

I think that chocolate/pomegranate combination sounds like a good one. They look wonderful!

Maria said...

Great cookie! Love this combo!

April said...

These sound great! Love the combo!

Tracy said...

Wow!! I just love everything about these! Bookmarking them for later. Yum!

Lisa said...

I absolutely love eating pomegranates. I've seen them used in chocolate chip cookies before, but those were nowhere near as good as yours look with chocolate covered pom seeds. Great idea and a beautiful sunset to boot.

Lisa Ernst said...

Everything here looks great and of course I love the chocolate theme. I never thought of combining chocolate and pomegranate, but I can imagine they would go good together. Those cookies look great, and chocolate packed. The molten cookie idea is really appealing to me too, big surprise there??

Eliana said...

Whoa - that cookie combination is sensational. I could not be trusted around a batch of them.

Beth said...

What a lovely variation on chocolate chip cookies! They'd look beautiful on a Christmas table.

crustabakes said...

WOW, what a different combination. THey sound deelish!

jillbert said...

Great ideas! The red is great for Christmas too!

Lisa said...

Katrina..I am seriously in love with all of your cookies, but those chocolate pomegranate cookies have won my heart! I can almost taste the burst of tart juice within the chocolate with each bite! SO creative!!

Sue said...

First of all, your sunset photo is stunningly GORGEOUS!
Love what you did with the pomegranates! Very festive looking too! I'd love to try these.

Mimi said...

Chocolate and popmegranate, sounds like a perfect combination.
Mimi

mike said...

I LOVE this - is this a new baking group??? What wonderful cookies Katrina - and unique! I've never used pomos before - just the juice! :)

Megan said...

I'm late getting around (did that sound right?) but I'm glad I didnt miss these beauties. What a fun idea and I love that you went one step farther and baked cookies with them. They sure are purtty!

Barbara Bakes said...

My mouth is watering just looking at them. What a great idea.

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

I stopped by expecting a Halloween recipe and Christmas already! Wow, time sure does fly :)

Valerie said...

Awesome looking cookies! I've never had anything like them, but I'd love to try. ;)

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Oh Katrina. Off all the things you've ever put on this blog, these look the most sinful! :D