I was matched with Leena from Pink Cherub Moon. I was very excited when I received her recipe. Ever since I was a child, my favorite Christmas-time candy has been chocolate covered cherries. I would wait patiently until the candy became available; and after I got them, I would ration them by eating only one a day so that they would last longer. Well, Leena's recipe was for chocolate covered cherries in cookie form. I could not wait to try them.
The cookies were very easy to make, although a bit more work than most cookies. I did get only 39 cookies when I made them and not the 42-48 that the recipe said. I may have rolled the balls a bit bigger than I needed to.
I would recommend not adding any additional cherry liquid to the frosting. When I used the 4 t. of cherry liquid as listed in the recipe, the frosting was a bit harder to spread but the cookies came out like this.
When I added 2 additional t. cherry liquid the cookies came out like this.
Hubby loved these and said he would like the cookies even without the cherries in them. I plan to include these in my Christmas cookie trays. Thanks, Leena, for a great recipe.
I am reprinting the recipe as I received it from Leena.
Makes 42-48 cookies. Oven 350 degrees
1 (10 ounce) jar Maraschino Cherries
1/2 Cup butter or margarine
1 Cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 (6 ounce) package semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 Cup sweetened condensed milk or low-fat sweetened condensed milk
Drain cherries, reserving juice. Halve any large cherries. In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking soda, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of the bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in cocoa powder and as much of the flour as you can. Stir in remaining flour using a wooden spoon. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each ball. Place a cherry in each center. For frosting, in a small saucepan combine chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons of reserved cherry juice. Spoon 1 teaspoon frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover (frosting may be thinned down with more juice if needed). Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet before transferring to wire cooling racks and let cool. Note: do not use imitation chocolate pieces.