Sweet, cake-like, and reminiscent of bygone days, Old-Fashioned Cherry Cookies satisfy your sweet tooth and just might take you back to your grandma’s cookie jar.
I say that because they’re part of my childhood memories, although I’ve tweaked my mother’s recipe a bit. They’re not fancy, they’re not trendy, they’re just plain delicious.
This recipe uses Maraschino Cherries; the same cherries you’ll find in cocktails and ice cream sundaes. I usually locate them in the grocery store in the ice cream topping section, as opposed to the fruit aisle. Any leftovers will last for months in the refrigerator.
How to make Old-Fashioned Cherry Cookies
- Hand chop the cherries and drain well.
- Stir together dry ingredients.
- Cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy.
Creaming is a baking term that means to whip together fat and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. If you’d like to learn more about it, see my post about my yummy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies where creaming is explained further.
- Beat in the egg, cherry juice and almond extract.
- Mix in half the dry ingredients, then the remainder. Be sure to scrape the bowl.
- Stir in the chopped cherries. Chill the dough for at least one hour or more.
- Form the dough into balls and roll them in sugar. Greased hands make this job easier. I like to keep my baking spray handy for a quick spray onto my hands.
- Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until the edges begin to color. Cool.
- Whisk together the glaze of powdered sugar, cherry juice and water and drizzle over the cookies as you like. I’m fond of a crosshatch pattern.
Of course, the glaze isn’t necessary, but it’s a tasty touch.
Do these cookies freeze well?
Yes! They freeze beautifully. Wait until they’re completely cool and the glaze has hardened. Lay them in a single layer in an airtight container with wax paper or parchment paper between layers. They freeze well up to 2 months.
If you’d like another old-fashioned cookie recipe, check out my Fudgy Thumbprint Cookies. Another old family favorite!
Old-Fashioned Cherry Cookies
- 10-12 oz. jar of pitted Maraschino cherries
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 11 Tablespoons Butter, very soft 1 stick plus 3 Tablespoons
- 2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons Maraschino cherry juice, from the jar of cherries
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar, for rolling cookies
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons Maraschino cherry juice, from the jar
- 2 Tablespoons water, as needed
- Into a strainer, spoon half or more of the cherries. Drain them, chop them by hand and squeeze them of extra moisture as necessary. You need ¾ cup of chopped cherries. Save the juice in the jar for later in the recipe.
- In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
- Beat in the egg, cherry juice and almond extract until smooth.
- Slowly beat in half the flour mixture, then the other half. Mix only until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Stir in the chopped cherries.
- Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° and line some baking sheets with parchment paper if you have it, otherwise grease the sheets.
- Place the ½ cup of sugar in a small bowl. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon and greased hands, form dough into 1¼-1½" sized balls. Roll them in the sugar a few at a time depending on the size of the bowl. Place them at least two or more inches apart on your baking sheets.
- Bake 10-11 minutes until just golden on the edges. Cool.
- Whisk together glaze ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle on cooled cookies in whatever pattern you like. I particularly like a cross hatch design.
- To make drizzling the glaze easier, you can use a squeeze bottle or a plastic bag. To use a bag, prop the bag open, pour in the glaze, then snip off about 1/4″ of the tip of a corner of the bag with scissors. Twist the top together and squeeze the glaze from the top down.
- You can chill the dough for a longer time if you need to, even overnight. If it’s cold and solid, just let it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.
- These cookies freeze really well. Once the glaze has hardened, freeze them in single layers with wax paper or parchment between the layers. Freeze up to two months.