For years, whenever I smelled almond extract, I thought of these chocolate-cherry cookies my mom used to make for Christmas. Michael bought me a Burt’s Bees almond milk hand cream a while ago, and every time I use it, I start thinking of chocolate and Christmas.
Now that it’s actually Christmastime, I pulled out the cookie recipe only to find that it doesn’t call for almond extract. And my mom doesn’t think she ever added it. I guess the smell of maraschino cherry syrup is similar to almond extract, and the whole thing got mixed up in my memory.
Nonetheless, I added almond extract to the cookie dough this time around.
The cookies are brownie-like and best made small enough to be eaten in one or two bites. We served them to guests last night with vanilla ice cream.
Fudgey Chocolate-Cherry Cookies
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Country Christmas Recipe Box. Besides the addition of almond extract, my other change to the 1982 recipe is to put the cherries on top of the frosting, as my mother often did for aesthetic reasons. The original recicpe was for “chocolate-covered cherry cookies,” but the bright red maraschinos look better uncovered, I’d say.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter (softened to room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoons almond extract
- 48 maraschino cherries
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate pieces
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, stir together dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and extracts. Beat well.
Gradually add flour mixture and beat until blended.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. (It takes a lot of restraint for me to make them this small, but you really can get 48 cookies out the recipe.)
With a little oil, butter or cooking spray on your finger, press down in the center of all the dough balls.
Prepare the frosting. In a small saucepan, heat sweetened condensed milk and chocolate pieces until melted and combined. Stir in 4 teaspoons of maraschino cherry juice.
Spoon some frosting into the thumbprint of each cookie. Top with a cherry.
Bake 8-10 minutes.