Olive oil has been in much controversy over the years, mainly it’s been in question as to whether it’s an authentic first-press or not. First cold press offers the purest of olive oils and has a cleaner ripe finish, as opposed to second or third presses. Some European suppliers were caught bottling secondary presses, and labeling them as first presses, and charging a premium. Second and third presses do have value in cooking, but the cost should reflect the quality of the olive oil.
I use olive oil by the gallons in my household. I sauté foods with olive oil, rub it on meat, seafood and vegetables before roasting, mix it in salad dressings and marinades, and yes, I do use it in baking. It’s not that I’m not a huge fan of butter in baked goods, but sometimes it’s fun to change up ingredients for a different flavor profile. Olive oil offers a mild presence in baked goods, especially cookies, while still performing it’s essential duties.
You won’t taste much difference when using olive oil in these chocolaty chunked cherry cookies because there is so much going on inside of them. The fruit and chocolate combination are the stars of the show, but I still believe that the olive oil has a role, sort of like a no-speaking part in a play or movie. It’s present, it’s needed, and it pulls the whole act together so elegantly. The texture however, is a bit different than your traditional butter-based beauties. They are not exactly cakey, or chewy, more on the crunchy side after cooling, but very forgiving. You’ll have to bake a batch and see for yourself.
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large egg
1 large yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cherries
2/3 cup chocolate chunks
(Makes 1 1/2 Dozen)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix sugars and olive oil on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg and yolk, mix again for 1 minute. Add vanilla and mix for 30 seconds.
- Add flour, baking soda, and salt, mix on low for 1 minute. Remove bowl and mix in cherries and chocolate by hand.
- Scoop 2 heaping tablespoon rounds on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until cookies are light golden brown.
- Remove and cool for 3 minutes before placing on a rack to cool completely. Enjoy!