Italian Cherry Cookies

Italian Cherry Cookies
This cookie calls out to be a perfect Valentines Day treat. I found it after going through my friend’s blog, Judy’s Culinaria, this Christmas. I was so motivated to try some of her incredible looking cookie recipes, and I was delighted with every single one! With her permission, I’m posting some of them (in case she accidentally deletes them or some other horrible disaster, and also just to share them with more people!). This cookie was an instant favorite, and honestly, the maraschino cookie recipe I’ve been looking for, and I’ve spent a long time looking! I know these cherries are quite divisive among tastes, but in my opinion, when maraschino cherries are in the mix, it’s always an automatic, “yes. please.” So, for the holidays, for Valentines. And maybe just for Fridays, here’s a fantastic cookie.

Italian Cherry Cookies
1/2 c. unsalted dairy-free margarine or butter
1/2 c. shortening
2 c. granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 T. almond emulsion or extract
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. almond milk or regular milk
1/2 c. maraschino cherry juice
1 c. maraschino cherries, chopped
7 c. flour (can use 1/2 c. more if too sticky)
5 t. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt

Cherry Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
3 T. maraschino cherry juice
1-1/2 t. almond emulsion or extract

In a mixing bowl combine margarine and shortening. Beat to mix together, then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and extracts. Mix well. Add milk and cherry juice. Mix, then add cherries and beat until mixed, about 1 minute. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt and gradually add to the wet ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. The next day line four baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough and onto hands. Roll dough into balls just a bit larger than a marble. Place on baking sheet and bake 8-9 minutes until cookies are light golden on bottom. Cool on rack. Whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth. Dip cookies into glaze. Let excess glaze drip off. Place on rack to dry. Store in an airtight container with wax paper between cookie layers. Allow cookies to age for several days before eating. Makes 175 cookies. (For me, it was more like 100.)

Judy suggests that these cookies are best when they have aged a few days, but we weren’t able to test that theory at our house. All gone. Very soon.

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