The new ‘thing’ on Pinterest seems to be baking cookies with a Hershey’s Kiss in the center, which is a fabulous idea. So … I thought, “Why not wrap rich cookie dough around a maraschino cherry & cover the cookie with melted semi-sweet chocolate”? Yup – Yummy!
Here’s how you get that maraschino cherry in the center. Take a tablespoon of dough, flatten it and wrap dough around the cherry. It’s fun and easy – as is dipping the cooled cookies in the melted chocolate.
You can make the cookie dough ahead and refrigerate it. Recently I divided the dough in half, brought half to my son’s house and made cookies with my grandchildren. A week later I baked the other half and mailed those cookies to my godmother and uncle. (At the last minute… typical me. It cost me almost $60.00 to make sure the package would get to Florida by Christmas..)
My grandchildren had fun forming snowmen and candy canes etc. – but the dough is far too soft to use for cut-out cookies.
Yield – about 4 dozen cookies
Oven at 350F Bake cookies for 15 – 16 minutes – until bottoms are lightly browned. (The cookies themselves will be very, very lightly browned at the edges.)
Ingredients and Method
- 1 1/2 cups butter ++ Three sticks allowed to come to room temperature ++ Here’s a ‘cheat’ – place the three sticks of butter on a small plate. Microwave in 10 second increments. DO NOT overdo it …. or you’ll end up with melted butter. Two times at ’10 seconds each’ should do it. ; o )
- 1 (8 oz.) package softened cream cheese
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar ++ Also know as ‘powdered sugar’ or ‘icing sugar‘
- 1 egg at room temperature ++ I put the egg in some warm water for a minute
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- red maraschino cherries, drained on a paper towel
- 1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 Tbs. shortening
In a large mixing bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups softened butter, 8 oz. softened cream cheese, 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, 1 room-temperature egg, 2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 tsp. almond extract until thoroughly blended, then continue beating for another minute.
Add 4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/4 tsp. salt. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Dough will be sticky, so I suggest dividing dough into two parts, wrapping in plastic wrap & refrigerating for about 20 minutes.
++ If preparing dough ahead – divide dough into two parts, wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remove dough and let it warm up a bit before you begin forming cookies.
Using a measuring tablespoon, scoop out a tablespoon of dough and flatten it in your hand a bit. Place a maraschino cherry (don’t forget to put the cherries on a paper towel to dry a bit) in the center and fold up the dough to cover the cherry. Roll the dough in your hand to form a rough ball. Place balls about two inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake cookies for 15 – 16 minutes in a 350F oven until cookies are a lightly browned on the bottom. Cookies will be very, very lightly browned at the edges. Remove cookies immediately and allow to cool on a rack.
++ Here’s what I learned… if you pick up a cookie to see if the bottom is browned and it falls apart… it’s not ready yet! ; o )
Melting the Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Place 1 bag (12 ounces) of semi-sweet chips and 2 Tbs shortening in a microwavable bowl. Melt chocolate at either half-power or the defrost setting. Keep checking – and stirring – until chocolate is melted and well blended. Dip each cookie ‘face down’ into the melted chocolate and give it a little shake. Set cookie on rack – repeat. Enjoy!
++ Try not to overheat chocolate or it may harden up. Here’s h.e.lp. if that ever happens to you – http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/977613/in-a-pickle-how-to-salvage-overheated-chocolate
All the cookies but two made it into the Christmas package I sent to my aunt and uncle in Florida. I dare YOU to eat just one…!!