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These cherry cookies are crispy around the edges and soft and chewy inside. A simple drop cookie with no chilling or mixer needed, they are the perfect easy, anytime, sweet treat!
I’ve made a sugar cookie recipe from Cooks Illustrated for years, but I thought it would be fun to kick them up a notch with some cherries – and so I made these buttery, chewy cherry cookies and never looked back!
If you needed any further incentive to try them, you should know that there is NO chilling and NO mixer needed to make these simple maraschino cherry cookies.
Maraschino Cherry Cookies
This cherry cookie is a simple twist on the classic, simple sugar cookie. I subbed the vanilla extract for almond extract, because cherries and almond are a such a great match.
I also add some cherry syrup from the jar which gives them a pretty soft pink hue.
All in all, these cherry cookies are crispy around the edges, and soft and chewy inside, with great buttery flavor and little bursts of sweet cherry flavor.
I prefer to use unsalted butter for baking, but you can substitute salted butter, just reduce the added salt to a 1/4 teaspoon. Using melted butter gives these cherry almond sugar cookies the perfect chewy texture.
I use cream cheese in this recipe along with the butter because the combination makes the cookies extra rich, moist, tender, and delicious.
If you’re not familiar with maraschino cherries, don’t be deceived by their bright red candy-colored hue, they are in fact real cherries! Although they are artificially colored, they are real cherries that have been sweetened and preserved.
To use in this recipe, finely chop the cherries and drain the syrup so they don’t make your cookie dough too thin.
Maraschino Cherry Syrup
Save some of the bright red syrup from the jar and add it to the dough to give it the perfect pink hue.
I think almond and cherries go great together – so I like to use almond extract instead of vanilla. But if you don’t have, or want to use almond extract – feel free to use vanilla!
The rest of the ingredients are pretty much your usual cookie batter ingredients – so lets get on with how to make these cherry almond cookies step by step!
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cream cheese, and melted butter until smooth.
3. Add the oil and stir to combine.
4. Add the egg and stir until smooth and well combined.
4. Add chopped cherries and cherry syrup.
6. Stir in the flour mixture to form a soft dough. The dough will be softer than you’re used to due to the oil, but will still hold a ball shape.
7. Now roll the dough into balls of about 2 tablespoons each, and drop on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment. Make sure they are about 2 inch apart as these cookies spread.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until edges have started to brown and the cookies look set. Bake a little longer if you like your cookies crispier. Let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tips for Making Perfect Cherry Sugar Cookies
- Measure all the ingredients precisely. Too much or too little of any of the ingredients could result in a texture you won’t be a fan of.
- Make sure to thoroughly drain the cherries, even squeezing them dry a little, so your cookie dough isn’t too soft.
- They are finished when the edges are just beginning to turn brown. You may need to adjust the baking time by a minute or two due to variations in ovens, but remember that even after the food has been removed from the oven, residual heat will continue to bake it.
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container away from heat for up to 5 days. They will stay soft and chewy for several days.
Freezing and Make Ahead
The baked cookies can definitely be frozen, as can the raw cookie dough.
Freezing baked cookies
To freeze baked cookies, make sure they are completely cool first. Then layer the cookies in single layers between sheets of parchment or wax paper in an airtight freezer-safe container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Freezing raw cookie dough
To freeze raw dough, portion balls of dough onto a lined cookie sheet and freeze until firm – about 2 hours. The dough balls can then be placed in a freezer-safe bag or container. You can freeze them for up to 3 months.
Baking frozen dough
To bake, put frozen dough balls on the baking sheet and let them thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking. Bake as directed watching them carefully. They may take a little longer than the time indicated.
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 ounces cream cheese cut into chunks
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherries finely chopped, and squeezed to remove excess juice
- 1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cream cheese, and melted butter until smooth.
- Add the oil and mix until combined. Add the egg and combine again.
- Add cherry juice and almond extract and mix well. Fold in the chopped cherries.
- Add the dry ingredients to the cherry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined and a soft dough forms.
- Roll the dough into balls of about 2 tablespoons each and drop, about 2 inches apart, on a baking sheet line with a baking mat or parchment. (The dough will be very soft).
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges have started to brown and look set.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes and move to a cooling rack to cool completely.