These cherry almond sugar cookies are crispy around the edges and soft and chewy inside. They are a perfect easy sweet treat for the holidays or for Valentine's Day (not to mention all the other days).
*This is an updated version of a post I originally published in the early days of the blog.
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I've made this sugar cookie recipe from Cooks Illustrated for years, but I thought it would be fun to kick them up a notch this time.
I added some chopped maraschino cherries and some syrup from the jar, and subbed the vanilla extract for almond extract, because cherries and almond together make this girl very happy. The cherry juice gives them a pretty soft pink hue.
I love a classic, simple sugar cookie, and this recipe is the best I've found. Crispy around the edges, and soft and chewy inside, with great buttery flavor.
By the way, do you use a silicone baking mat when baking cookies? I was hesitant about them for the longest time (I mean parchment paper is cheap and disposable).
But I finally got some a couple of years ago, mainly to see what all the fuss was about, and I haven't looked back. They're a breeze to clean, environmentally friendly, and my cookies always bake evenly.
They work great with my favorite Chicago Metallic jelly roll pans that never bend or warp.
How to Make Cherry Almond Sugar Cookies
Before I experimented with these cherry almond sugar cookies, I had this idea that I would fancify them even more by putting a chocolate glaze on top. Sounds good, right?
Well... I never believed I would ever speak or write the words I am about to say, but...
It turns out that sometimes chocolate is...unnecessary. Even...too much.
Chocolate and cherries are great together of course, but the chocolate just kind of killed the delicate almond flavor. Sometimes you just have to let those subtler flavors shine.
Huh. Just trust me on this one, ok?
I also decided to forgo the rolling in additional sugar before baking, simply because I felt the cherries and juice made them plenty sweet already.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cream cheese, and melted butter until smooth.
3. Add the oil and stir to combine.
4. Add an egg and stir again to combine.
5. Add chopped cherries and cherry syrup.
6. Stir in the flour mixture to form a soft dough.
7. Roll the dough into balls of about 2 tablespoons each, and drop about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with a baking mat or parchment.
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.
9. Cool on the baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
Sound good to you? If you make this recipe, I would love it if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
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Cherry Almond Sugar Cookies
- 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
- 1/3 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.