Happy Friday! Here we are at day eleven of Lemon & Mocha’s 12 Days of Cookies and I’ve definitely been saving some of the best for last. First of all, let’s just discuss how pretty these Cherry Kiss Cookies are! With their pink hue they certainly would be fitting for Valentine’s Day, but they also add a great pop of color to a Christmas cookie platter.
If there was ever a cookie to be described as melting in your mouth, it would be these pillowy Cherry Kiss Cookies. They are soft, buttery and have just the perfect amount of cherry flavoring. There’s also a chocolate Hershey Kiss in the center of every cookie, which is always a delicious bonus.
The cherry flavor in these cookies comes from cherry extract and chopped maraschino cherries, both which get mixed right into the batter. If you remember my Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cookie Pops I had a difficult time finding cherry extract in the grocery store so instead I used raspberry extract. Since I now have a big bottle of raspberry extract from those cookie pops I actually used it instead of cherry extract for these cookies as well. So I guess they are technically Cherry Raspberry Kiss Cookies. Either way you make them I’m sure you will be hooked. I saved these for right before Christmas because the dough requires no chilling and they’re very easy drop cookies to make so they would be a great last minute baking project.
The cookies look very soft when they come out of the oven, but they will firm up as they cool. I left mine in the oven until I noticed just a couple of the cookies had started to very lightly brown on the edges, which can be difficult to notice at first since the cookies are pink.
I used milk chocolate kisses since that is what I had on hand, but you could experiment with different kinds as I think the dark chocolate kisses would be extra tasty in these. Okay, only a few more days until Christmas! What are you baking this weekend?
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons cherry extract, see note
- 5 drops red food coloring
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup chopped maraschino cherries
- 28 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, making sure oven racks are in the upper and lower thirds positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt on low speed to combine then medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, cherry extract and food coloring. Beat until combined. Add the flour and beat on low until only a few streaks remain. Use a spatula to stir in the chopped cherries.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. I put 14 on each of my half sheet pans; the cookies spread a little, but not a lot. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a couple of the cookies just start to very lightly brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Once the cookies have cooled for 2 minutes on the pan, remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.