Roll Tide Cookies
Ghirardelli White Chocolate and Kirshwasser soaked Tart Cherries
1 cup dried and chopped tart cherries
1/2 cup Kirshwasser (German Cherry Brandy)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick room temperature butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
In a small saucepan, bring the cherries, water, and kirshwasser to a boil. Then turn off the heat and let them steep for 10 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and allow to cool. Preheat oven to 350*F. Using a mixer, cream together both sugars and the butter until well blended. Stir in the two eggs and extracts. In a spearate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add flour mixture to the wet a few tablespoons at a time until all is well combined. Gently fold in the chips and cherries. Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets (or silpat works great). Bake cookies until golden brown. My oven took around 10 minutes to do this but yours may take up to 15, keep a close eye on them. Transfer to a cooling rack to prevent overcooking. Allow to cool and package them up.
Isn't this bottle precious? It even came with two fake cherries attached on top.
I miss having my cookie scooper!
These cookies turned out great and were delicious! Below is what inspired me to make them this weekRecently I saw the new University of Alabama cookbook by Brown Mercer at Cracker Barrell and at Costco. I am not a fan at all! It is a husband and wife team that hatched up this great idea where each one took a side (Alabama and Auburn), threw in a ton of football phrases and added them to their recipe names to make lots of money. While the recipes themselves seem great, sound tasty, are photographed well... the whole idea just threw me. They are using the iconic university images and phrases for just their own food and making it seem like it represents Alabama Football Food Culture. I hope a they pay the respective universities a lot of royalty money for using the logos. I was watching little old ladies just throwing the books in their carts just because it had the logo on it, they didn't even crack the book to look at it. I believe a proper University of Alabama cookbook would involve spending several games worth of tailgating, following your nose and following peoples recommendations of who, what, when, where and why the best homemade tailgating food is created and then finding out if those people would be willing to contribute their historic recipes and stories to a book. This Mercer cookbook also tricks the shopper by looking a lot bigger than it really is. The thickness of the front and back cover is more than half the book! This got me thinking about what tailgating foods I have always loved and remembering stories where people have bragged on their friend's secret tailgating recipes and how they wish they had them.
I thought I was in the thick of Alabama football fans when I lived in Tuscaloosa, but here in Huntsville I feel just as surrounded. This includes my husband's law office. All the employees are so sweet and the office is so strikingly Southern in a good way! The house was built in the 1820s and most of the occupants are Alabama fans and it certainly shows in the decor. The two Florida and Auburn fans are very tolerant to the overwhelming Alabama vibe! :) I had so much fun throwing in subtle and not-so-subtle Alabama items in his office. This coming weekend is the Alabama vs. Arkansas football game and it is the first SEC game this season. This makes me crave tailgating foods and I wanted to make something to send his office to try out. It is best to send sweet things that can just sit on the counter in the kitchen. I found a similar recipe in a Bon Appetit magazine (many thanks Anna M.!) and combined it with my normal cookie recipe. Most of my baking items, including my cookie sheets, cookie drying racks, cookie portion scooper, etc. are all still in my Tuscaloosa kitchen so please disregard the crispy edges in the pictures. The cookies did not look very pretty this time but they were delicious. The sugar/flour ratio in this cookie is perfect: caramelized sugar crispy edges with a tender buttery fluff center.
Growing up, we would try to do tailgating desserts that had the Alabama Crimson Tide Color to them, usually red velvet cake cupcakes or cherry chip cake cookies. I will try to get a guest blog post from my friend Kathryn. In high school home economics, she shared me her recipe for taking any type of cake mix box and turning it into cookies and I have used it several times since then. This is a different way of doing that idea but with the real dried tart red cherries and white chocolate chips. Though Mr. Mercer's cookbook just tries to throw Alabama phrases attached to his recipes, we have always called our game day desserts "Roll Tide" cookies or cupcakes or whatever it happened to be so this just makes me laugh!
Update: A link sent to me by my husband: http://alumlive.ua.edu/sites/default/files/GamedayGourmet.pdf
Collected entries from the University of Alabama National Alumni
Association’s tailgate recipe contest, received June 15 through July 15, 2008.
Contest and online cookbook sponsored by the Alabama Alumni Magazine.
Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Go Alumni Association! There are some really yummy looking University of Alabama Tailgate Recipes in here!