These cherry almond sugar cookies are crispy around the edges and soft and chewy inside. They are a perfect easy sweet treat for Valentine’s Day (not to mention all the other days).
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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, 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.
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.
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.
Have a great rest of the weekend!
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Cherry Almond Sugar Cookies
These cherry almond sugar cookies are crispy around the edges and soft and chewy inside.
- 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. Some lumps of cream cheese will remain.
Add the oil and mix until combined. Add the egg, 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, at least 1 inch apart, on a baking sheet line with a baking mat or parchment.
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.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated