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1986 Winner: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Author/Submitted by: Chicago Tribune annual Food Guide Holiday Cookie Contest December 4, 1986
Servings: 48
Categories: Chocolate / Cookies / Desserts

1 1/2  cups  Flour
1/2  cup  Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4  teaspoon  Salt
1/4  teaspoon  Baking powder
1/4  teaspoon  Baking soda
1/2  cup  Butter or margarine, softened
1  cup  Sugar
1    Egg
1 1/2  teaspoons  Vanilla
48    Maraschino cherries

6  ounces  Semisweet chocolate chips
1/2  cup  Sweetened condensed milk
4  teaspoons  Cherry juice

1. In bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla to butter-sugar mixture and beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter-sugar mixture and beat until well blended.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and push down center of each ball with thumb. Drain cherries and reserve juice. Place 1 cherry in center of each indentation. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

3. For frosting, put chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in small saucepan. Heat until chocolate melts. Stir in 4 teaspoons cherry juice. If too thick, add more juice.

4. Spoon 1 teaspoon frosting over each cherry. Spread to cover cherry. Bake 10 minutes or until done. Do not overcook. Remove to wire rack and cool. The cookies freeze nicely.

Winner Donna M. Farrell of Naperville entered her chocolate covered cherry cookie recipe: "Christmas and chocolate-covered cherries are forever entwined in my mind and memories. Not the expensive department store kind, mind you, with their dark bitter chocolate and runny syrup, but your basic Brach's. Each Christmas found the coveted white box stretching my stocking, two layers of cream-filled heaven with a cherry floating therein--and no requirement to share them with anyone. "Taste and calories have kept me away from the box of delights for many years, even after the incredible discovery that Brach's actually sold these morsels all year long. (How my parents managed to deceive me on this, I'll never know.) That is, until my mother-in-law came to Chicago one autumn with the ultimate cookie. A Christmas tradition in one bite. Nostalgia from the oven. Capable of reducing this 36-year-old woman's taste buds and mentality to that of my 9-year-old daughter. A chocolate-covered cherry cookie!"

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