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Monthly Munchies – Cherry Chocolate & Masa Spritz Cookies

16 April 2009 2 Comments

basket of cookies

It’s time for Monthly Munchies again! Today is staff meeting day at my office, so I’ve once again brought a basket full of goodies to keep everyone feeling sweet.

This month’s selections both went together very quickly and easily. Of the two, I surprisingly like the Masa Spritz cookies better. I really thought I’d love the Cherry Chocolate cookies, but although quite good, they just weren’t as “wow” as I thought they’d be, and the Masa Spritz cookies are so light, buttery and addictive, I could see myself eating an entire pan full in one sitting. So they’re my favorite this month.

The Cherry Chocolate cookies come from an Epicurious.com recipe, which I followed exactly. The only thing I did differently was to use a one tablespoon cookie scoop instead of the 2 tbsp size they recommend, so I got about double the amount of the original recipe. These are rich and chocolatey, but I think that the milk chocolate (and I used some good chocolate – E. Guittard couverature milk chocolate) flavor is just lost. You really can’t taste it at all, even when you bite right into a chunk of it. So if I did these again, I’d probably swap out for semi-sweet instead and just let them be the rich chocolate cookies they are.

The Masa Spritz cookies were inspired by the French Cornmeal cookies recently seen on the Cooking Books blog. But I wanted to see if the fussiness of the original recipe (switching utensils mid-mix, etc.) was really necessary or if I could get a good result with a simpler method. I also rounded out the measurements when I doubled them, rather than adding the odd teaspoons and such that the original recipe had. And finally, since I was already messing with the recipe, I messed with it some more and used cake flour instead of AP, and I was out of regular cornmeal, so used masa harina (corn flour used for tortillas and such) instead. Whew! Fortunately, it all worked out wonderfully.

I don’t know if the end result is anything at all like the originals, but these are light, delicious and easy to make. I used a cookie press, but you could certainly use a piping bag, a cookie scoop or just a spoon. Heck, you could just pinch off little bits and roll ‘em in your hands. The dough is easy to work with, not sticky and you just need to get it onto the cookie sheet and into the oven! I’d love to try these again using lime zest instead of lemon.

Let me know if you try these and how they go for you. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Makes about 48 cookies

Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Source: Epicurious.com

Notes: Milk chocolate flavor is lost. Consider subbing with semi-sweet or white chocolate. Make sure not to overbake – it’s hard to tell when they’re done, but if bottoms get overbrowned, they’ll taste burned. So, if you’re unsure at the specified time, go ahead and take ‘em out!


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 oz fine-quality milk chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dried sour cherries


Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then add eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Add chocolate chunks, pecans, and cherries and mix until just incorporated.

Drop 2 level tablespoons of dough per cookie about 2 inches apart onto 2 ungreased large baking sheets. With dampened fingers, flatten cookies slightly.

Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until puffed and set, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software (using my actual yield of 4 dozen)

Calories: 88
Fat: 6g, Sat Fat: 3g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 6g
Protein: 1g

Masa Spritz Cookies

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

Masa Spritz Cookies

Source: adapted from Cooking-Books.blogspot.com

Notes: Love these! Quick and easy to make and quite yummy. I used masa harina, but you could almost certainly use cornmeal (after all, that’s what the original used).


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup masa harina


Preheat oven to 475 degrees (yes, really).

Beat butter until smooth, light and pale. Sift sugar over butter and beat until completely incorporated. Beat in egg yolks one at a time, mixing well between each. Mix in lemon zest.

Sift flour and cornmeal into batter and mix just until blended.

Scoop batter into a cookie press and press out onto an unlined cookie sheet. Bake 1 sheet at a time, 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned, but still light buttery yellow. Watch carefully as it can quickly go from perfect to over browned.


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 34
Fat: 2g, Sat Fat: 1g
Fiber: 0g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 0g

Masa on FoodistaMasa

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  • Marta said:

    You’d be everyone’s favourite gal in my office! See, I work with only men (all at least 20 years older than me) and for them “bringing a snack to share” means buying 24 donuts… I shake my head at store-bought, too-sweet, deep-fried snacks!

  • Digigirl said:

    Lol. I hear you! I used to work in the construction industry – those guys were “all guy” if you know what I mean. This office is pretty well trained by now, though. They look forward to staff meeting to see what I’ll bring next!

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