I found these on Pinterest and thought they would be so pretty for Christmas plates. Plus, I like anything with cherries in it – dried, fresh or maraschino! These soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookies have become a favorite on my Christmas cookie platters.
They turned out as pretty as the photo, although I made a few technique changes from the original. These were easy to make and the almond flavoring really made the cookies great. Plus, almost all the recipes I’ve posted have been brown, beige, or tan and these cookies bring a splash of color to the table! I guarantee you’ll love these cookies.
**** I really liked these tender, shortbread-like colorful cookies. Adapted slightly from The Girl Who Ate Everything
- 1 C butter , softened
- 1/2 C powdered sugar
- 1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1 2/3 C all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
- (optional) green food coloring
- 1/2 C maraschino cherries , chopped finely
Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, pudding mix, and flour. Mix until combined. The mixture may seem dry at first but will come together after beating. Add the almond extract along with a couple of drops of green food coloring (optional if you want the cookies be a brighter green color).
Finely chop the maraschino cherries. Pat the cherries very dry - removing all of the juice and excess liquid. You want to make sure you dry the red juice or you may turn your cookies a not-so-pretty color. Gently stir in the chopped cherries.
Roll the dough into a log (about 2" in diameter), wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30-45 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slice cookies and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake 9-11 minutes. They won't brown much - don't over bake them. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet. Once completely cooled, move to a rack and sprinkle cookies with additional powdered sugar.
Tips and Stuff: Dry the chopped cherries very, very, very well with a paper towel. If you think you have them dry, put another paper towel over them and gently squeeze. Yes, your fingers will all be red, but it's Christmas, it's OK! I put 5 drops of green food coloring and they came out a lovely color of green. To keep the dough log round, don't forget to cut the cardboard roll from a paper towel roll down the middle and slide the log in before refrigerating!