Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stuffed Cherry Blossom Cookies

I love a cookie with a surprise inside. Whether it's an Oreo tucked inside, a cheesecake filling, or even peanut butter cream, there's something fun about biting into a cookie only to find a little something unexpected. And usually a sweet sugar cookie doesn't get to play those games. But these perfectly flavored sugar cookies with vanilla and almond extracts are getting in to the action, hiding a lovely maraschino cherry inside a soft cookie. Yum. Rolled in sugar for a little extra sweetness, these cookies are fun and festive and sure to please. I've got a few cherry-lovers on my cookie tin list and I know they are going to love these.

Knowing I always want to include some sort of cherry cookie on my holiday baking list, I tucked this recipe from Lindsay at Love and Olive Oil away and pulled it out for this year's baking. Now, while the cherry tucked inside is the star of this cookie, don't let that overshadow what is a remarkable sugar cookie in and of itself. Soft, fluffy and tender, this cookie uses all the tricks to get the perfect texture: cream cheese, butter and oil. The results are heaven and you could certainly fall in love with this cookie even if it didn't have a cherry inside. When constructing these cookies, be sure your cherries are well drained and pat them dry to remove the excess liquid--you don't want something like excess moisture messing these up. Add these to your holiday list for a pretty and festive cookie, with a lovely sweet surprise.

Stuffed Cherry Blossom Cookies


2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
6 Tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
42 maraschino cherries, stems removed

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

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, beat 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter and cream cheese until thick and combined.

Stir in oil, then add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract, stirring until combined.

Gradually stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. Refrigerate dough for about 15-30 minutes.

Drain cherries and transfer a few to a paper towel-lined plate to pat dry. Place remaining sugar in a small bowl.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough into the palm of your hand and flatten. Place a well-dried cherry in the center and work the dough around cherry to cover completely.

Roll in reserved sugar and arrange on parchment or Silpat lined baking sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 11-13 minutes or until set and golden but not browned. Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking.

Remove from oven and cool on pans for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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