“On those rare occasions when things are slow at the cafe, we play around with new recipes,” says Alisa Huntsman in “Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe. “If something works out well and makes it onto the menu, we look for a catchy, enticing name that reflects the dessert and our lively Loveless personality. We tossed around dozens of ideas for these chewy chocolate cookies loaded with dried cherries, raisins and chocolate chips until someone yelled out, ‘Cha-chas!’ and the name stuck.”
Chocolate Cherry Cha-Chas
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 sturdy cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda into a bowl and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and scrape the bowl well. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until no streaks remain.
Fold in the chocolate chips, cherries and raisins by hand. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls at least 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 14 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. Remove the cookies from the oven while they still look a little underdone; they will crisp up when they set. Let cool on the pans for a few minutes to firm up slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
From “Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe: Simple Southern Pies, Puddings, Cakes, and Cobblers from Nashville’s Landmark Restaurant” by Alisa Huntsman