Cherries, almond a nice mash up in cookies

Every once in awhile, my sister and I would be allowed to choose a candy bar of our choice from the convenience store.

It was an agonizing choice—trying to figure out how to get the biggest bar within the set budget. I normally landed on Rolos or a Caramello, because I could get each one to last quite awhile.

If you were to take Joey into the candy aisle and give him the same choice, he’d go for the Cherry Mash, a candy bar I never even considered as a kid, because it just looks so tiny in its packaging. It wasn’t until I met him that I discovered just how delicious they are.

I was reminded of that this week when I mixed up a batch of cookies that feature almond extract and maraschino cherries. I thought the batter smelled exactly like a Cherry Mash.

The cookies it produced were a bit more subtle than the candy bar, but those flavors were definitely there.

I got this from the blog “Small Town Woman” by Beth Pierce. You can find the original at https://www.smalltownwoman.com/maraschino-cherry-almond-chocolate-cookies/. I doubled the almond extract in my version.

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Maraschino Cherry Almond Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 cup powdered sugar

2-1/4 cups flour

2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice

1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the butter until it’s nice and smooth and then beat in the almond extract and powdered sugar. Stir in the flour until it’s fully mixed in, and then mix in the cherry juice and cherries (I dumped in all the juice from my cutting board from chopping the cherries, too)

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Roll the batter into about one-inch balls and flatten them a bit between your palms. Place them on the prepared baking sheets. They won’t spread very much, so placing them about one-half inch apart is good enough.

Bake each batch 12 to 14 minutes. They won’t be browned on the top, but the tops should look dry. Let the cookies cool before transferring them to an airtight container.

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I was a little taken aback by these when I first bit into one, because I was expecting the consistency of a normal chocolate chip cookie, but they’re more like shortbread instead.

Joey was a big fan of them, and we were both glad the recipe only made a little over two dozen cookies, because it kept us from eating far more than we should have before we managed to give most of them away.

This would be a nice addition to a holiday cookie exchange plate, and they were super easy to make, which is nice for this busy time of year.

They’re no Caramello, but they’re still pretty darn good.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.