In the joyful world of yesUmay Cookies—where all-natural ingredients range from classic oatmeal, chocolate, and buttercream to unexpected goji berries, curry, and lavender—sweets feed not only the belly, but the soul. “I eat cookies every day because I believe in overall wellness. They make me happy, and I want to share that with others,” says Ashley Swider, owner of the Mount Pleasant shop, which opened last September. And considering her spread-the-love approach, who better than this longtime baker (she learned by working with her parents in the kitchen) to share a Valentine’s Day cookie recipe?
“A wonderfully rich, but not overly sweet, cookie that’s really easy to make is the Cherry Bomb,” says Swider. Based on one of her favorite candies, this creation marries chocolate—look for one that’s at least 60 percent dark cocoa, such as Schokinag—and organic dried cherries. “I use Whole Foods’ 365 brand. You’ll be able to taste the chemicals on processed versions,” she notes.
“The recipe itself is really straightforward,” she continues. “Just make sure you use an electric mixer at a low speed. A high setting will whip the dough too much, causing the cookies to turn out flat.” And that’s the last thing you want when cooking up Valentine’s Day romance.