To kick off my 12 Days of Christmas Recipes “event,” I want to share with you the recipe for my husband’s favorite cookie in the entire world. It’s pretty high up there on my list as well!
The first time I tried this cookie, my friend Kelly made them when we were college (hi, Kelly!). I absolutely adored them, because I was a huge fan of cherry cordials! Ever since then, I have made these cookies every Christmas (as well as other special occasions) and have tweaked the recipes I’ve found here and there over the years. This one is perfection.
It’s also worth noting that I’ve had people who claim they don’t like chocolate-covered cherries enjoy these cookies. It’s also fun to surprise people who think it’s just an iced chocolate cookie. They bite into the center, and BAM! A burst of juicy cherry goodness.
Anyway… on to the recipe.
To make approximately 12 cookies, you will need:
For the cookies:
- 1/2 cup butter (softened if you want fluffier cookies; completely melted if you want them to spread a little more. The batch pictured is a bit in the middle.)
- 2/3 cups white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 (10-ounce) jar of maraschino cherries, juice reserved for the frosting
For the frosting:
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 4 tsp reserved juice from the maraschino cherries
- 1 cup semisweet (or milk) chocolate chips
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and getting two baking sheets ready. Line them with parchment paper if you wish to make cleanup easier. Don’t grease the baking sheets – there’s enough butter in these cookies that they will release easily anyway.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Mix it well, preferably with an electric mixer.
Add the salt, egg, and vanilla. Beat well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture; mix until smooth. It should be pretty thick (sorry that I don’t have a photo of that step to share with you). The dough should be thick enough to hold its shape when rolled into a ball.
If you want to make the next step easier, you can refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes, but it’s not a huge deal (I skipped this).
Roll the dough into roughly one-inch balls. Place on the cookie sheet. Using your thumb (or the end of a thick-handled utensil if you don’t want to get your hands dirty again), make a small cherry-sized indentation in each ball of dough. (Tip: If using the handle of a utensil, rotate it ever so slightly to be able to remove it with minimal dough residue).
Place a cherry in each indentation.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before making the frosting.
To make the frosting, I recommend using a double-boiler to avoid seizing chocolate. You can also use a microwave or simply a saucepan over low heat if you like to take risks. (I used a saucepan, and the chocolate seized a little bit, but not so much that I was unable to work with it.)
Anyway. Heat up the cherry juice and sweetened condensed milk to lukewarm using your preferred method. Add the chocolate chips and continue heating gently until the chips have melted and the frosting is smooth. Frost each cookie using a knife or offset spatula so that the cherry is covered.
Let the icing harden before serving, if you can wait that long.
Have something to drink handy – you’re going to need it! These cookies are RICH! Hope you enjoy!
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s 12 Days of Christmas Recipes post!