This simple recipe for chocolate covered cherry cookies makes delicious chocolate cookie with a cherry hidden inside. Maraschino cherries are covered with frosting and baked inside the cookie making for a fun cookie surprise!
Chocolate and cherry go amazingly well together, like in this easy chocolate cherry cake. In this recipe the two flavors are combined for something that is kind of like a chocolate covered cherry made into a cookie.
That makes it a fun twist on a traditional thumbprint cookie. In this recipe the cookie is frosted before it is baked, which makes it unique and different.
Why You Will Love Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
- Chocolate and cherries go together not just for Christmas, but for Valentine’s Day too.
- Everyone loves hidden surprises like the cherry inside the cookie.
- This recipe is quick and easy to make and doesn’t take any special equipment or complicated techniques.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
Most of the ingredients in this recipe are just what your would expect for baking cookie and you can see the full list in the recipe card below. But here are few with special considerations or that you might want to make substitutions for.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted doesn’t matter in this recipe. But as with most cookie recipes it is best to take the butter out out of the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before making the cookies so it softens.
- Vanilla extract – You can also make this recipe with almond extract to add a tasty cherry almond flavor. Just substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract in the recipe below.
- Semisweet chocolate – I have always made these cookies with semisweet chocolate. But I am sure it would also taste amazing with dark chocolate. Just make sure whatever chocolate you use in the recipe is real chocolate made with cocoa butter. So chocolate chips or baking chocolate will work. Candy melts or white chocolate will not work.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Drain the Cherries
Maraschino cherries come in a jar full of cherry juice but you want dry cherries for these cookies. The cherry juice from the jar is also used in the recipe.
Set out a towel on a cutting board and put the cherries on it to dry while you make the cookie dough. Pat the tops of the cherries with a paper towel to make sure they are mostly dry.
Don’t forget to set the cherry juice aside to use later in the recipe.
2. Make the Cookie Dough
In the bowl of a mixer add the butter and mix it until it softens. Then add the sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Beat until everything is mixed together.
Add the egg and vanilla and mix until the batter is smooth. Mix in the cocoa powder and flour and beat it until is all combined. Don’t over beat the batter, once the flour is mixed in stop the mixer.
3. Roll the Cookies into Balls
Then use your thumb or a round metal tablespoon to press and indent into the center of each cookie. Put one of the drained cherries in the center of the cookies.
This is a good time to start to preheat the oven, but don’t bake the cookies yet! The cookies need to be frosted before they are baked.
4. Frost the Cookies
To make the frosting combine the semisweet chocolate with the sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan. Heat it over low heat, stirring, until the chocolate completely melts.
Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in 4 teaspoons of reserved cherry juice. Then use a spoon to place the frosting on top of each cherry and swirl it around to cover the cherry.
Try to completely cover the cherry with the chocolate. If the frosting is too thick to spread easily add a little more cherry juice to it.
5. Bake the Cookies
Once the cherries are covered with chocolate put the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies are done when they are lightly browned on the bottom.
How to Serve
Let the cookies cool completely before serving. These cookies are chocolaty and tender inside.
The cherry adds a nice burst of sweet flavor to the cookies. They are perfect for taking to a cookie exchange or adding to a cookie tin to give as a gift to your neighbors!
Cookies Make the Perfect Gift
I love to share these chocolate covered cherry cookies with my friends and family! Food is a great way to bring people together during the holiday season, either in person or from a distance.
Why not bake some cookies this year and put together a cookie gift box for your friends? Here are some more cookie recipe ideas for gift giving!
How to Store
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. I have never had these chocolate covered cherry cookies last long enough to need to worry about freezing them.
Most cookies freeze pretty well. On the other hand maraschino cherries say on the jar not to freeze them, so I’m not sure how well these would stand up to freezing. I’d recommend just eating them all or gifting them to friends!
Frequently Asked Questions
It seems kind of odd to frost the chocolate covered cherry cookies before baking, but it does work. The frosting is very fudgy and the temperature at which it will melt is higher than the temperature the cookies are baked at.
Not only does the frosting not melt it shouldn’t really move at all during the baking process. If you have trouble with the frosting melting off the cookies it most likely means you didn’t use real chocolate when making it.
Yes, you can also make these by baking the cookies with the cherries on top and than adding a chocolate drizzle. That removes the element of surprise from the cookies, but they still taste delicious.
To do that melt the chocolate in the microwave in a plastic bag. Then snip the corner off the bag and squeeze it out over the cooled cookies.
- 10 ounce jar maraschino cherries
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- Take the cherries out of the maraschino jar and put them on paper towels to drain. Pat the tops of the cherries with a paper towel. Save the cherry juice in the jar to use later in the recipe.
- Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat it for 30 seconds until it is soft. Then add the sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda and beat until well combined.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix it again until the batter is smooth.
- Add the cocoa powder and flour to the mixing bowl and mix until combined.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Use a cookie scoop to make 1 inch balls. Press down in the center of each ball with your thumb or a round spoon and put a cherry in the center of each cookie. Don't bake them yet though!
- Combine the semi sweet chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan. Heat it, stirring, until the chocolate is melted.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in 4 teaspoons of the reserved cherry juice..
- Use a spoon to place about 1 teaspoon of the frosting on each cherry. Spread it around to completely cover the cherry.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes until they are brown on the bottom.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g
Nutrition facts are estimates.