1990s blog: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Hoo-boy, these are the ultimate cookies. My signature cookies, I would say. I always made these for Christmas. I even wrote about them in my “other” blog, the one I began in 2005, and where I still discuss other-than-food matters (unless a food matter just can’t be resisted). If you go to that old entry, be sure to click on the photo to enlarge it.

1990s note:
I clipped this recipe from a magazine years ago. Since then, they have become my “trademark” cookie. I have never seen this recipe anywhere else — and it is excellent! Lotsa chocolate and cherries — they even freeze well and are even good and soft eaten frozen. The version below reflects years of tweaking from the original magazine recipe.

2015 note:
I found the original of this recipe in the “Best You Can Bake” Chocolate Desserts cookbook.


  • 1 1/2 cup margarine
  • 3 C sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
  • scant 4 cups flour (about a tablespoon less than 4 full cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda


  • 28 ounce jar maraschino cherries. This will probably be more cherries than you need. And just get the non-health-food-store type of maraschino cherries. Eating these once in a while isn’t a death sentence. You need some of the cherry juice for the frosting.


  • 36 ounces chocolate chips
  • 3 cups sweetened condensed milk. One 14-ounce can has 20 tablespoons; you need about 2 1/2 cans.
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cherry juice (from the drained maraschino cherries)

Begin by draining the maraschino cherries through a colander, reserving the juice. After you drain them, place them on a double layer of paper towels and roll them around until most of the juice is gone. This is a really important step. Let them continue drying as you prepare the batter.

Cream the margarine and sugar, the add the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients and stir to combine. With the mixer on a low speed, add the dry ingredient mixture to the creamed mixture in portions (so as not to make a big mess). Mix just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Place a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet or half-sheet pan. Heat the oven to 350˚.

Shape the dough into 1″ balls and place on the prepared cookie sheet. Push down the center of each ball with your thumb, then place 1 cherry in the indentation.

Bake 10 minutes at 350°. Do not overcook!

To make the frosting, put the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk and cook on high in the microwave until chocolate melts.This takes several minutes; check the melting process by stirring. When all of the chocolate is melted, stir in the cherry juice. Add a little more cherry juice if the frosting is too thick.

When the cookies are cool, you can start frosting them. I always lay them out on the counter on sheets of wax paper. Then, I pick up a cookie, hold it over the bowl of frosting, and completely cover the cookie with frosting, and place it back on the wax paper to cool.

Chocolate Covered Cherry CookiesLet the cookies stand in a single layer over night to let the frosting set completely before you pack them into containers. This recipe makes about 6 dozen cookies. They are great fresh, and they also freeze well. You can eat them frozen!

Please refer to my Cookie Recipe Basics to make sure your cookies turn out!
Read the introduction to my 1990s cooking blog for background information.

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