Monday, March 26, 2012

Cherry Chocolate Kisses

I shouldn’t be surprised at the difference a little chocolate can make (in just about anything).  Then you add it to something made with cherries, and it can’t help but be a winner.  Since I love both cherries and chocolate, this cookie can now be on my short list of favorites.  Simple, easy, delicious (and pretty!)

Peanut butter blossoms seem to be everyone’s cookie of choice, and when I saw this idea (since it was similar) I had to try it.  Anything with a chocolate kiss is worthy of testing in my book.

This is a simple shortbread cookie (no leavening), and the hardest part of the recipe is chopping up the cherries - think very RED fingernails...  I would have used a food processor, but I like my cherries recognizable - not pulverized.  So I decided to hand chop them.

Almond flavoring enhances the cherry flavor, and the pink color comes from utilizing some of the maraschino cherry juice.  If you really want to go over the top, you could add mini chocolate chips and/or chopped pecans.  

I decided to roll the dough in sugar, instead of sprinkling it on top - since you do that with Peanut Butter Blossoms.  It adds a lightly sweet crunch.  I’m always amazed at how beaten up a Hershey Kiss looks when you first take it out of it's wrapper, only to become perfectly dark & shiny when you place it on a warm cookie.  

Next time I make these, I will not be so heavy handed when I add my thumbprint in the center of the cookie.  Just a light touch will do, as you can press it the rest of the way when you add the Hershey Kiss.

The cookies remain tender inside, probably due to the cherries.  And they are pretty awesome when you bite into them while still warm, with the chocolate still soft.  They keep well for a few days.  I plan to make these next Valentine’s Day - but any day is a holiday when you mix cherries and chocolate. 

For the recipe, go to:

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