Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Chocolate covered cherries are one of my most favorite candies, especially the ones from a local chocolate store.  When I saw this recpe for chocolate covered cherry cookies, I knew I had to give these a try this year.  Wow, they are amazing!  These are basically made the same way as the classic thumbprint cookies, except these have a chocolate cookie base.  Instead of jam or chocolate, you fill the thumbprint with a maraschino cherry, and top it with a chocolate ganache that is thinned with some of the liquid in the maraschino cherry jar.  These will be added to my cookies I make yearly list as they were that good!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Source: From Tasty Kitchen

1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
½ cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ cups Butter, Room Temperature
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 whole Egg
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla
1 jar (10 Oz.) Maraschino Cherries, Drained, Reserve Juice
1 package (6 Oz.) Semisweet Chocolate Chips
½ cups Sweetened, Condensed Milk

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and soda. Blend well and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter or margarine and sugar on low speed until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.

Gradually add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; beat until smooth and well blended.

With hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on an ungreased baking sheet. Press down the center of the dough with your thumb.

Drain maraschino cherries well, reserving juice. Place a cherry in the center indention of each cookie.

In small saucepan, combine chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk. Heat over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the reserved cherry juice.

Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the topping over each cherry, spreading to cover the cherry. If frosting seems too thick, thin it with a little more cherry juice.

(I was worried that I read my original recipe wrong when it told me to put the frosting on BEFORE baking. I thought it would melt and run all over. But I did as it said and it is amazing! This super-silky chocolate frosting does not melt or run anywhere! It seals in the cherry beautifully!)

Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until done. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.



Peanut Butter Blossoms

I’m not sure if this is true everywhere, but around here, you won’t find a cookie tray anywhere that doesn’t include these classic Christmas cookies.  In fact, if you want to buy Hershey Kisses,  don’t try and buy them the weekend before Christmas, because you won’t find the plain ones anywhere!  I had to buy 2 of those plastic candy cane things that have the Hershey Kisses in them just so I could make these (and it cost me twice as much!).  I make these every year per the husband’s request, as these are his absolute favorite.  I’m lucky that we have any left at this point!  I love this recipe because the peanut butter cookie is so soft, unlike some others I’ve tried or eaten where the cookie is more crunchy.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Source: From Hershey’s

48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

Every year I go on a major Christmas cookie baking spree and usually make at least 6 different kinds.  I have a few that I make every year, and then I like to try some new recipes as well.  I seem to have run out of time, so I didn’t make nearly as much as planned, but I am so glad I found time to make these white chocolate and cranberry cookies, which is one of the new recipes I tried this year.  These are delicious!  The husband would have eaten the entire batch if I hadn’t stopped him.  I think they are so festive with the red cranberries and white chocolate chips.  If you are still looking for a last minute Christmas cookie recipe that is easy to make, I would give these a try!

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies
Source: From Allrecipes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon brandy
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and brandy. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.