Chocolate-Cherry Clusters

Yesterday was a day of two wonderful discoveries:

First, while searching for a buffalo chicken dip recipe (shut up), I discovered yet another fabulous food blog, The Bitten Word. I am trying not to get discouraged at the vast sea of incredibly worthwhile food blogs to read, and I am hoping that you won’t ditch me for these guys, even though they are cuter, funnier and way more talented than yours truly. Make room for us both! (Not that they’re gunning for my ten readers, what with their boatload of fancy blogging awards). Their blog is based on the brilliant idea that I should have thought of ten years ago of cooking recipes from all their food magazines. Leave it to me to hone in on the only two WT recipes on the whole entire blog! Most of their food is rather fancy schmancy, and I look forward to trying lots of their recipes. Definitely check them out.

We will be joining friends for dinner tonight, along with our kids, and I was asked to bring a dessert. My standard go-to kid-friendly dessert is my now famous Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, the only chocolate chip cookies worth making. However, I wanted something different (and dare I say, easier) this time, and that led me to wonderful discovery number two, courtesy of wonderful discovery number one, Chocolate-Cherry Clusters. This recipe was originally published in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine (Jan/Feb 2011). I had no idea such a periodical existed! How long has this magazine been around? And Martha is using CORN FLAKES in a recipe now? Mind. Blown. Clearly prison has brought her back to her blue collar roots, to which I say, “Hooray!” Just don’t cross over into Miracle Whip territory, Martha.

Chocolate-Cherry Clusters

Everyday Food (January/February 2011)

Makes 18
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes + cooling time

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1 3/4 cups)

1. In a large bowl, break cornflakes into small pieces with your fingers. Add cherries and toss together.

2. Place 2/3 cup chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until chocolate melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining chocolate, stirring until melted. (Alternately, microwave the chocolate in a bowl in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted).) Pour over cornflake mixture and, with a rubber spatula, gently fold just until cereal and cherries and completely coated.

3. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto two parchment-lined baking sheets and let set in a cool, dry place, 1 hour. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)

My friend referred to this type of cookie as a “Haystack” cookie, something I’ve never heard before. These are easy but messy to make, and not very pretty. The kids seemed to like them, though, and as a quick last minute dessert, it’s a nice option.  I just love the idea of mixing a few ingredients together and calling it dessert — such a departure from my usual production. As luck would have it, we have another last minute dinner invitation tonight, so I am planning to make them again, and maybe I’ll try adding a little coconut to jazz things up.

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7 thoughts on “Chocolate-Cherry Clusters

  1. These look really good. I think Haystacks usually have coconut in them, which would go nicely with this recipe. I love “The Bitten Word”. I quit subscribing to most food magazines years ago, and I like the idea of having someone out there reviewing everything I’m missing.

  2. These sound yummy, Dawn. Even better, they’re gluten free!

    Here’s another “haystack” cookie for you: do the same thing with a bag of butterscotch chips, crushed cashews and a can of chow mein noodles. To DIE for, I tell you.

    • Oh, wow, that sounds so good. Well, I am not 100% sold on the chow mein noodles, but I will take your word for it and give them a try. It’s probably good I never knew such cookies existed or I never would have bothered to learn to bake!

  3. My kids love Chex (gluten free flavors) and so we always have a box of Chex on hand. I can see making this with Chex cereal.

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