Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Promises

If you're looking for a perfect treat for Valentine's Day next week, look no further. I made these back in December, so the Dove Promises available at that time had snowflakes on them, but in stores now, you can get heart-shaped Dove Promises. The hearts, coupled with the pink and red colors in these cookies, would scream Valentine's Day, whether you need something for your own loved one, to send into the classroom with your child, or to drown your own sorrows in. I don't judge.

These are basically a shortbread-like base, trashed up with chopped up maraschino cherries and cherry juice. The chocolates (I prefer milk chocolate here) are the perfect finishing touch. You could certainly use Hershey's Kisses too, which is actually what the original recipe called for, but I like the seasonal touch, plus these are easier to stack if you need to take them somewhere. And, I just really adore Dove chocolate more than any other brand! If you need to take these somewhere shortly after making them, you might want to stick them in the fridge to cool. The heat from the cookies makes the chocolate very soft and while it will hold its shape if left alone and allowed to harden up again, if you touch or try to stack them too soon, the chocolate will completely melt and blob all over.

Chocolate Cherry Promises
Recipe from The Curvy Carrot

2 sticks butter, softened, but still slightly cool
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp maraschino cherry juice
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling the cookies (optional)
36 Dove Promises (or other chocolate candies), unwrapped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt. Add the cherry juice and the almond extract until combined. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the cherries.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, and place the balls on a baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart. If you'd like a little extra sweetness you can either sprinkle sugar on top of the balls or roll them in sugar. Bake the cookies until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 14 minutes.

Once removed from the oven, press a chocolate candy into each cookie’s center. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

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