Well, the cookies that I entered in a Christmas cookie contest back in October didn’t win, and although I am not altogether surprised, I am a bit disappointed. I had grand dreams of becoming the Christmas cookie champion of 2020 (that’s what I would have called myself, at least) and claiming the cash prize. At the same time, I’m pretty sure that I could not have posted the recipe on this blog had I won the contest, and I really wanted to share it with you all, so I’m grateful for that chance. The opportunity to do so is a prize in and of itself.
Although my recipe did not win, these cookies are award-worthy in my book, and my husband thinks so too. Loaded with cherries and chocolate with a hint of almond, they are the perfect blend of sweet and soft that will have you coming back for more. They are seriously addictive, and I’m pretty sure you’ll think so too!
With Christmas just around the corner, these would make a great dessert for a Christmas party or family gathering. The only downside to making them is that the cherries will temporarily leave your fingers red if you dice them by hand. At the same time, your guests won’t be able to deny that you made this delicious treat. You can even tell them that they caught you “red-handed.” 😊
After thumbing through recipes online recently, I realized that my creation is not so unique after all. The chocolate-cherry combination has been done before, and I don’t know why I wasn’t aware of that sooner, but finding these similar recipes has reminded me of the truth found in Ecclesiastes all the more:
“What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”Ecclesiastes 1:9
Although my recipe is nothing new after all, this is my take on the cherry-chocolate combo, with the additional almond extract that most recipes I’ve seen have lacked.
If you make them, please leave a comment and let me know! I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does! Now let’s get to baking!
½ c unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c brown sugar
1 t almond extract
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
12 oz jar maraschino cherries, drained and diced (around 3/4 c diced cherries)
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350o F. Mix the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth, then blend in the almond extract and egg. Add the maraschino cherries and stir by hand.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda, then add to the wet ingredients and stir together. Add the chocolate chips and mix until well incorporated.
Drop the dough by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for fifteen minutes. Makes 20-24 cookies.