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Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Servings: Makes 4 dozen cookies
For these fudgy treats, you spread the frosting on the cookie before baking. Just be sure to use real chocolate (not imitation) because a not-so-real product won't bake properly.

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
48 undrained maraschino cherries (about one 10-ounce jar)
1 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1. In a mixing bowl combine flour and cocoa; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until softened. Add sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until well combined. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheet. Press down center of each ball with thumb. Drain maraschino cherries, reserving juice. Place a cherry in the center of each cookie. In a small saucepan combine the chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk; heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons of the reserved cherry juice.

3. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover cherry. (Frosting may be thinned with additional cherry juice, if necessary.)

4. Bake in 350 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until done. Remove to wire rack; cool. Cover and store at room temperature up to 2 days.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens
Date: January 19, 2003