• 1/2 cup maraschino or Moreno cherries, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • red food coloring (optional)
  • white chocolate chips
  • decorative sprinkles

I came across this recipe on Better Homes and Gardens and I thought it made a very pretty Christmas cookie. I decided to swap out the maraschino cherries for Morena because I prefer the flavor. If you want the cookies to have a distinct red color, I would suggest sticking to the original recipe because mine were more of a purple color. These are a tasty addition to your Christmas cookie collection, especially for those who prefer something more simple. I left the white chocolate out of the cookie dough since I dipped them in white chocolate. I found that these did not hold very well so better to serve them within a couple days of baking.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.

In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 2/3 cups of white chocolate (optional). Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.

Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

Melt white chocolate chips in 30 second increments until you can stir them smooth. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set.

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