Merry cherry memories. Okay…I’ll admit it. I’m a cookieholic, especially around the holidays. I have to credit my mom for that. When I was growing up, she made no less than a bajillion kinds of cookies between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember the Ray Conniff singers caroling away on the Motorola Hi-Fi while aromas of vanilla and cinnamon beckoned from the kitchen. There I would find cookie plates brimming with chocolate chip, peanut butter and other familiar favorites. Of course, there were more daring varieties too, the kind that made their appearance once a year. (They had exotic ingredients like mince meat or those funky, nuclear-colored fruit rinds.)
And then, there were the ones…the special few…which had a combination of flavors that captured the spirit of the holidays.
Like chocolate and maraschino cherries.
While it’s hard to single out one cookie that I absolutely love, the chocolate cherry cookies from my childhood would definitely make the top ten list. Actually, make that the top 20 given my cookie addiction. They’re not overly decorative but make up for their unassuming looks by delivering on flavor in a big way. I think that’s due in part to their devil’s food like texture and the fact that inside each chocolaty bite is a sweet maraschino surprise. They’re especially yummy right from the oven because the outside is slightly firm (you could say almost crunchy) while the inside is tender, moist and airy.
For some, it’s a classic song that takes them back to younger, simpler times. For others it’s a once popular fad. As for me, it’s food (Christmas cookies in particular) that bring me home. Which is why chocolate cherry cookies are a delicious childhood memory I look forward to re-living around this time of year.
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon coco powder (optional)
- ½ cup chopped maraschino cherries
- ¼ cup of the maraschino cherry juice
- 2 tablespoons milk or half & half
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 2 squares of unsweetened or sweetened baker’s chocolate (melted)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cream shortening and sugar until well blended.
- Add in the cooled melted chocolate, maraschino cherry juice and egg and mix to combine.
- Add in the chopped maraschino cherries and mix until combined.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients – flour, salt, baking soda and coco powder (if using).
- Spoon out on to greased baking sheet or baking sheet with a silpat.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes.
Enjoy with an icy cold glass of milk.