Twenty-Five Days of Cookies: Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Christmas is sixteen days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Its been my own little secret but I’ve always been partial to maraschino cherries. As a kid, those bright red, too sweet bits for fruit were my favorite part of a banana split. When mixed into ambrosia I would pick them out to eat and I’ve been known to nibble them straight out of the jar. I feel like maraschino cherries are the forbidden fruit of the culinary world but I love them just the same. So imagine my delight when I came across a recipe that features these cherries as an essential part of the recipe.

The recipe is from Noble Pig and the cookies are soft and chewy, flecked with bits of chocolate and yes, the afore mentioned maraschino cherries. The sweetness of the cherries is tempered by the cookie dough and I’ve switched out miniature chocolate chips to give more chocolately goodness in every bite. The addition of maraschino cherry juice ensures that the cookies bake up a pretty pink color. Because the dough is soft, the cookies need to be baked in a molded pan. A whoopie pie pan works perfectly for this (and also gives me an additional use for this questionable kitchen necessity–since one doesn’t bake whoopie pies every day).

These cookies are so good that you might need to make a double batch of them. Enjoy!

MARASCHINO CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

2/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup butter, softened

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

6 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon table salt

36 maraschino cherries, destemmed and chopped

2 cups miniature chocolate chips, plus more for decorating

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare the whoopie pie pans by spraying them with cooking spray.  Set aside.
    Using a stand mixer, cream together the shortening, butter and granulated sugar.
  • Add the eggs, maraschino cherry juice and vanilla extract, continuing to mix until well combined.
  • In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.
  • Stir in chopped cherries and chocolate chips.
  • Using a small scoop to form balls and place one inside of each whoopie pie mold.
  • Press on extra chocolate chips to the outside of the cookie balls, about 6-7 per cookie.
  • Bake cookies for 14 minutes, remove from the oven and let them sit 2 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack.

Yields: 36 Cookies

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