So I have a major obsession with cherry chocolate combinations. And these cherry cookies hit all the right notes. These pink almond dough bites are loaded with dried cherries soaked in almond emulsion until slightly plump and then combined with chopped maraschino cherries, sweetened coconut, filled with semi sweet chocolate chunks and finished off with a milk chocolate drizzle.
They don’t take much more time than a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe but they taste like you spent hours. And they are SO addicting. That is if they actually make it to cookie form. The dough is just as delectable. I’d say that if you’re super disciplined you could get four dozen cookies out of this recipe but I never really get more than two. The cookie dough is just so darn good!
When I was younger all I ever wanted to for Valentine’s day was a box of Cellas chocolate covered cherries with the liquid center—not the cordial cherries with the white center— These are cherries were surrounded by a sweet clear liqueur then enrobed in chocolate. Enrobed! I didn’t even know what that meant. It just knew it was delicious! I also didn’t know what liqueur was either until much later, but that’s a story for another day.
One year, my mom bought me a box and told me I didn’t have to share. I savored those chocolates and would take the tiniest bite, suck the filling out of the middle and let the cherry fall into my mouth. Pure heaven!
While dreaming of creating a cherry cookie I knew I didn’t want the flavors to be overbearing or heaven forbid taste like imitation flavored cough syrup. So I added tart dried cherries simmered on the stove until slightly plump to an a And really what pairs better with cherries than almonds?
This recipe calls for Almond Bakery Emulsion which has a bold, but not overpowering almond flavor that doesn’t bake away in the oven. Almond extract will work as well but be sure to use pure almond extract and not imitation. There is a distinct taste difference between the two. Sort of like the difference between fresh cherries and cherry flavored cough drops. We want fresh flavors here people. You want your flavors to sing! The nice thing about baking emulsions is that you can now buy them just about anywhere, even at my teeny tiny Walmart. So if you haven’t yet, give them a try.
I like my cookies soft with only the slightest bite around the edges. I’ve found that if you refrigerate this dough for about fifteen minutes you’ll end up with a nice soft texture. Just remember not to over bake the dough. Pull these cookies out of the oven as soon they lose the shine and the edges just barely begin to brown.
These cookies are delicious left plain but if you want to take them to the next level, drizzle dip or frost them with milk chocolate!
You’ll thank me later!
XOXO – Kristi
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (slightly soft)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (superfine or granulated)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp almond bakery emulsion or almond extract
- 3/4 cup dried tart cherries, soaked (see below), drained and chopped
- 3/4 maraschino cherries, chopped, plus 1 Tbls maraschino cherry juice
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
- 1 cup milk chocolate melting wafers (melted)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and coconut. Whisk until combined.
- With an electric mixer cream unsalted butter and sugar until very pale. Add egg yolks one at a time and mix scraping down sides after each addition. Add almond emulsion (or extract) and 1 tbls. maraschino cherry juice until pale pink in color (more gel food coloring can be added if desired).
- Add half of the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining flour and mix until just combined then remove from electric mixer and add cherries and chocolate chips.
- Drop by rounded spoonfuls on cookie sheets and chill if desired for 20 minutes or until firm. Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until nearly browned. Let cool slightly and transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Melt wafers in microwave in 30 second increments until smooth or melt in small metal bowl or double boiler over simmering water. Pour chocolate into a quart sized ziploc bag. Cut a small hole over one corner and drizzle melted chocolate over cooled cookies. Set until firm.
- To soak tart cherries, place cherries in a small saucepan and fill with water until cherries are barely immersed. If desired, add two tbls. almond bakery emulsion to pan and simmer until cherries start to plump. Drain and use in your favorite recipes.
- Store soaked cherries in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to a month.