Almond cherry chocolate chip cookes

cherry-chocolate-almond-cooMy boys are very close to one another. They’re hyperbonded. They love each other more than anything in the world, and they drive each other crazy like nobody else can. They share a room, and recently they moved their beds to be next to each other, despite the fact that this defied all reason, and that they blocked windows, doors and desk drawers. They lie in bed talking and giggling till all hours, discussing their secret world. I worry sometimes that they’re so content with each others’ company that they won’t make friends outside the family. But I think, in fact, they’re learning what it feels like to be a good friend, and to have a good friend. And that can only be a good thing when it’s carried out into the rest of the world. My brother and I have always been close–I can’t remember a time that we didn’t get along, and he’s always been an inspiration and a comfort to me. I have so many memories of discovering music with him, of trying to find my own music that he didn’t know about first. Of sitting in his room playing, and listening to an old boom box. Of riding in his car after he learned to drive, and listening to music that made us feel free, of dancing in somebody’s attic in the city where we both ended up for a time after college. Of arguing about the meaning of No Woman No Cry whilst walking the dark streets of Amsterdam, of dancing around the living room when we were all together in London for a week at New Years. Of course our parents had a lot to do with it, too. We listened to their records and liked what they liked. They danced around the living room, too. So this week’s interactive Sunday playlist is music that reminds you of your family. Music that makes you think about your siblings and their friends, or long family car trips, or certain holidays. Parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends-as-good-as-siblings, grandparents–all or any of these will do. And whatever your children are listening to will someday be the music that reminds them of you, so that counts, too. I’ve started the playlist here, so add what you’d like.

I was thinking that these cookies are perfectly Claire-y Ordinary-y cookies. I love cooking with almonds, I love the combination of bittersweet chocolate and tart fruit, and I love cookies that are crispy outside and soft in. And these are all those things! I added a bit of condensed milk, because I had some to use up, but I think these would work without it, so don’t not make them if you don’t have any.

Happy Sunday, everybody! The sun is shining here, and I hope it’s shining on you, too.

1 stick softened unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup almonds, finely ground
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/3 cup condensed milk

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a large bowl cream the butter until light and fluffy. Stir in the powdered sugar. then beat in the egg and the vanilla. Add all of the dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips. Add the condensed milk and stir until the batter is smooth and the chips and cherries are thoroughly incorporated.

Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto lightly buttered baking sheets. Bake for about 8 minute, until they start to turn brown on the bottom. Cool on a rack.

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6 thoughts on “Almond cherry chocolate chip cookes

  1. Like you, I’m very lucky with my family. I had a few years after going to university when I took them too much for granted, or maybe all three brothers were finding our own way in the world. Looking back, it seems as if I was busy trying to construct a new family out of friends when I already had a perfectly good one back home. Anyway:

    Dad – Chris Barber’s Jazz Band with Monty Sunshine on clarinet, doing Petite Fleur. He had this on a 45rpm EP which we played a lot.

    Mum – The Corries – Eriskay Love Lilt. She did a lot of walking and climbing in Scotland in her youth, and we holidayed in the Highlands a lot. Their records were on a fair bit at home and we went to see them, probably my first gig ?

    brother Paul – Cannonball Adderley, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy – because we play it together. He’s a good saxophonist, I can play piano a bit. We’ve done a few gigs and interval music at theatres, and this is one of our dependable tunes.

    brother Michael – Haircut 100, Fantastic Day – Paul is only 17 months younger than me and we were into the same bands and went record shopping together a lot in our teens – Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, The Jam…. Michael is another 4 years younger and got into different music. I remember coming home for a university holiday and finding my little brother getting into Haircut 100. I’ve no idea if he still likes them and this is probably a very unfair choice…

    • Beautiful, Daddypig! This is exactly what I had in mind. I would love to hear you and your brother play Mercy Mercy Mercy! I’m so impressed.

      I hadn’t really thought about record shopping, but now that you’ve mentioned it, I think it was a huge connection that maybe people don’t have any more, with downloads and mp3s and amazon and what have you.

      I remember stores at big silly malls, and smaller indie so-cool-they’re-almost-scary record stores. I remember going with my older brother and his friends (they drove!). I don’t suppose that happens all that much anymore!

      • Thanks Claire. Our version of “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” is OK I think, though Cannonball has nothing to fear from us !

        We have a new shopping centre (“mall”) in Leeds which has the slogan, “Your retail soul-mate”. The only shops where I’ve experienced that sort of relationship and intimacy (including handing over all my money !) were record shops – independent and / or second-hand.

      • Ack! Your retail soulmate. That’s horrible! It reminds me of the strip malls around here that call themselves “Town centre” (spelled the English way, of course, for class.) They’ve completely destroyed any sense of town centeriness in the area around them!

  2. I don’t have a lot in common with my family, music-wise – I’ve always gone my own way. After I’d left home, though, my sister appropriated my Dylan and Bert Jansch LPs, and I had some difficulty retrieving them from her. So I suppose she must have liked them too! And Matt liked a lot of the music he heard me playing when he was growing up – we have a much deeper musical affinity than I do with either of my daughters. I’d have to pick Richard Thompson as the big favourite Matt and I have in common although, as part of my recent Texas visit, we did another road trip (this time to West Texas) and Matt asked to hear the complete Tom Petty oeuvre in the car as we drove there and back – the only album we couldn’t fit in was the latest one. I haven’t heard the verdict yet but I’m assuming it’s favourable!

    A stronger link, among the women at least, for our family is gardening. My mother was, and my sister and I are, quite fanatical about it. And my daughter Naomi is now showing encouraging signs…

    • That must have been heaven, driving across Texas listening to Tom Petty.

      It sounds as though you were the influential one in your family. I feel as though I’m always heavily swayed, not the one introducing people to music, but the one saying gee, I like that, too!

      I don’t have high hopes for our garden this year, between the dog and the little boys, but I just ordered some salsify seeds, and I’m very excited about that!

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