Monday, December 3, 2012

My Favorite Christmas Cookie!

Though my tree is up, my house is decorated, and my advent activities are underway, I find myself not entirely "into" the Christmas season quite yet. 

Perhaps it is because today was 60 degrees and the boys and I played a very competitive game of backyard soccer.  Perhaps it is because my days go by so much more quickly with 4 little ones.  Perhaps it is simply because I'm getting older.

Nonetheless, the Christmas season is upon us!  What better way to make it feel like Christmas than to bake some Christmas cookies?!  The greatest thing about Christmas cookies is that they transport us to memory lane, almost instantly.  I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes. 

During my first year of college, I moved in with a good friend and her family at Christmas break (I stayed for a few years!)  It was one of the very best seasons of my life!  Her family was so loving and traditional.  Their tree was perfectly trimmed, holiday movies were playing in the evenings, and the family would gather to look at their Christmas book, filled with memories of all their Christmases together.  I felt like I was living in a movie at times.  It is there that I am transported when I taste a chocolate covered cherry cookie!  Mr. C would make a few batches of these on a day off of work, and the house would smell heavenly!  The next year, I helped him bake a batch so that I could learn.  As a bonus, he handed me the recipe! 

Here it is...the wonderful Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookie recipe!

1 ½ cups flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
One 10 oz. jar of maraschino cherries undrained
1 6 oz. packages of semi-sweet chocolate pieces
½ cup sweetened condensed milk

In a mixing  bowl, combine flour and cocoa; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium for about 30 seconds, until softened.  Add sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Beat till well combined.  Add egg and vanilla.  Beat well.  Gradually beat in the flour mixture.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheet.  Press down on the center of each ball with thumb.  Drain cherries, reserving the juice.  Place a cherry in the center of each cookie.  In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk; heat till chocolate is melted.  Stir in 4 teaspoons of cherry juice.

Spoon about one teaspoon of the frosting over each cookie, covering each cherry. 

Bake in oven at 350 for 10 minutes. 

Voila! These are amazingly good warm out of the oven!  Let me know what you think...and if you have a minute, share with me your favorite cookie recipe!



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