Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Time to Make Cookies

I was busy making cookies today. I made Swedish Limpa Rye Bread yesterday. I have made Stollen bread. I've made Kolach Rolls. But today, I made cookies. I frosted my roll cookies first, I made Bourbon Balls, and then got busy making Cherry Bon Bons for my husband the "cherry fiend". The man loves maraschino cherries. I like them too, but not to the extent he does. His mom loved cherries also, and she gave me the recipe for these cookies, so I could make them.

Because Mom Rawstern loved maraschino cherries so much is likely the reason she gave me the recipe the way she did. It had 4 tablespoons of cherry juice in the dough. I would make these cookies year after year, having never seen any but the ones I made. Mine turned out looking like hats with a wide brim. Reminded me quite a lot of the animated movie about the Little Prince, who drew a boa constrictor digesting an elephant... everyone thought it was a hat. My poor cookies were trying to digest a cherry.

I digress. As it turns out, I found last year from my sister-in-law that the recipe should only have 2 tablespoons of cherry juice.  Much harder to work with the dough, I admit, but now the cookies come out looking far better. They now come out as pretty little mounds, and no longer remind me of The Little Prince.

Cherry Bon Bons

Cherry Bon Bons
26 - 28 Maraschino Cherries (one small jar)
½ Cup Butter, softened
¾ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
2  Tablespoons Cherry Juice
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1½ Cups All-Purpose Flour

Pinch Salt

Drain the maraschino cherries in a sieve over a bowl, catching the juice.  Let cherries drain for a few minutes, then place 3 - 4 layers of paper toweling on a large plate and put cherries on the toweling to drain further. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in the cherry juice and vanilla.  Combine the flour and salt and gradually add to the creamed mixture.
Divide dough into approximately 26 - 28 portions. Roll each portion into a ball, then hollow out the center. Fit in one cherry, then seal the opening completely. (At this point, you may roll them in little sprinkles, or colored sugar, or leave them plain and pipe icing over them later). Place on baking sheets about 2-inches apart.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until completely set. Remove to wire racks to cool.

NOTES: Terry’s Mom always rolled her cookies in the little hard multicolored sprinkles.  Online I have seen the same recipe with no sprinkles, but a pretty piped icing over top instead.  Your choice.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website, on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.