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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Food: Buried Cherry Cookies

With the Christmas holidays coming up fast, I've been busy with decorating, shopping and planning a Christmas open house for Dec. 20th, so I haven't been able to write much in my blog this month.

One of my many holiday "duties" is cookie baking. I don't think it's properly the holidays until the house is filled with the aroma of baking. I thought I'd share one of my favorite cookie recipes here. This cookie would be perfect for any occasion, but I traditionally make them at Christmas and they are always very popular. If you love chocolate, and love cherries....this cookie is for you!

Buried Cherry Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 10 ounce jar (about 48) maraschino cherries
6 oz (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk

In a large bowl, cream butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Chill dough if necessary for easy handling. Shape into 1 " balls and place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a deep thumbprint in the center of each ball.
Drain cherries , reserving juice. Place a cherry in each thumbprint. In a small saucepan, combine chocolate chips and the condensed milk and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 tsp. reserved cherry juice. Spoon 1 tsp of frosting over each cherry, covering it completely. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until edges are firm. Makes about 48.

** I use parchment paper on my cookie sheets for ease in removal. Also, the first time I made the chocolate frosting, it was a little thin. The second time I made it, I didn't use 4 tsp of cherry juice; I used about 2 or 3 tsp and let the mixture cool for a few minutes to thicken before spooning over the cherry. It seemed to work better this way. Also, there will be frosting left over, so I saved it in a tupperware container in the refrigerator and re-used it a few days later when I decided to make another batch of cookies. I just re-heated the frosting in a small saucepan.***


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