Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cake of the Week: Presidential Sweet Cookies

There’s a certain bakery here in DC that I kinda sorta absolutely adore. Their muffins, coffee, and plate-sized cookies get me every time. The cookies especially (well duh). They make all sorts of combinations, ensuring that when I walk in mid-work day, looking for a treat, I’m bound to need a minute to contemplate the options. 

And conveniently, everywhere I frequent seems to be near a Firehook location! There’s one  around the corner from my house, one at Farragut Square (a couple blocks away from my old job at NatGeo), and one at Metro Center (umm hello where I’ll be this afternoon!).  

A couple weeks ago I made the very good choice of the Presidential Sweet Cookie. It has:
  • chocolate chips,
  • dried cherries,
  • pecans,
  • coconut,
  • and a tiny bit of espresso powder
YES PLEASE. (The Firehook cookie also has oatmeal, but I managed to completely forget the oatmeal when I made my version of the recipe, so mine is oatmeal-less). 

Legend has it that the Presidential Sweet got its name because then-First Lady Hillary Clinton and Chelsea were fans. The owners won’t confirm or deny the White House connection, and really, legitimately presidential or not, they’re delicious! And I will warn you: dangerously addicting.  

Presidential Sweet-Inspired Cookies
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup plain applesauce*
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans
  • ½ cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened, but you could do unsweetened if you prefer)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dried cherries, chopped

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Beat softened butter and sugars until creamy and smooth, then beat in vanilla and eggs. 
  3. Add dry ingredients (salt, baking soda, flour, and espresso powder) to the mixture and stir until combined. 
  4. Add fun stuff: pecans, coconut, chocolate chips, and cherries.
  5. Using two spoons, drop  2 tablespoon-full sized balls on a cookie sheet.** These cookies don’t spread much on their own, so you may want to flatten the balls out a bit.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes and cool on a wire rack. 

*The applesauce makes these puffier cakier cookies. Alternately, you could do 2 sticks of butter and omit the applesauce for a chewier cookie.
**You could make these Firehook-sized if you want (i.e. BIG). Make each cookie about 1/3 cup of dough, and bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on the pan until they seem stable enough to remove to a wire rack.