It’s been a week since I got back from my lovely long girls weekend with my Mom and Aunt Michele in Frankfort, MI, and boy did we have a wonderful time – I can’t wait to do it all again next year!!!
One of the things we did on the first day was visit North Star Organics cherry farm nearby. This farm is so charming and beautiful and they were actually featured in a beautiful spread in Martha Stewart Living which was neat to see! They had both sweet and sour cherries, so we decided to do some fresh picking of red and white sweet cherries – these cherries are seriously so good and fresh. Not only did they have super yummy fresh cherries, but they have awesome dried cherries too that I decided I wanted to bake in a classic chocolate chip cookie.
My family and friends know that my husband bakes the best chocolate chip cookies ever because he adds the littlest touch that makes the best difference ever – he adds fresh sea salt on top of the cookies just as he pulls them out of the oven, so I of course had to steal his idea once I learned about it. Again, this is just your simple chocolate chunk cookie recipe with the addition of cherries and an extra sprinkle of salt!
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups of chocolate chunks
- 1 1/2 cups of dried cherries
- Sea salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix together your dry ingredients in a small bowl (flour, baking soda, salt) and set aside.
- In a mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, then add in the brown sugar and mix until well-combined.
- Add in the vanilla and mix, then add each egg, 1 at a time, mixing in-between. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients and mix until well-combined, then add the second half. Lastly, add your chocolate chunks and dry cherries and fold into the dough.
- Scoop the cookie dough onto your baking sheets and bake at 375 for 8 minutes for a perfect, soft cookie. Once you remove from the oven, immediately sprinkle a small amount of sea salt onto each cookie. Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack before serving or storing.
Cherry picking was definitely a fun highlight of our girls weekend in Pure Michigan, but we did so many other fun things too. My favorite thing to do when at the lake house is to go see the Alpacas – yes there’s an Alpaca farm and you can feed them – yeeeee!!! My mom and Aunt had never been so they just loved it. We learned that 2 hours earlier that day, a baby female Alpaca had just been born and she was already out and about the pasture with her mom… it was the most precious thing ever. We also took a trip to Crystal Gardens which is a beautiful garden center with a boutique, and as I just spotted for the first time, a little donation-based nature sanctuary. It was tucked away behind the boutique and had small little animals like bunnies, chickens, peacocks, turtles and butterflies. It was such a little enchanted reserve and I cannot wait to go back. ❤ Our weekend was also filled with good local food, peaceful walks on the beach and throughout town, shopping and checking out the beautiful wineries in Old Mission peninsula. I just love northern Michigan!
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