Chocolate Chip and Pomegranate Cookies

Time and time again I have proven myself to be a salty girl. I will crave the flavours of chips and dips, sushi and samosa but rarely feel the desire to eat cake or biscuits. Thank Goodness! I like to cook them though, knowing that Dudie and Miss 14 have a very sweet tooth each and Miss 11, though on the salty side, is still a kid and therefore will always be persuaded to eat sweet stuff too. It's an age thing! I seem to get my sweet needs from consuming vast amounts of fruit, the more tropical or exotic the better! Miss 14 and I have a fetish for pomegranate. She will eat it by the spoonful and I love it sprinkled onto salad, fruit salad and couscous. I will post my Quinoa, feta and pomegranate salad another day. I received a Tagine for Christmas so I'm sure I will be using more of it with lamb in the future! The other day, I found a recipe that combined pomegranate and chocolate! Intriguing. "Tidy Mom", a blog I like in the US was posting her Triple Chocolate Cherry M&M Cookies. This blog lead me to another site called "Dana Made it" where I spied her double dark Chocolate pomegranate Cookies. WOW! I apologise to both these ladies for not linking through to them...but I don't know how...yet! In reading through the two recipes I thought I would make a couple of changes, the first being with the use of shortening. I have never seen it here in Australia. Correct me if I'm wrong, I just don't know where I would get it. Secondly, both these recipes called for a fair amount of salt. More than I would typically use in daily cooking (even if I am a salty girl, I do try to keep it to a minimum). Thirdly, I didn't have all the ingredients in my cupboard! Adaption was needed. So here we go... If you are not used to dealing with pomegranates, be prepared for a bit of mess. This can be alleviated by following this strategy:Cut your pomegranate into quarters. Placing a quarter at a time into a large bowl filled with water and a colander, pull the white membrane away from the arils (seeds). Use your fingers to separate the seeds and the membrane. The membrane will float to the surface of the water and the seeds will sink to the bottom of the colander, too easy! Scoop the membrane out of the water and discard. Keep going and going and going until all the seeds are separated and whilst you are at it - do the same to another 2 or 3 pomegranate to freeze. Drain the seeds, putting aside 1 cup for your cookies and if you did a few extra pomegranates, place 1 cup measurements into ziplock bags and freeze.Pomegranates prepared, we can get to the fun part! CHOCOLATE CHIP AND POMEGRANATE COOKIES Makes approx 45 cookies - though I only made 15 as I like to freeze the dough for other baking days. (Separate the dough into 3 batches - roll using baking paper, into a log shape. Leaving it in the baking paper, freeze in a zip lock bag).Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius 1 cup butter at room temperature 3/4 cup of caster sugar ( I use raw caster sugar) 3/4 cup Brown sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla essence 2 cups flour 3/4 cup Cocoa Powder 1 tsp baking powder pinch of salt (I use a good quality salt such as Salt de Mer or Maldon, so you need less. The original recipes called for 1/4 tsp and 3/4 tsp - A LOT!) 2 and a half cups of chocolate bits ( I used a mix of dark and white cause it's all I had!) 1 cup of pomegranate seeds ( you can usually get 1 cup from 1 pomegranate). Cream the butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs on medium/high. I use my trusty electric hand beater for this. Cream for at least 3 minutes to make sure it is really creamy and light. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Combine the flour mixture with the butter mixture until incorporated. (I did this with a wooden spoon, its hard work but good for the wobbly arms! I guess you could try using electric beaters too, though its very thick.) Add the pomegranate and choc chips and fold in. Using an ice cream scoop, place 15 small balls (or whatever size and as many balls as you like!) onto a cookie sheet lined with baking paper.Bake for 8 -10 minutes. ( My oven was perfect at 10 minutes) Cool completely - if you can be patient...we couldnt! Enjoy the lovely burst of pomegranate as you bite into a seed. YUM!
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