‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
No red dye
Friends invited me to a cookie exchange for Valentines. Instantly I knew I wanted to pair cherries and chocolate, a classic combination, both are favorites of mine. Made several batches of cookies to develop this seasonal confection. Wanted to get the dough right. Half way between butter and sugar cookies and rolled in a log and sliced. Easy!!
I’ve long loved maraschinos, fire engine red cherries on ice cream and in drinks. Recently I discovered ‘no red dye’ maraschinos. They’re dusty plum colored with vegetable and fruit juice in place of red dye. I love the more natural taste and happy to leave red dye on the shelf.
These cookies could be made with cherries, chocolate and nuts mixed into the dough. I love the stained glass window effect when the cookies are decorated with eye appeal goodies. Takes an extra couple of minutes per batch but worth every minute. Pretty and fancy, send some love to your Valentine.
Recipe: Cherry Chocolate Cookies
Active Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 90 Minutes | Yield: 4 Dozen
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp maraschino cherry juice, ‘no red dye’ recommended
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 13.5 oz jar maraschino cherries, ‘no red dye’ recommended
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Special Equipment – electric mixer, 11×17 baking sheet
2 Roll dough into a 2-inch diameter log. Make one long log or 2 to 3 shorter logs. Wrap in plastic and freeze for 30 minutes.
3 Meanwhile chop cherries and almonds. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4 Cut twelve 1/4-inch slices of dough per batch for an 11×17 baking sheet. Keep the remaining dough in the freezer until ready to slice. Place cookies on a baking sheet with plenty of space to spread. Arrange some almonds, chocolate chips and cherries pieces on each cookie.
5 Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then place on a rack to cool.
I love to use maraschinos cherries without red dye. The cherries are dusty plum colored rather than fire engine red. Regular maraschino cherry juice will color the dough pinkish.
To avoid the flat bottom sag of the log before the dough freezes, I used my rounded french loaf pan but you could also slide the log into a small length of PVC pipe.
- Exchange ‘no red dye’ maraschino cherries for regular maraschino cherries or canned sweet pitted red cherries.
Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Cherry Chocolate Cookies
Written by Helen Horton
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: February 14, 2014