Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center News

Delicious Door County Cherry Recipes

August means cherry everything in Door County – drinks, desserts, even savory entrees! Tart Montmorency cherries grow particularly well on the peninsula and are wonderful for cooking and drinks. The Wisconsin Cherry Growers Association touts the health benefits of cherries, including protection against heart disease and inflammation and high anti-oxidant properties. Just one ounce of cherry juice concentrate a day could do wonders for your health.

Here are a few recipes we use to have fun with all the juicy cherries, from the book Door County Cherry Recipes from the Market, written by Barbara Wulf. Pick up your copy of her recipes at: Bliss, Cornucopia Kitchen Shop, and Renard’s Cheese & Deli.

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

From the Market: Dried tart cherries

These are best right out of the oven when the chocolate chunks are melting in with the cherries!

2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
1 cup dried tart cherries
¾ cup chopped walnuts
1 (12 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts with the last egg.

Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the cherries, walnuts, and chocolate chunks, mixing just enough to evenly combine.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake until browned around the edges, 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes.

Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


Slow Cooker Cherry Salsa Chicken

From the Market: Door County cherry salsa, Cherry Cheddar cheese*

A favorite for many years. The cherry salsa adds a light sweetness to this savory dish.

6 servings:

3 large chicken breasts
1 cup cherry salsa
1 can black beans, drained
1 ½ cups sweet corn
1 ½ tablespoons fajita or taco seasoning
Corn or flour tortillas, or rice
Grated Cherry Cheddar cheese
Chopped cilantro

Lightly spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Spread salsa, beans, corn, and seasoning evenly over chicken in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Be sure not to remove the lid at any time, or you’ll have to cook ½ hour longer!

When chicken is done, take two forks and shred chicken.

Serve in tortillas or over rice and top with grated cherry cheddar cheese and cilantro.


Cherry Bounce

From the Market: 1 quart fresh, tart, pitted cherries

A wonderful Christmas drink and worth the wait. Sip on the rocks or pour over ice cream.

4 quarts tart cherries without pits
1 quart liquor (brandy or vodka)
1 cup sugar
½ cup water

In a 1 gallon glass jar, mix cherries with liquor.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water; heat until sugar dissolves. Add to cherry mixture and stir well. Cover and store at room temperature in a dark, cool place until ready to use.

Serve on the rocks as a holiday drink or over vanilla ice cream as dessert.


Quick & Easy Door County Cherry Pie

From the Market: One 32 oz. jar Door County Cherry Pie filling

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Fill a pie shell with one jar (32 oz.) of Door County Cherry Pie filling.

Add top crust or lattice to top of pie. Make slits in the middle of top crust, if using.

Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in oven for 50-55 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.