Inspired by the classic candy, these Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies are rich and decadent. A maraschino cherry is planted in the center of each cookie before baking.I used maraschino cherries with stems in this recipe, but stemless can be used instead. I also piped the chocolate glaze around the cherry so it is visible in the finished cookie, but if you use stemless cherries, you could cover the entire cherry for a hidden cherry surprise. The cherry liqueur can be omitted if desired, or replace it with cherry extract.
1tablespoonmaraschino cherry juicefrom the jar of cherries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, dark cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Place the almond paste in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Turn on low speed and gradually add the sugar and mix until crumbly. Beat butter in one cube at a time, beating well until the mixture becomes lightened and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and mix again to make sure no lumps or almond paste are hiding in the bottom of the bowl. Add the almond extract, the egg, and the cherry liqueur, if using. Beat until smooth. Stop the mixer and add the dry ingredients. Mix on low until just combined. If the dough feels sticky, refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Using a cookie scoop (4 teaspoon capacity) portion 24 level scoops of dough on the parchment sheets. Alternatively use a slightly heaped tablespoon to scoop. Roll the dough into balls between your palms and return them to the baking sheets. Press a maraschino cherry in the center of each ball. Refrigerate the cookies on the sheets for 30 minutes.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the cookies are well puffed and fragrant. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets completely.
Place the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the maraschino cherry juice.
Pipe or spoon the frosting onto a cookie and immediately sprinkle with nonpareils, if using. This frosting sets quickly, so pipe and sprinkle each cookie as you work.
Store cookies in the refrigerator for longevity. Bring to room temperature before serving.
What to expect:These cookies are deeply chocolaty with a slight chew from the almond paste. The middles are soft and moist around the maraschino cherry. The glaze is rich and sets quickly like fudge. Yield is approximately 22-24 cookies using a level cookie scoop.Canned sweetened condensed milk is used in the glaze. Condensed milk is thick, viscous, and sweet. Be sure to get the right canned milk. Canned evaporated milk is thin and pourable, which is not the correct milk.The cookie recipe is adapted from Food Network, with a Taste of Home chocolate glaze.