Buried Cherry Cookies
Makes 42 cookies. From Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.
10 oz maraschino cherries
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5 cups flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Drain cherries and reserve juice. Halve any large cherries, but leave the rest intact. Beat butter in a standing mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl if necessary. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in cocoa powder and flour until just incorporated.
Shape dough into 1" balls. Place dough balls about 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each ball and place a cherry in each center.
For the frosting, combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until chocolate melts. Stir in 4 tsp of the reserved cherry juice. Spoon 1 tsp frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover the cherry entirely.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes or just until edges are firm. Cook on cookie sheet for one minute, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
These cookies are an excellent addition to anyone's repertoire and look great on a holiday cookie plate. They are also a delight to make and wonderful to eat. Not only does the fudgy frosting have a light cherry flavor, but then *wham* you bite right into the maraschino cherry surprise in the middle. Don't listen to your parents - go ahead and play with your food.