Cherry Season in Adams County – Fresh Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

By Jess Clevenger – In Adams County, we’re spoiled with all different kinds of fresh, local produce. In the fall, we have lots of apples, but all throughout the growing season, we get to enjoy the variety of crops that area farmers grow. Right around mid-June, sweet cherries start appearing at our farmers’ markets, followed not too long by tart cherries.

Local cherries are the best cherries, and all who live in or visit Adams County this time of the year can attest to that. Sweet, juicy cherries are the perfect pop-able snack. And I always look forward to my once-a-year baking with tart cherries.

This year, I came across a recipe in the Boyer Nurseries and Orchards cookbook, “From Tree to Table,” for cherry chip cookies. Unlike most baking recipes using cherries, this cookie recipe uses sweet cherries, rather than the usual tart. The classic cookie recipe is studded with creamy white chocolate chips and sweet, juicy cherries. These cookies are truly irresistible!

If you’re looking for delicious, fresh sweet cherries, head to one of our farmers’ markets – the Adams County Farmers’ Market or the Gettysburg Farmers’ Market. You’ll also find local cherries at our countryside markets – Boyer Nurseries and Orchards (where you can also pick-your-own cherries!), Hollabaugh Bros. Fruit Farm and Market, the Historic Round Barn and Farm Market and McDannell’s Fruit Farm and Market all have delicious, homegrown cherries.

Cherry Chip Cookies

From Boyer Nurseries and Orchards “From Tree to Table” cookbook

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/4 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved

1 (12 ounce) package white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, almond extract and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking soda; add to butter mixture and stir until blended.

Press cherries between two layers of paper towels and stir half into the dough with the chocolate chips. Mound rounded tablespoons of dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet; press remaining cherries onto the top. Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until cookies are set in the center and lightly browned.

Let cool on rack and store in a container with a loose fitting lid. Makes about 20 large cookies.

Recipe note: Because of the moisture in the cherries, these cookies should not be stored in a  container with a tight fitting lid.

 

About the Author
As an Adams County transplant, Jess is continually exploring the area; slowly but surely becoming a local. When not working at Destination Gettysburg or in the office at Three Springs Fruit Farm, you can find Jess spending time with her family, hiking, gardening, cooking and taking care of her Aspers, Pa. home.

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