Mariel here. Inspired by mother’s (or really, my grandmother’s) famous Cranberry Nut Bread, I decided to try my hand at a sweet-tart treat of my own. With pomegranates being hawked for just a buck apiece at the fruit cart on my corner, the choice was practically made for me….particularly given the nostalgia factor.
Growing up, my dad and I shared a peculiar penchant for fruit…peculiar insofar as we both preferred a crisp apple over a bag of jellies any day (that has since changed for me). A fan of seasonal, local fruit long before it was in vogue, my dad would stuff his briefcase with whatever they were shilling near work and bring it home to his wild brood of tots. Winter’s pomegranates were amongst his most “exotic,” hotly-anticipated selections. He’d slice open these odd red orbs and we’d go to town crunching on those crispy little seeds, staining our hands, faces and – much to my mother’s chagrin – our shirts. For me, cracking into a pomegranate (or an artichoke, for that matter) brings me right back to my eight-year-old self, surprised and grateful that my dad was such an adventurous produce hunter. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized these things popped up in the grocery store like clockwork.
All this reminiscing brings me to my current recipe. Since pomegranates and dark chocolate are such cozy bedfellows, I teamed them up in this decadent confection. Part cookie, part brownie (a brookie? a cownie?), these chewy chocolate bites satisfy the gnarliest sweet-tooth – plus, they seem sorta healthy since they’re loaded with juicy pomegranate seeds. Incidentally, these would make fantastic Santa cookies, especially if your Old Saint Nick is anything like the lady who visited our house: a rabid chocoholic. Yep, that’d be my mom.
Leftover pomegranates? Check out these Whole Wheat Pomegranate Maple Pancakes.
Chewy Chocolate Pomegranate Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
Note: Wear a smock or apron when halving the pomegranates and extracting the seeds – things will inevitably get messy and that bright red juice LOVES crisp white shirts.
1 cup flour – stock
½-cup cocoa powder – stock
1 heaping cup pomegranate seeds + a handful for garnishing – $2.00
½-cup semi-sweet chocolate chips – $3.00
¾-cup packed brown sugar – stock
2 eggs – stock
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened – stock
½-teaspoon baking powder – stock
¼-teaspoon salt – stock
1 teaspoon vanilla – stock
Grand total assuming well-stocked kitchen: $5.00
Cost per cookie: $0.25
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Using an electric or hand mixer, beat the softened butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. On a low setting, stir in the flour mixture until just combined – don’t over-beat. Fold in the pomegranate seeds and chocolate chips.
5. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2-3 inches apart. One pomegranate yields more than a cup of seeds, so sprinkle a few stragglers on top of the dough mounds right before baking.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are puffed and centers are still fairly soft – do not overcook or they’ll dry out, they’re supposed to be soft and brownie-like. Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Using a thin spatula, transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store them in a sealed container at room temp for 2-3 days.