Christmas Baking Bonanza, With Chocolate Cherry Cookie Recipe

cherrycookiesChristmas should fall on a Tuesday every year. I had time to spend with my Boston-area peeps on Friday night, then took a leisurely drive down to Rhode Island on Saturday. After some last-minute stocking stuffer shopping, I made the mistake of taking a spin through Punchfork for some Christmas treat ideas.

In the days before Christmas, I made Whipped Eggnog Cake (the eggnog didn’t whip as advertised, but I followed the low-fat nog instructions and it came out great), Feta and Chive Sour Cream Scones (I ate these like it was my job), Molasses-Clove cookies from the Boston Globe (amazing), and the chocolate cherry cookies that are an annual tradition at my house.

I’m reluctant to share the recipe because it’s special to me and I’m selfish. But hey, it’s the holidays. Get it after the jump.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 10oz. jar maraschino cherries, halved, reserve juice
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a mixer bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on low speed of electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.

Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture; beat until well-blended. [I tend to pop the dough into the fridge for a bit—it can be sticky.] Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press down on center of dough with thumb. [This task is great if you’ve got a helpful kid around.] Place a halved cherry in the center of each cookie.

In a small saucepan, combine chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk; heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons of reserved cherry juice. [Maybe more. See how it goes.] Spoon about 1 teaspoon frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover cherry. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or till done. Remove to wire rack; cool.

Makes 48 cookies. [You may want to double the dough recipe, because there is way too much frosting. Or you’ll just want to eat the frosting like fudge. I don’t know how you live.]

I’d give credit for this recipe, but I don’t see any on the recipe card we’ve had for decades. If you know, please tell me!

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