Chocolate Cherry Hearts

When I was in high school I took several years of Spanish class. Our teacher was very generous with extra credit, and one of the ways we could earn some was by bringing chocolate or baked goods to class. Since I love to bake, that was clearly a policy I exploited! After 3 years of Spanish classes I could barely put together a coherent sentence, but the many baked goods I brought to class ensured I made it through with great grades.  The first time I made this cookie recipe was for that class, but I lost the recipe shortly after and haven’t made them since! When I started thinking about what Valentine-themed cookie I wanted to make, these were the first ones I thought of and fortunately I was able to find the recipe again.

Red Velvet is always a popular, and delicious, choice for Valentine’s day, but if you’re looking for something a little different these Chocolate Cherry Hearts are an excellent alternative. The chocolate cookies have a shortbread-like texture and the maraschino cherry frosting tastes good and adds a great pop of color!

Chocolate Cherry Hearts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
Directions
  1. Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the milk, egg, vanilla, and almond and mix until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour until the dough is easy to handle.
  3. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out each cookie and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before moving to a wire rack to cool.
  5. To make the frosting, use a mixer to combine the butter and powdered sugar. Add enough maraschino cherry juice to achieve a spreadable consistency and beat until fluffy, then frost the cookies.
Adapted from Taste of Home
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