It took a couple of batches and the inevitable screw-ups for the finished product to match what I had envisioned during my 3:00 am “voilà” moment. I can tell you that no matter how cute you think the cookies would look with cherry stems poking out of the top, don’t buy cherries with the stems on, because they:
- Dry up when they bake, and get very crispy. Not attractive!
- Don’t pull out. The whole cherry comes with the stem. So unless you plan on holding the cookie by the stem and popping the entire thing in your mouth, then pulling the stem out between your teeth, it isn’t going to work for you.
- Make it impossible to dip in the chocolate, so you have to
smear smear it on with your fingerpipe it on. Not the look you want.
- Cost a freaking fortune. Seriously – I paid $5.00 for a small jar that had a dozen cherries in it. This cookie recipe makes 6 dozen. Even I can do that math!
Oh, the variations you can try! I made some rolled in finely chopped peanuts, plain with peanuts on top, rolled in sprinkles, and plain with sprinkles on top. I topped them with red Sixlets, but M&Ms or Skittles would be fine, too.
For my first batch I made a simple pink frosting out of powdered sugar and maraschino cherry juice, which was good, but it took a while to harden, and I tend to get impatient, so I used Wilton Candy Melts for my second batch. Much better; they were easy to melt, easy to dip the cookies into, and dried almost immediately. Sweet!
Here’s the cookie dough recipe. It’s basically my shortbread recipe with an extra teaspoon of half & half to make it a little easier to wrap around the cherry.
|Sweet Sundae Cookies|| |
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon milk or half & half
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- (2 ea) 16 oz jars of maraschino cherries, drained and blotted dry
- Sprinkles and chopped peanuts, if desired
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg yolks and milk or half & half, and blend well. (If using a stand mixer, you may want to switch to the dough hook at this point.)
- Add flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir just until the mixture forms a smooth dough.
- Using a size 60 scoop (or a level tablespoon) scoop out dough and roll it into a ball.
- Press a cavity in the middle of the ball using your finger or a wooden spoon handle.
- Place cherry in the cavity and press dough up and over the cherry. Roll it gently in the palms of your hands to completely enclose the cherry.
- Roll in sprinkles or finely chopped peanuts if desired.
- Place on baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart, and bake for approximately 14 minutes, or until you see a little golden brown around the bottom edge.
- Cool on a rack.
The next step is to dip the cooled cookies in pink Candy Melts. I melt mine in a glass bowl in the microwave, beginning with 30 seconds and then switching to 15 second intervals, stirring well each time. Dip about halfway down, let the excess drip off, and then set upright on a baking sheet or plate.
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
3.5 ounces good quality dark chocolate
1/2 plus 2 tablespoons cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Melt both chocolates in a small bowl in the microwave, beginning with 30 seconds and then switching to 15 second intervals, stirring well each time. Heat just until melted.
Add 1/2 cup of the whipping cream and stir until completely blended.
Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir.
Dip the top of one of the cookies in the chocolate. If the chocolate sticks to the pink candy melts, it’s just right. If it’s too thick to stick well, add the remaining cream 1 tablespoon at a time. The chocolate mixture should be thin but not runny.
If the chocolate starts to harden as you’re dipping the cookies, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds and stir well.
After dipping cookies in the chocolate, sprinkle with chopped nuts or sprinkles and add a red candy on the top. Allow to sit at room temperature until firm.
I’d like to stay and chat, but I have a little cleaning up to do. The dog already took care of the sprinkles and chunks of dough on the floor (when will I ever learn to put the guard on my mixer?) but for the sake of sanitation, I’d probably better take care of the counters myself. Know what? It was totally worth it! I love, love, love these cookies.