Welcome to The Cookie Monster, a blog about the most marvelous, versatile, and beloved bakeable item in the land: The cookie. You may see occassional forays into pies, bars, and other sweet treats, but my main focus is and has always been on the bite sized genius behind my very favorite snack. Happy Baking!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cherry Chocolate Kisses

Seeing as I've gone rogue in my last few posts, talking about bars and breads and all that nonsense, I thought I needed to try a brand spankin' new cookie recipe out of my favorite cookie-book. I'm headed to have dinner with my old bosses, who told me when I left Jones and Bartlett that what they'd miss most about me was my cookies. Not my excellent work ethic, not my superior sales performance. My cookies. Thanks ladies. I appreciate the professional reference ;) I'll bring some damn cookies to our little reunion. :)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
dash salt
2 tsp maraschino cherry liquid
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
granulated sugar
Hershey kisses

Anytime you have a recipe for cookies without any eggs, you know it's going to be a shortbread type consistency. This means a VERY crumbly dough, that you really have to shape and press together. Don't worry, you haven't made a mistake, that's how that melt-in-your-mouth, buttery goodness happens.

As always, cream together the butter and sugar. Since we're using powdered sugar, I would suggest creaming the butter on its own first, to loosen it up, then adding the powdered sugar on a low setting. Add in the salt, cherry juice, and almond extract and mix well.

De-stem and chop the cherries, then set aside. you can eat a couple. it's ok.

Don't forget to eat a couple Hershey kisses too. Note to self: next time leave the chocolate bag closed until absolutely necessary.


Stir in the flour until it is well mixed. Look out for chunks of butter standing alone. This = bad. once you have a well mixed, crumbly mess, add the chopped maraschino cherries. Once everything is equally mixed, you're ready to roll.

Admittedly, I made my cookies WAY too big. The recipe should yield 48, and I made about 24. apparently my "1-inch" balls were really "2 inch" balls. Woops. Aim for 1 inch balls, they will probably look a bit prettier. Maybe 1.5 inch balls. Who knows, why would you have a ruler handy when baking? crazy cook-book writers....

Once you have all your correctly sized balls (is this sounding dirty to anyone else?) arrange them on your cookie sheet. Give them a little room between each other, as you're about to smush them into a disk shape.

Using a drinking glass dipped in granulated sugar (I wet the bottom of the glass to help the sugar stick) press each ball into a disk shape.

Bake at 325 for 14 minutes. While the cookies are baking, unwrap your chocolate kisses. I thought this might take a long time, so I did it before hand.... and ate, oh I dunno, about 1,000 of them.

Damn you, you little piece of chocolaty heaven.

when the buzzer goes off, get ready to hustle. You want to get the cookies out of the oven, and press the kisses into the cookies pronto, while they're still really warm. the heat from the cookies with slightly melt and bond the chocolate. I would recommend sampling a cookie at this point, as the normal-looking hershey kisses are actually all melty, smooth and divine.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

I was pretty happy with these cookies, they definitely tasted yummy. next time I think I would kick up the almond a little (maybe a whole tsp instead of half) and I might use a small round cookie cutter as a mold for the dough to make them a little cleaner-looking.

All in all though, these were definitely worth the effort. Especially for that right out of the oven, melty chocolate buttery cherry moment of heaven.


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