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Cherry-Almond Cookies

Cherry-Almond CookiesThese festive cherry-flavor cookies taste as great as they look. With their sweet maraschino cherries and smooth cream cheese frosting, they'll disappear before you know it.

Recipe Ingredients:

Cookies:
30 maraschino cherries with stems
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (2 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped candied cherries

Cherry-Almond Frosting:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, plus 1/2 to 1 cup additional
1 tablespoon cherry liqueur or milk

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Cookies: Place maraschino cherries on paper towels to drain while preparing cookies. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine butter and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, almond extract, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in half of the flour just until combined. Beat in candied cherries and the remaining flour.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/2 inch thick. Using a 1 1/2 to 2-inch fluted round cutter, cut out dough. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely.
  5. Pipe or spoon Cherry-Almond Frosting onto cookie centers. Top each cookie with a maraschino cherry.
  6. For Cherry-Almond Frosting: In a medium bowl combine cream cheese and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Gradually beat in 2 cups powdered sugar. Beat in cherry liqueur or milk. Gradually beat in 1/2 to 1 cup additional powdered sugar to make a frosting of spreading consistency.

Makes 30 to 36 cookies.

To Store: Layer unfrosted cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw cookies, if frozen. Frost and top cookies as directed in Step 5.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/30 of recipe): 179 kcal cal., 8g fat (5g sat. fat, 2g monounsatured fat), 21mg chol., 79mg sodium, 26g carb., 15g sugar, 1g protein.

Recipe and photograph provided by Better Homes and Gardens - BHG.com a member of the Home and Family Network for the best of cooking, gardening, decorating and more. © Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved.