For many, the holidays are cookie season, and it's no different at my house! My mom always made about 20 different kinds of cookies every year. I do the same! Well, maybe not twenty this year. Circumstances (three kids, house on the market, and my husband living in another state for work...) won't really allow it this year. No matter the length of my list, these Chocolate Cherry Cookies are *always* on it!
These Chocolate Cherry Cookies are chocolate cookies with dark, delicious Italian maraschino cherries hiding beneath chocolate frosting! This recipe is my mom's: tried and true. Well...I'm me, so I have made a few adjustments in the name of maximum flavor!
Of course, I added chocolate extract to the cookies. It lends amazing depth of flavor to chocolate baked goods! If you can't find it in your local grocery store, you can find some [here]. Even better, make yourself some [Homemade Chocolate Extract] for next time!
I use a small cookie scoop to portion out my cookies so they're all uniform in size (and my hands stay a lot cleaner). Here is the one that I use: link [here].
I use silpats (like this one [here]) when baking, which makes the cookies brown up a little slower. If you're lining your pans with parchment, your cookies will likely be done a bit sooner.
My mom always uses the maraschino cherries that you can find at the grocery store. And it's totally fine if you want to, too. They're easy to find, they're tasty, and everyone will know straightaway what's inside your cookies without asking. (At first glance the Italian cherries look more like black olives!) 😉
A few years ago I discovered Italian maraschino cherries, and I'll never go back! Those deep, dark cherries are all natural and insanely delicious. They're pricey, but worth the splurge--especially at the holidays! You can find them online [here].
I didn't use quite the whole jar of cherries in the cookies. I'm sure you can find suitable use for any leftovers. 😉 If you don't eat them straight out of the jar, both the cherries and the syrup are amazing on vanilla ice cream!
Happy holiday baking, everyone! If you add these Chocolate Cherry Cookies to your festivities, I'd love to see them! <3
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Chocolate Cherry Cookies
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (see note)
- 4 teaspoon reserved cherry juice
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpats (see note). Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda). Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add egg, vanilla extract, and chocolate extract (see note). Mix to combine. If needed, scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Using a small cookie scoop (see note), portion the dough into balls. Roll the dough between your palms to form smooth balls, placing them at least 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Create an indentation in the center of each dough ball using your knuckle or thumb (like you would with a thumbprint cookie). Place a single maraschino cherry (see note) in the center of each cookie.
- In a small saucepan, combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk (see note), and cherry juice. Melt over low heat, stirring until smooth. If the frosting is too thick, add additional cherry juice a teaspoon at a time until the appropriate consistency is reached.
- You will need to keep the frosting warm to keep it the appropriate consistency while you work. Cover each cherry with about 1 teaspoon of the frosting.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, turning the baking sheets around at the halfway point. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for about ten minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.Enjoy!