Cherry Blossom Cookies

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It’s that time of year again. The time of year when it is okay to make hundreds of cookies and nobody looks at you funny. Try making a bunch of cookies in say, August, and see what kind of reaction you get then. Why is that? Why is it okay in late November and December but not other times? One of life’s big mysteries I guess. So, I’ve been saving this recipe for months, waiting until the holidays to make them. And so, the day before thanksgiving I went on a mini baking spree, relieving some of the pressure of wanting to bake some of these cookies.

The standard peanut butter blossom (chocolate kiss pushed in a peanut butter cookie) is one of my favorite cookies definitely in the top five. So when I first came across these, I knew I had to try them. Putting them together went well, no real big surprises or changes. I did wind up baking the different pans at different lengths, or at least the first pan went longer than the rest. The first pan went 10 minutes as they just never seemed to be done. But when I pushed the chocolate kiss into them, they really broke apart and I could tell they were plenty done. So I backed off a minute on the remaining pans. In my opinion, the perfect cookie (of this type) is one that doesn’t bust apart when the kiss goes in. It’s one that just squishes down. Didn’t really have any of those when I made these but that’s okay.

From a taste perspective…it’s hard to describe. It’s nothing like the peanut butter ones (as you would expect). The powdered sugar gives it a different taste and without any eggs or baking powder it sets it up a little different. The cookies were good. Just different. And as I’ve posted before, I’m pretty horrible at portioning things out so I wound up with 29 total cookies and the recipe indicates you can get about 48. That’s pretty far off. I suppose I could have made them smaller but after pushing the chocolate kiss in, it’s hard to see how it would be easy with a smaller cookie. Anyway, just keep that in mind if/when you make these.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 TSP maraschino cherry liquid
1/2 TSP almond extract
3-4 drops red food coloring
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 TSP salt
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped (the finer chopped the better)
Chocolate kisses (as many as you need – one bag was more than enough)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the butter, powdered sugar, cherry liquid, extract and food coloring in a bowl. Mix well on medium speed. Add flour and salt. Mix well. Stir in cherries.

Shape dough into 1″ balls. Place about 2″ apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Quickly push a chocolate kids into the top of each cookie. Let cool completely.

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