Home » Cherry Thumbprint Cookies with Fudge Icing

Cherry Thumbprint Cookies with Fudge Icing

These Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies have been favorite in our family for years! Rich, brownie-like chocolate cookies with a maraschino cherry in the middle and fudge icing — they are a decadent chocolate treat!

chocolate fudge cookies with cherry in the middle

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

This is my daughter Stacey’s favorite Christmas cookie of all time!

I found this recipe in my local newspaper about 30 years ago and it has been on our holiday baking list every year since!

Funny story: One time I was making them for a church cookie exchange and I made a double batch to donate.

After they were all done, I had the cookies baked and cooling on racks on the dining room table. At some point I left the room and when I came back, I discovered that my toddler had stuck her finger in each and every cookie! The kids have always liked these cookies!

So, I had to make them all over again!

But they are so delicious that it was totally worth it!

chocolate cookies with maraschino cherries in the middle

What is a Cherry Thumbprint Cookie?

Just like the name implies, each cookie has a thumbprint in the middle. Before baking, you make an indentation in the middle of each ball of cookie dough. This is where we’ll place a maraschino cherry and cover it in a thick layer of fudge icing.

These cookies are SO fudgy, almost like a brownie! The cherry is a perfect complement to the chocolate and the decadent frosting pulls it all together.

They’re essentially a chocolate covered cherry, in cookie form! If you love cherry cordials, then you will love these cookies!

chocolate cherry cookies with fudge icing

For your convenience in re-creating this recipe at home, we’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products and supplies used. Read our disclosure policy here.

What You Need to Make Chocolate Cherry Fudge Cookies

  • Flour –– all purpose flour
  • Cocoa powder — make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder for baking
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Butter 
  • Sugar — white granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla
  • Maraschino cherries — keep the juice because we’ll use that too!
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sweetened condensed milk

Kitchen Tools Used

chocolate cookie cut in half to reveal cherry in the middle

How to Make Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints

In large bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and soda. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar on low speed until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, mixing until well incorporated.

For the dough into 1-inch balls and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.

chocolate cookie dough balls on baking sheet

Press down on center of each cookie dough ball with your thumb to make an indentation.

making thumbprints in chocolate cookies

Drain the jar of maraschino cherries, reserving the juice.

Place one cherry in the center of each cookie.

putting maraschino cherries in the middle of chocolate cookies

In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk and heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 tsp. of cherry juice. If frosting is too thick, you can add a little more cherry juice to make it easier to spread.

chocolate frosting in glass measuring cup

Spoon about a heaping teaspoon of frosting on top of each cookie, gently spreading to cover the cherries.

Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes.

cherry fudge cookies hot out of the oven

Transfer to a wire cooling rack.

chocolate cherry cookies on wire cooling rack

Can I Use Pre-Made Cookie Dough?

I think that it’s hard to beat homemade cookies from scratch and this recipe is one of the best! However, in a pinch you could use store-bought dough.

If using pre-made dough it’s important to chill or freeze the cookie dough before baking. This prevents the dough from spreading too much while cooking and losing their shape.

Another option is to use cake mix, like this Chocolate Cherry Cake Mix Cookie recipe.

But I’m definitely partial to these homemade ones that have been in our family! Soooo worth the effort!! (and as far as cookies go, they’re pretty easy!)

chocolate cherry cookies with fudge icing

More of our favorite old-fashioned cookie recipes:

close up of a cherry in the middle of chocolate cookie

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookie Recipe (Printable Copy)

If you liked this recipe, please rate it! We’d love to hear what you think!

chocolate cookies with maraschino cherries in the middle

Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Sara Garska
Rich, brownie-like chocolate cookies with a maraschino cherry in the middle and fudge icing.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 40
Calories 86 kcal

Equipment

  • Mixer
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa power
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries one 10oz jar, reserve the juice
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk

Instructions
 

  • In large mixing bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and soda.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar on low speed until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to creamed mixture until well blended.
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
    chocolate cookie dough balls on baking sheet
  • Press down on center of dough with your thumb.
    making thumbprints in chocolate cookies
  • Drain maraschino cherries, reserving the juice
  • Place a cherry in the center of each cookie.
    putting maraschino cherries in the middle of chocolate cookies
  • In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk and heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 tsp. of cherry juice.
    chocolate frosting in glass measuring cup
  • Spoon about 1 tsp. of frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover each cherry.
  • If frosting is too thick, you can add a little more cherry juice.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until done.
    cherry fudge cookies hot out of the oven
  • Remove to wire rack to cool.
    chocolate cherry cookies on wire cooling rack

Nutrition

Calories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 32mgPotassium: 65mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 25IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mg
Keyword baking, cherry, chocolate, Christmas, cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Rich, brownie-like chocolate cookies with a maraschino cherry in the middle and fudge icing.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi. I noticed in the instructions it has to mix in the baking powder with the rest of the dry ingredients, but in the ingredients baking powder isn’t listed. How much baking powder do you put in? Thank you.

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