Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies. Dark chocolate thumbprint cookies filled with rich chocolate that surrounds a sweet maraschino cherry surprise inside.
These Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies were inspired by a cookie that my mother always makes around Christmas time, based upon a recipe from the Pillsbury Bake Off in 1982. Phyllis Wolf from Salem, Oregon, won $2,000 at that 30th annual bake off for her version Sacher Torte Cookies.
Those Sacher Torte Cookies used a package of instant pudding mix in the dough as I recall, and used apricot jam to fill the thumbprints of the cookies before being covered in chocolate. Around Christmas time when Mom and I often made them, we would substitute a little dollop of sweet mint jelly for the apricot jam in a chocolate mint version that our whole family still loves.
I decided to take that chocolate thumbprint cookie idea and forego the pudding mix in favour of cocoa for deeper chocolate flavour. A trip to Costco had recently seen us return home with a big bottle of maraschino cherries. Thinking of cookie recipes to use them was how this recipe came about.
They were on a cookie tray that I recently served at a family lunch with my parents and 2 sisters. Every one of those long-time, ardent Sacher Torte Cookie lovers gave their thumbs up to these delectable morsels. I’m going to be experimenting with other ways to fill these cookies soon, so stay tuned for those ideas too.
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- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 3 dozen maraschino cherries well drained
Cream the butter and sugar well.
Beat in the egg.
Beat in the vanilla extract and milk.
Sift together the flour, salt, cocoa baking soda and baking powder.
Blend the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture until a soft dough forms.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Roll the dough into 3/4 to 1 inch balls and lay them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
Using your thumb or the round end of the handle of a wooden spoon, make a deep indentation into the centre of each dough ball. about 3/4 of an inch wide.
Bake for 15-17 minutes until firm to the touch when baked.
When the cookies are removed from the oven, and while they are still warm, use the round end of a wooden spoon handle or similar instrument to press the centre depressions in the cookies down again to create a good "well" in the centre of the cookies.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before continuing to fill the cookies.
In a small saucepan heat the whipping cream to almost boiling over medium low heat.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the chocolate chips until melted.
Spoon about 1/2 tsp of the chocolate into the bottom of the cookie "wells".
Add a cherry on top of the chocolate.
Spoon another dollop of the chocolate over the cherry to cover it.
Cool completely at room temperature until the chocolate sets.
Store or freeze in airtight containers.
It is important in this recipe not to over-measure the flour. Sifted then measured is best for this recipe. if the dough seems too dry, add another tablespoon or 3 of milk if needed to ring it together. Too much milk and the cookies will flatten though, so be careful to have the dough firm enough to make the impression in the centre that will keep its shape when baking.
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