I don’t have to look at the calendar to know it’s November. While most of you may be busy decorating your homes for the holidays and buying and wrapping gifts, I can be found knee deep in flour, sugar and butter. Every year, sometimes beginning as early as October, I knock out dozens, sometimes hundreds of cookies in all shapes and sizes. Whether they’re small bites of bliss like these cherry-topped cookies, fruit filled or one of my all time favs, chocolate walnut biscotti, no cookie is safe from my clutches.
Speaking of chocolate, these decadent chocolate cherry cookies are one of Sarissa’s favorites, and for good reason. Made with cocoa, they offer up a rich, chocolate taste not often found in baking chocolate, and the addition of red cherries and a smooth, lightly sweetened frosting make these perfect to enjoy with an ice cold glass of milk by the fire.
- 1 10-ounce jar of maraschino cherries
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces (you may substitute bittersweet)
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350. Drain cherries, reserving juice.
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter for 30 seconds on medium to high speed. Add sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl to make sure butter is well incorporated. Beat in egg, cocoa powder and vanilla until combined. Lower speed and add flour. Beat until mixer starts to slow down (dough is fairly thick) then use a wooden spoon to stir and combine well.
- Shape dough into 1 inch balls, placing them about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the rounded side of a teaspoon measure (or your thumb), make an indentation in the center of each cookie and place your cherries on top.
- For frosting, in a small saucepan over low heat combine chocolate and sweetened condensed milk, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted (about 2 minutes). Stir in 4 teaspoons of the reserved cherry juice (or more if you prefer a thinner frosting). Spoon 1 teaspoon of the frosting over each cherry, covering completely.
- Bake in the preheated oven about 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 35-42 cookies.
- This time of year, I only like to make cookies that freeze well, and these qualify. To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in an airtight container. Freeze for up to three months.
- If you think you'll remember, don't preheat your oven until you're just beginning to shape your cookies. I found that by the time I was finished adding the cherries and frosting, the timing was perfect.
- I made two batches, one with red cherries and one with green, but I didn't use any of the green juice. I'm not sure that would impart a great flavor and since I had plenty of the red left over I just went with that.
In other news…
Winter has arrived! Last Friday we took a walk around the lake wearing just lightweight jackets, and just two days later on Sunday we woke up to this…
It’s lovely, but it’s also making me wish we were leaving sooner than planned for down south!
We went to brunch in Connecticut on Sunday, and while we were away our town DPW experienced a devastating fire that destroyed the entire building along with all the snow removal equipment. The loss amounts to over a million dollars, and for a small town of less than 650 people, that’s pretty significant. Hopefully insurance will cover most, if not all, of the loss. No word yet on the cause of the fire.
One of the things on my bucket list has been to learn how to play chess and this past week I started to do just that. Have you ever played? It’s REALLY hard, but I’m hooked! There’s a great website called chess.com where you can learn at your own pace. Very addicting!
Now about addictions…have you ever watched ‘Shameless’ on Netflix? OMG! That show is over the top crazy, but we love it! Neither one of us enjoy shows that are predictable, and this series is nothing if not unpredictable, and William H. Macy was born to play the role of Frank Gallagher!
Now it’s back to the kitchen for me (and I’m thinking next time around I’ll compile all the cookie recipes in one post).