Fresh pomegranate seeds (actually called arils) are a little too moist to do well in a batch of cookies. Dried pomegranate seeds are a little bit too dry and crunchy. Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranate seeds, however, seem to be just right. The dark chocolate brings out some of the fruity notes of the dried pomegranate flesh, while it also serves to temper the crunch of the pomegranate seed.
They go particularly well in these rich, brownie-like chocolate cookies. Don’t be fooled by the “dry” outer appearance of the cookies – just think of that as the very top of the brownie. Inside, these are moist and very tender, with an excellent chocolate flavor. In addition to the chocolate covered seeds, I also included some chocolate chips and chopped, toasted pecans in here, so there is a real variety of textures and flavors (and a lot of chocolate, of course!) in each bite of cookie.
If you can’t find dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds (which I found at Trader Joe’s), don’t worry. You can easily substitute another chocolate covered dried fruit, such as blueberries or cranberries, to get the tanginess of the fruit into the cookies. You could also use chocolate covered cacao nibs to replicate that hint of crunch from the pomegranate seeds. And, of course, you can just add in dried fruit, more chocolate chips or even more nuts depending on what you have in the pantry.
Pomegranate, Chocolate and Pecan Brownie Cookies
5-oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate covered pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate. Add in dry ingredients and stir just until dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in chocolate covered pomegranate seeds (or other chocolate-covered dried fruit, like cranberrries), pecans and chocolate chips.
Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies are set and are no longer wet looking. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.