Chewy Cherry Almond Sugar Cookies

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).

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A stack of cherry almond sugar cookies on a baking mat

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, in honor of everyone’s favorite Hallmark holiday! 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.

I added some chopped maraschino cherries and juice, 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.

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.

Overhead view of cherry almond sugar cookies on a baking sheet

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 here we go.

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.

Cherry almond sugar cookies on a plate with a glass of milk

These cherry almond sugar cookies are pretty darn easy to make too. In fact I whipped them up in well under an hour this morning, before rushing out for a birthday massage. Let’s just say these cookies + birthday massage made today my favorite day this week BY FAR.

Looking for more Valentine’s Day inspiration? How about this 2-minute chocolate raspberry mug cake, or last year’s chocolate cupcakes with whipped vanilla frosting? OR if you’re feeling extra ambitious, this caramel chocolate cake is the most popular recipe on the blog these days ;).

Have a great rest of the weekend!


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A stack of cherry almond sugar cookies on a baking mat
4.35 from 20 votes

Cherry Almond Sugar Cookies

These cherry almond sugar cookies are crispy around the edges and soft and chewy inside. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 154 kcal
Author Ann


  • 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cream cheese, and melted butter. Some lumps of cream cheese will remain. 

  4. Add the oil and mix until combined. Add the egg, cherry juice and almond extract and mix well. Fold in the chopped cherries. 

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the cherry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined and a soft dough forms. 

  6. Roll the dough into balls of about 2 tablespoons each and drop, at least 1 inch apart, on a baking sheet line with a baking mat or parchment.

  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges have started to brown and look set. 

  8. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes and move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated 

Nutrition Facts
Cherry Almond Sugar Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 154 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 82mg 3%
Potassium 35mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Sugars 12g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 2.6%
Calcium 1.3%
Iron 3.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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