Mexican Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries and Walnuts

Yes, I realize that the name of these cookies constitute their own paragraph; maybe their own zip code, but that's what they are and no one can take that away from them.  They are also delicious, pragmatic, and are great to eat while playing charades.

I stumbled upon the idea by the heuristic "kitchen sink" method.  If oatmeal cookies are made better with chocolate, then why wouldn't they be even better with cinnamon, vanilla, and coffee?  And once you have added all that, why stop there?

That's exactly where Chef Amy usually stops me, but something was in the air this time and she kept egging me on.  "We have dried cherries," she declared, "Why don't you add some of those?" So I did.  "What about nuts?  Aren't you going to add nuts?" Ergo the circle of life perpetuates.

One batch yields about 3 dozen 3 inch cookies.  You could swap the nuts out, or substitute them for another type.  You could also add chocolate chunks or chips.  If I get my druthers next time, I'll add just a hint of Cayenne pepper, maybe just a half teaspoon.

They are hearty enough to satisfy a sweet tooth with just one, or two, and they make a decent breakfast along side a cup of coffee.  Don't judge, they do have oatmeal in them...


Mexican Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries and Walnuts (printable recipe)

  • 3/4 cup butter (1 and 1/2 sticks) room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or add another 1/2 stick of butter if you don't have any)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons of instant coffee/espresso, or 3 shots (or 1/4 cup of the strongest coffee you can brew)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 cups dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream the butter, coconut oil, brown and white sugar well, this is easiest in a stand mixer.  Slowly add the vanilla, cinnamon, instant coffee, salt, and the eggs one at a time and allow them to incorporate well.

In a separate bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda and whisk briefly to combine.  Turn the stand mixer to its lowest setting and SLOWLY add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar.  Slowly, unless you want to get antiqued.  

Once those are mixed, add the dried cherries and the nuts.  Dollop out onto a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 11-12 minutes.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Authordavid koch
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Three of my favorite things, chocolate, coconut, and almonds make these little bundles of [Almond] Joy my new favorite go-to treats.  They can be assembled in less than a half-hour with only a mixing spoon, a bowl, a microwave, a pan, a stove, a non-stick surface (ideally a silpat), and a fridge.

Toasting the coconut makes for a great crunch and adds a caramel-like flavor to them.  The sweetness of the coconut is balanced by using semi sweet chocolate and the almond, like Lebowski's rug, really ties the whole thing together.


Coco Dumps (printable recipe)

  • 2 cups of sweetened coconut
  • 7 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of whole roasted almonds

Place the coconut in a dry pan over medium heat and toast, turning frequently, until it browns lightly and a heavenly smell permeates your kitchen.  While the coconut toasts, place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe container and nuke for 1 minute.  Stir the chocolate, microwave again for 20 seconds, and stir again.  Continue in 20 second increments until the chocolate is uniformly melted.

Once the coconut is browned and the chocolate is melted, add both to a large bowl and stir well to combine.  When they are mixed well, use two teaspoons to pull out your haystacks, shape into little spheres, and place in your non stick surface.  If you don't have a silpat or parchment paper, lightly grease some aluminium foil.

Place an almond on the top of each haystack and place them all in the fridge to set up, about 15 minutes.  Store in a airtight container in the fridge until they are eaten, about 2 days (but really though, up to two weeks).  Makes about 20. 


Authordavid koch
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Chocolate Dipped Cardamom Biscotti

This is a fabulous twist on the more common anise biscotti.  The cardamom gives the cookie an exotic taste and matches perfectly with the chocolate.  It goes great with coffee, tea, or even ice cream.  You can eat it for breakfast, as a dessert, or even a mid-afternoon snack. 

I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart's but increased the cardamom and added the chocolate to give it more of a kick.  Some may be intimidated to make biscotti but I think you will find that they are actually very easy to do.  You don't even need an electric mixer.  Give these a try for your next dinner party and watch your friends be impressed!


