Friday, February 1, 2013

Cherry Chocolate Kisses

I got the idea for these cookies here.  I saw the photo on Pinterest and thought they looked divine.  But the recipe is for a shortbread-type cookie and that is not what I wanted.  So I decided to tweak my Almond Chocolate Kiss Cookies recipe, which makes soft and chewy cookies.  And it worked!  Well, not at first.

I got the dough right, but I followed my original recipe's directions to bake the cookies for 8 minutes, push in the Hershey Kisses, and then bake for 3 minutes more.  Mistake.  Why?  Because I used Hershey's Cherry Cordial Kisses and they do not hold up to heat like the regular milk chocolate ones do.  They burn!  But this is an easy fix.  Instead of adding the Kiss midway through baking, I just added it at the very end.  Problem solved.

I also made the balls of dough a little too big.  They should be about an inch in diameter - I was being hasty and made them more like an inch and half.  You'll get more cookies (and a greater ratio of chocolate to cookie) if you stick to 1 inch.

CHERRY CHOCOLATE KISSES
inspired by The Curvy Carrot

2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries
1 bag Hershey's Cherry Cordial Kisses (or regular Kisses)
1/3 cup sugar (for rolling)

First drain the cherries, reserving 4 teaspoons of syrup.  Pat cherries dry with paper towels and chop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat, if desired.

In a large bowl, cream shortening, sugar, and almond extract.  Add egg and reserved cherry syrup; beat until light and fluffy.  Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together and blend into creamed mixture.  Fold in chopped cherries.

Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar.  Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.  Press a Kiss into the center of each cookie and let cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.  One bag of Kisses will be enough for 2 batches of cookies.

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