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Chips and cherries … mmm

In late April, Sheila Naccarato, of Spokane, wrote in looking for a recipe for a cherry white chocolate chip cookie printed in The Spokesman-Review a few years back.

Digging this one out of the archives was easy enough. Waiting for cherries to start cropping up in local produce sections took some time.

This recipe originally was printed on Independence Day 2003, and came to us from the Associated Press and the California Cherry Advisory Board. It calls for Bing cherries, which the article noted were good for eating and cooking.

The hardest part of this recipe is pitting and halving a cup and a half of cherries, which really isn’t very hard at all. It’s only a little changed from the standard Toll House cookie recipe, with more flour and sugar to accommodate the added moisture from the cherries.

Cherry Chip Picnic Cookies

From the California Cherry Advisory Board

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/4 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved

1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, almond extract and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking soda; add to butter mixture and stir until blended. Press cherries between two layers of paper towels to remove excess moisture and stir half into the dough with the chocolate chips. Mound rounded tablespoons of dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet; press remaining cherries onto the top.

Bake for about 15 to 17 minutes, or until cookies are set in the center and lightly browned. Let cool on rack and store in a container with a loose-fitting lid (because of the moisture in the cherries, these cookies should not be stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid).

Yield: About 20 large cookies

Nutrition per cookie: 344 calories, 15 grams fat (39 percent fat calories), 4 grams protein, 48 grams carbohydrate, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram fiber, 178 milligrams sodium.

Reader help

A while ago, I received an e-mail from Laurie Foley. On a visit earlier this year to Seattle, she and her husband had enjoyed a baked humbow from Mee Sum Pastry in the Pike Street Market. It has a sweet baked dough and a mushroom filling. She said she’d looked for a similar recipe online but couldn’t find one.

I couldn’t find one either, nor could I find one in a handful of Chinese cookbooks or Pike Street Market cookbooks. So, if anyone out there has stumbled across a recipe and would like to share, send it to the address listed below.

Looking for a recipe? Have a food question? Carolyn Lamberson would like to hear from you. Write to Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210, or e-mail to cooksnotebook@ Please include your full name and city of residence. As many letters as possible will be answered in this column; sorry, no individual replies.