  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 oz chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and sugar. Using a whisk, mix ingredients together so there are no lumps in the flour and everything is incorporated. Add the almonds to the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Using a spatula, fold egg mixture into the dry ingredients until it forms a dough.  On a parchment lined sheet pan form dough into a long flat log, about 2 inch X 10 inch.

The Biscotti's first bake

Place in the top third of the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until crispy on top but still soft in the center. Let cool for 10 minutes. Using a long serrated knife cut into 1 inch slices on a slight diagonal. Lay slices back onto the sheet pan and bake 7-8 minutes. Turn biscotti and bake for an additional 7-8 minutes. Let biscotti cool for 10 minutes before dipping in chocolate.

Slice and bake again

Melt chocolate in a glass bowl using either a microwave or a double boiler. In a microwave, heat for 1 minute, then stir with a heatproof spatula and heat for an additional 30 seconds. Dip cooled biscotti cookies into the chocolate halfway down and place on parchment/wax paper to dry.  Once chocolate has hardened serve or store in airtight container.

Dip Biscotti in Chocolate

Makes 20-30 cookies.

AuthorAmy Koch

This is the Recchiuti Chocolateria - [pronounced "ri-cutie"], located in an unassuming industrial complex in San Francisco's Central Waterfront District, only steps from the Bay.  (It is also home, by the way, to Crush Pad - a state of the art DIY wine making facility.) 

You may never have guessed that on the second floor of this building they are making some of the most exquisite chocolates the world over... but they are

I was recently brought here for a preview for what Michael Recchiuti is calling "The Taste Project."  Many thanks to the Foodbuzz team for inviting me, I was one of about 25 friends and journalists invited and the event was a class-act, all the way.

When I walked in, I was handed a glass of sparkling wine [bonus!] and seated.  They didn't seem to mind that I was 40 minutes late having been stuck in traffic driving back from Napa.

I was immediately handed a tasting menu of what we would be going through:


Dip-it-yourself Graham Cracker Breadsticks
Featuring Recchiuti's custom-blended Valrhona 64% chocolate
on a Himalayan salt block

Salt Course
Stone Fruit Pizza -Puff pastry with fresh peaches, cherries and
shaved chocolate.  Finished with Roasted Korean Bamboo Salt.

Spirits Course
Cherry Bombs - Semi-sweet chocolate shells filled St. George
Spirits Kirsch.  Topped with a chocolate-coated Amarena cherry.

Mushroom Course
Panini Fungi - Shiitake malt chocolate ice cream on grilled brioche. 
Topped with pan fried batons of shiitake.

Bread Course
Bread Pudding - Acme croissant soaked in rum custard.
Finished with Burnt Caramel Sauce.


Here is a rundown of the tasting events they are going to run this summer and fall:

Salt, Caramel & Chocolate with Mark Bitterman
Saturday, May 30th, 2-4:30pm

St. George Spirits & Chocolate with Lance Winters
Saturday, June 13th, 2-4:30pm

Chocolate Obsession 2 - Serious Chocolate
Saturday, June 20th, 2-4:30pm

Olive Oil & Chocolate with Fran Gage
Saturday, July 11th, 2-4:30pm

Piccino Dinner 2
Saturday, July 19th, 6pm

Cheese & Chocolate with Doralice Handal
Saturday, August 1st, 2-4:30pm

Far West Fungi & Chocolate
Saturday, September 5th, 2-4:30pm

Beer & Chocolate with Magnolia Pub
Saturday, September 19th, 2-4:30pm

Bread & Chocolate with Acme Bread
October - date and time TBD


Michael is a great speaker and a natural teacher, I'm positive all the events will be both delicious and inspirational.  I was also completely overwhelmed by the pint of homemade Burnt Caramel Ice Cream they sent me home with.  Only five ingredients (so Michael Pollan would eat it too):  milk, cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla.  The best ice cream I've ever had, too bad you can't buy any. 

Authordavid koch