Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies are super moist and tender. The cherries are topped with a fudgy frosting that gets baked right on the cookies, making them chewy and utterly irresistible!
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies are a Holidays Favorite
I can’t resist the combo of chocolate and maraschino cherries.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved my mom’s Sour Cream Banana Bread, where she throws in a handful of chopped cherries – and I’ve taken the liberty to also add chocolate chips.
And I’ll never turn away a bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with cherries and chocolate sauce!
So it should come as no surprise that these Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies are right up my alley. This recipe has been a longtime family tradition, thanks to Mom and her lengthy list of annual Christmas baked treats. Our girls and I like these cookies so much that you’ll often find us baking them for Valentine’s Day as well. Such a cheery cookie!!
It’s hard to resist chocolate cherry cookies as wonderful as these.
The chocolate cookie is super moist and tender, with a delightfully thin crisp outer crust.
And then the sweet, juicy cherries are buried under a chocolate frosting that gets baked into heavenly fudgy goodness.
The resulting cookie is chewy and utterly irresistible. I love biting into that sweet, juicy cherry in the middle!
Maraschino Cherry Cookies Ingredients
These cookies have a pretty basic ingredients list, as far as cookie recipes go. I’m guessing you’ll only need to pick up maraschino cherries and possibly sweetened condensed milk.
- maraschino cherries + their juices – Save the juices to thin and flavor the fudgy frosting!
- cocoa powder
- kosher salt
- baking powder
- baking soda
- pure vanilla extract
- semisweet chocolate chips – this is my favorite brand
- sweetened condensed milk
How to Make Chocolate Covered Cookies
I always look forward to these maraschino cherry cookies. They’re not only pretty and delicious, but they’re also fun to make!
If you have young kids, this is a great recipe to get them involved in the kitchen. Depending on their ages, etc., task them with gathering the ingredients, measuring each ingredient, and then whisking, beating, and assembling.
Here’s how to make these cookies:
Prep: Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Drain: Drain the maraschino cherries in a colander, reserving the juices.
Whisk: Add flour and cocoa to a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Beat: Beat butter in a large bowl, until softened. Add sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and then beat again until well combined. Add egg and vanilla, and beat well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Beat, beat, and then beat again! :) The chocolate dough will be soft and thick.
Shape: Now shape the dough into 1″ balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet about 2″ apart. I like to use a small scoop to portion the dough. Scoops are my cookies-baking BFF in the kitchen! Then roll the dough in the palms of your hands to form into balls.
Indent: Next, press down in the center of each dough ball with your thumb to create an indentation. This is great for the youngest helpers in the kitchen…except you’ll want to do it all by yourself! It’s fun!
Cherry time! Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each indentation.
Frost: Create a simple fudgy frosting on the stovetop by melting together the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and a bit of the reserved cherry juices. Then spoon a bit of the frosting over each cherry.
These cookies are especially fun because you spread the frosting on the cookies before baking. The cookies emerge from the oven fudgy-good!
I love this photo from when Tessa was little! She has always enjoyed baking, and likes to roll the dough, stamp her thumbprint, and fill the dough with cherries.
Bake: Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Take care to not over-bake, as the goal is a super moist and fudgy cookie.
Cool: Remove cookies from the oven and let them cool completely.
Then, all that’s left to do is…
Tips for the Best Chocolate Cherry Cookies
This is a very easy recipe, but I do have a few helpful hints that’ll give you the best cookies possible!
- Use good quality ingredients for the best overall flavor. That means using only pure vanilla extract (no imitation vanilla extract!) and good quality chocolate – here are my favorite chocolate chips!
- Portion dough evenly for cookies that are all the same size. That’s why I recommend using a small scoop for these cookies.
- Thin the frosting if it becomes thick and hard to spread easily. Do this by simply stirring a bit more of the cherry juices into the chocolate frosting. It sometimes also helps to return the saucepan of frosting back to the burner over low heat, to warm it up just a bit. Works like a charm!
- Do not over-bake. The goal here is a soft, fudgy cookie. Take care to not over-bake.
How to Store and Freeze
These cookies are excellent when it comes to storing and freezing.
To store: Place cookies in airtight containers, in single layers separated by wax paper or parchment paper. If serving within a couple days after baking, just set the container in a cool spot.
We like to use our 3-season sunroom for storing some of our homemade Christmas treats – because it’s cold out there in the winter. My mom stores some of her treats in their garage!
To freeze: I freeze these cookies every single year, and it works great! Simply store the cookies as I previously mentioned and place the container in the freezer. The cookies will keep well for a couple months.
FROZEN BONUS! We actually love to eat these cookies straight from the freezer. Well, maybe not straight from the freezer… Allow them to thaw on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes. There’s just something extra fun about eating these cookies cold!
Like this cookie recipe? Save it to Pinterest!
- 48 undrained maraschino cherries (about one 10-oz. jar)
- 1.5 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 c. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1.5 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips - this is my favorite brand
- 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Drain maraschino cherries, reserving the juice.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for about 30 seconds, or until softened. Add sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until well combined. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
- Shape dough into 1″ balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet about 2" apart. I like to use a small scoop to portion the dough into uniformly sized balls. Press down in the center of each ball with your thumb to create an indentation. Place a cherry in the center of each cookie’s indentation.
- In a small saucepan over medium to medium-low heat, combine the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons of reserved cherry juice until mixture is completely smooth. Turn off heat and let saucepan sit on warm burner. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of this chocolate frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover the cherry fully. If the frosting is too thick, just add a little more of the reserved cherry juice to thin it out. Sometimes it also helps to warm the saucepan again - just turn the heat back to low.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
From Mom's recipe box, adapted very slightly from Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 88Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Photos by Molly from Yes to Yolks.
This post was originally published in 2012, and then updated in 2020.