Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights
- 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces, ½ pound)
- 2 cups white (granulated) sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten (just whip them up in a glass with a fork)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened – for baking)
- 3 cups flour (not sifted – pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
- 2 small, 10 oz. jars of maraschino cherries***
- 1 pkg. chocolate chips (12 oz. pkg. - 2 cups)
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (that’s sweetened condensed, NOT evaporated)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.
- Melt the butter and mix in the white sugar. Set it aside on the counter to cool.
- When the mixture has cooled to a temperature that won’t cook the eggs, stir in the eggs and mix thoroughly.
- Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, and cocoa, stirring after each addition.
- Add the flour in one-cup increments, mixing after each addition. (The dough will be stiff and a bit crumbly.)
- Drain the maraschino cherries into a strainer over a bowl to reserve the juice. Remove the cherry stems. *** When you drain the cherries, reserve the juice to use in the frosting.
- Pat the dough into walnut-sized balls with your fingers. Place the dough balls on a greased cookie sheet, 12 to a standard-sized sheet. Press them down in center with your impeccably clean thumb to make a deep indentation. (If the health board’s around, use the bowl of a small spoon.) Place one cherry in each indentation.
- Combine the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat them on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir. If the chips are not melted, process on HIGH in 1-minute increments until they can be stirred smooth. (You may have to keep zapping this to keep it from hardening as you bake the cookies.)
- Add approximately ⅛ cup (2 Tablespoons) of the reserved cherry juice to the melted chocolate mixture you made. Stir it into a thick frosting. If the frosting is too thick, add more juice in small increments. (Test it with a tea- spoon. If it doesn’t glob off, it’s too thick.)
- Spoon the frosting over the center of each cookie, just enough to cover each cherry. Make sure it doesn’t drip down the sides.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Hannah’s Note: For those who don’t like cherries, substitute well-drained pineapple tidbits, using the juice to thin the frosting. You can also use pecan halves or macadamia nuts and thin the frosting with cold coffee or water. If you don’t have anything to go on top, just glob the chocolate mixture into the indentations. That’s good too.
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