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Do you love cherries? Because I LOVE cherries. I remember as a kid picking cherries in California and my Aunt Jean turning them into an amazing cobbler. Ever since then, cherry is my favorite… but sometimes is a close tie with blackberry (which we picked in Arkansas and my Aunt Harriet turned into cobblers, too!)
So when my grocery app showed that fresh cherries were available in the produce department I. Was. Stoked. They cost an arm and a leg, the estimate around $14 for a bag. But I LOVE CHERRIES and so I ordered them and just hoped they were in a good condition that made them worth their hefty price tag.
And so I was quite surprised when my groceries were left on my porch and I didn’t have a bag of lovely dark red cherries with stems.
Instead I was given a substitution of $14 worth of JARS of maraschino cherries.
Oh my goodness personal shopper. What the freaking heck? If you’re wondering just how many jars of cherries that is, it’s SIX.
With an abundance of maraschino cherries and absolutely no idea what to do with them I tossed them in the pantry. But then, one day I wanted something sweet. Not chocolate-y like the Kit Kats I had and not nutty like the Nutter Butters in the pantry. Something fruity. And so I’ve used up all six of my jars of cherries perfecting these amazing Maraschino Cherry Cookies. And folks, they are AMAZING.
First batch I took to my parents house they were falling apart and sticking together but dang if they didn’t grab a clump at a time and knock those suckers out. They weren’t pretty but they were GOOD. Several jars of cherries later I’ve finally nailed it… Cookies that taste unmistakably like maraschino cherries with a soft texture. Add some gorgeous glaze on top and you’ve got cherry with a hint of vanilla, one of my favorite combinations!
Maraschino Cherry Cookies Recipe
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup minced maraschino cherries (approx. 16 ounce jar)
- 2 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cherry extract (can substitute almond or vanilla)
- 2 cup2 powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon water (as needed)
- 8-10 drops red food coloring (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- Drain maraschino cherries. Press out any excess liquid using paper towels. Transfer to a food processor and mince into small pieces.
- Cream butter and sugar until no longer gritty. Add egg, cherries and extract to butter and mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to butter mixture and begin stirring with a spoon and then begin using your hands to combine well to form dough. Divide dough in two pucks and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least an hour, overnight is best.
- Pinch off pieces of dough and roll to approximately the size of ping pong balls. Place on prepared cookie sheet and space as they will spread slightly. Keep dough in refrigerator in between baking batches.
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden. Remove from oven and rest on cookie sheet 1-2 minutes before transferring to wire cookie racks to cool completely.
- Prepare a wire cookie rack with something underneath to catch dripping glaze.
- Mix together all glaze ingredients in a small bowl until color is uniform. Either dip cookies into glaze or spoon approximately a teaspoon full onto tops and place onto a wire rack. Allow time to fully set, approximately an hour and a half. Store in an air-tight container.
- This cookie dough is very soft. The warmer the dough, the more the spread and you risk having crispy edges and an underdone center. Refrigerate the dough for as long as you can before baking and keep the dough in the fridge in between baking batches.
- For a thinner, more pourable glaze, add 1 tablespoon of water. Clear vanilla extract will produce a pretty, white glaze. Brown vanilla extract will make a muddy color that can be easily remedied with a few drops of food coloring.