Glazed Maraschino Cherry Cookies — Soft, buttery cookies with the fun surprise of a cherry baked in!! The cherry juice glaze boosts the cherry flavor even more! Easy cookies that make everyone smile!!
Cute Frosted Cherry Cookies
It’s been years since I’ve baked them into cookies or bars, and I was overdue for a new maraschino cherry recipe. The cookies were worth the wait and they’re just so fun.
Soft, buttery, pink cookies with the surprise of a juicy, sweet maraschino cherry in the middle that also helps keep the cookies moist. The cherry juice glaze boosts the cherry flavor even more.
It’s a unique cookie recipe in that there’s no egg, no baking soda or baking powder, and rather than granulated or brown sugar, confectioners’ sugar is used.
They’re perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, Easter, Christmas, or anytime you need something that’ll make you smile. Because pink cookies will do the trick!
What’s in Maraschino Cherry Cookies?
For this maraschino cherry cookie recipe, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Red food coloring
- Maraschino cherries (and their juice)
How to Make Maraschino Cherry Cookies
These frosted cherry cookies require some assembly, but they’re so easy to make! Make the dough as you would any other cookie dough, then scoop it into 10 equal-sized mounds of dough.
Use your thumb to make a shallow well in the dough, and insert one cherry into the well. Carefully seal and crimp the edges around the cherry and flatten mounds slightly, taking care not flatten too much and squish the cherry.
Chill the cookies for at least 3 hours before baking them. After they’ve finished baking, they’ll need to cool completely before topping with glaze.
Can I Use Regular Sugar?
No! You must use confectioners’ sugar (aka powdered sugar) to make this cherry cookie recipe. Confectioners’ sugar makes for ultra soft, crumbly cookies.
Tips for Making Cookies with Maraschino Cherries
You MUST chill the cookie dough before baking it. If you don’t chill the dough, your cookies will flatten out in the oven and will lose their bonbon shape.
A few readers have asked if they can make the glaze with chocolate instead of maraschino cherry juice to create a chocolate-covered cherry effect. Yes, you can! I would just melt about 1 cup chocolate chips with 1 tbsp of butter or cream and use that instead of the glaze.
For another twist on this recipe, try soaking the maraschino cherries in bourbon before inserting them into the cookies. I haven’t tried this myself, so I can’t say for sure how it’d affect the texture of the cookies. But it sure sounds good!
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- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed, see step 3 below (I used cashewmilk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- about 5 to 10 drops red food coloring or as desired, optional but recommended
- about 10 maraschino cherries
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (sifted if yours is particularly lumpy)
- 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice, or as needed for desired glaze consistency
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large bowl and handheld electric mixer), add the butter, confectioners’ sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the milk, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed to incorporate, about 1 minute. (Mine didn’t incorporate fully, but it was mixed in. It’ll fully incorporate after adding the flour.) Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour, salt, and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 1 minute. If your dough is overly dry, crumbly, and not coming together, add a tiny splash of milk as needed until the dough comes together and is smooth.
- Optionally, add red food coloring to tint the dough as pink as desired and mix well to incorporate. All food coloring types and brands vary, as do preferences, so add accordingly. Beat well after each drop or two since you can’t un-do it and sometimes the color intensity will sneak up on you.
- Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop or your hands, form approximately 10 equal-sized mounds of dough.
- Use your thumb to make a shallow well, like you’re making thumbprint cookies, and insert one cherry into each mound of dough. Carefully seal and crimp the edges around the cherry and flatten mounds slightly, taking care not flatten too much and squish the cherry.
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet).
- Bake for about 12 minutes or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked and glossy in the center; don’t overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. It’s a bit tricky with pink cookies to tell if they’re done, but I err on the side of underbaking so they stay softer over time.
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet completely. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.
- To a large, microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and heat on high power to melt, about 1 minute.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar, cherry juice, and whisk to combine. As necessary, add additional cherry juice to achieve desired glaze consistency.
- Using a small spoon, add about 2 teaspoons of glaze to the top of each cookie, just enough so that some will drip down the sides. You’ll have extra glaze which will keep airtight in the fridge for weeks and can be used for future baking.
Storage: Cookies will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week. I’m comfortable storing glazed items at room temp but if you’re not, store them in the fridge noting cookies will be more prone to drying out.
Adapted from Taste of Home.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 294Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 72mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 2g
More Cherry Dessert Recipes:
Sweet Soft Cherry Bread with Cherry-Almond Glaze — An easy quick bread that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Mother’s Day! Because you can never have too much pink!
Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies — Super soft buttery cookies stuffed with white chocolate and cherries! Perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Chocolate Chip and Cherry Blondies — Fruit for dessert takes on new meaning with these easy bars!
Cherry Pie Bars — Just like your favorite cherry pie but way easier!! A no-roll crust with juicy cherries and topped with a sweet glaze! Perfect for parties, events, and holidays!!
Cherry Cream Pie – An old-fashioned pie with homemade scratch crust topped with NO-BAKE layers of sweetened cream cheese along with juicy cherry pie filling!! If you like cherry pie, you’re going to LOVE this amped up version!!
Triple Chocolate Cherry Cake — Loaded with juicy cherries and topped with an easy homemade chocolate frosting. I used a few shortcuts in this recipe to save time, but this cake tastes completely homemade!
Pineapple Coconut Bars — I combined my love of pina coladas and seven layer bars into a fast, easy, no-mixer dessert that tastes like the tropics.