Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Are you ever haunted by the memory of Christmas cookies past? 

I am. Let me tell you about it.

When I was young, there were two cookies in particular which I treasured above the others. They were chocolate chip pistachio cookies (recipe here) and chocolate cherry cookies.

While my mom was happy to hand over the pistachio recipe, she claims a cloudy memory about the chocolate cherry variety. What? They were the best!

I'll tell you about them, and maybe you know of something similar: a chewy yet slightly crumbly chocolate cookie with a cherry pressed inside, and a chocolate ganache type topping, baked right into the top of the cookie. 

I loved those cookies so hard.

This recipe, while not the same as those cookies in my memory, came out awfully good. They have the same flavor combination, and I made them with some Montmorency cherries from Stoneridge Orchards which were recently sent to me in the mail. They have a perfect, shortbread-meets sugar cookie texture base, and the cherry inside works very nicely with the chocolate, giving it an almost almond-y flavor. The chocolate topping bakes up fudge-like, and is extremely pleasant and if not gooey, then it adds a moist element to the cookie.

The candies are mainly for show, but I learned pretty quickly to not display two of them side by side, because, well, boobs. Well, OK, do it--it might make you laugh.

Chocolate cherry cookies

Makes 24

Very loosely based on this recipe 

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1-1/2cups all purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 24 dried cherries

For the topping

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup chocoalte morsels
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 24 cinnamon candies, for garnish


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In large bowl, beat the sugars, 1 cup butter and the vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in egg yolk until smooth. Beat in flour, salt, and cocoa.
  3. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into 1-inch balls. Press a cherry on top of each cookie, and ease the dough around to cover it.
  4. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls 1 inch apart. With index finger or thumb, make indentation in center of each ball. It might feel a little awkward because of the cherry inside, but I promise, you'll be OK.
  5. Make the topping. Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 20-second increments until melty. It will look ugly. Stir in the confectioners' sugar; as it mixes it will become less ugly.
  6. Top each cookie with a dollop of the chocolate mixture, and place a cinnamon candy on top of each.
  7. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

What's your favorite holiday cookie?