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 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!
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!
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What You Need to Make Chocolate Cherry Fudge Cookies
- Flour –– all purpose flour
- Cocoa powder — make sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder for baking
- Baking soda
- Sugar — white granulated sugar
- Maraschino cherries — keep the juice because we’ll use that too!
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Sweetened condensed milk
Kitchen Tools Used
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.
Press down on center of each cookie dough ball with your thumb to make an indentation.
Drain the jar of maraschino cherries, reserving the juice.
Place one cherry in the center of each cookie.
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.
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.
Transfer to a 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!)
More of our favorite old-fashioned cookie recipes:
Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookie Recipe (Printable Copy)
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Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies
- Cookie Sheet
- Wire cooling rack
- Mixing bowls
- 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
- 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.
- Press down on center of dough with your thumb.
- Drain maraschino cherries, reserving the juice
- Place a cherry in the center of each cookie.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove to wire rack to cool.
Pin this chocolate cherry cookie with fudge icing recipe on Pinterest:
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