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The Joy of Cookies

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A selection of readers’ favorite Christmas cookie recipes tested by the Times.


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Chocolate Cherry Drops

Fudge filling:
1 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
Cookies:
1 package Duncan Hines chocolate chip cookie mix
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries, well-drained
42 maraschino cherry halves, well-drained, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For fudge filling, combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and maraschino cherry juice in small saucepan. Heat on low until chocolate chips are melted, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
For cookies, combine cookie mix, vegetable oil and egg in large bowl. Stir until thoroughly blended. Stir in chopped maraschino cherries. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven. Drop 1 rounded teaspoonful fudge filling on top of each partially baked cookie. Top each with maraschino cherry half. Bake 4 to 5 minutes longer or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheets. Remove to cooling racks and cool completely. Store between layers of waxed paper in airtight container. Makes 31/2 dozen cookies.
Reader note: Cool cookies in a single layer on cooling racks; do not overlap cookies when storing.
Source: Mary Fisher, Tarpon Springs

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