Christmas Cookies:
Chocolate-Cherry Clusters

These bite-sized Christmas cookies are delicious! They look great on a tray of holiday goodies.

christmas cookies

Although these are delicious, they are not the healthiest treats I know! That's why I make them just at Christmas - and make sure that we are eating lots of fruits and vegetables too!

Be sure to save the juice from the maraschino cherry jar - you'll need it later in the recipe.

Be sure to use sweetened condensed milk - not evaporated milk.

If you have a hand mixer, you can use it to mix the ingredients. If not, just use your strong arm and a sturdy spoon.

This makes about 36 cookies.

1 1/2 cups/375 mL whole wheat flour

1/2 cup/125 mL unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup/125 mL butter, softened

1/2 cup/125 mL sugar

1/4 tsp/1 mL baking soda

1/4 tsp/1 mL baking powder

1/4 tsp/1 mL salt

1 egg

1 tsp/5 mL vanilla

10 maraschino cherries, quartered

1 cup/250 mL semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup/125 mL sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Get out some cookie sheets.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour and cocoa powder.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Beat thoroughly (by hand or with a mixer).
Add the egg and vanilla.
Beat thoroughly.
Gradually beat in the flour mixture.

Shape the dough into 1 inch/2 cm balls.
Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches/4 cm apart.
With your thumb, make a dent in the center of each ball.
Put a cherry piece in each dent.

In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk.
Heat over low heat until the chocolate melts.
Stir in 4 tsp/20 mL of the reserved cherry juice.

Spoon about 1/2 tsp/2 mL of the frosting over each cherry.
If the frosting is too thick, thin it with a bit more cherry juice.

Bake until the edges are firm (about 10 minutes).

Cool on cookie sheets for about a minute before transferring to wire racks.

Return from Christmas cookies to recipes for Christmas.

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