Christmas Cherry Cookies

by Brittany Kirby on December 21, 2011

My friend from graduate school, Ellen Solorzano, sent us this incredible cookie recipe. Ellen is a fabulous baker and makes hundreds of cookies to give away to friends and family during the holidays each year. Here is the beautiful message she included with her recipe.

“When I was 4 I lost both my parents in a car crash (I was in the car, but survived.) Life after that was often stressful living, but summers and holidays were wonderful,magical times because I got to visit my maternal grandparents (whom I dearly loved).  One of my most cherished memories is baking with my grandmother.  I remember being too small to reach the counter, so she would drag over a small workbench and stand me up on it (steadying me so that I wouldn’t fall) and help me from start to finished product (which we always sampled together for quality control purposes).  Every Christmas we would bake cookies to give to family and friends.  Although my grandparents are long gone, I continue to feel close to them through traditions such as baking and sending holiday cookies to family and close friends.  Over the years I have gotten many calls saying how they have helped to brighten people’s spirits and how much they are anticipated each year.  It’s a wonderful tradition that I hope to pass on to my grandchildren in the future.”

1/2 cup soft butter

1/3 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. grated lemon rind

2 tsp. grated orange rind

1 Tbl. lemon juice

1 cup sifted flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ground walnuts

Contectioners sugar frosting (see below)

Candied cherry halves

To make confectioners sugar frosting:  Use confectioners sugar, add a drop or two of vanilla, then mix in a little bit of hot water until it spreads easily.

To make the cookies:  Cream butter, and gradually beat in brown sugar.  Add egg yolk, vanilla, fruit rinds and lemon juice.  Sift together the flour and salt.  Add to the butter mixture along with the ground walnuts,  Chill at least one hour in the refrigerator.  Form into 48 small balls and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes.

When cool, put a little frosting in the center of each cookie.  Top each half with a candied cherry.

Note: I used a small melon baller to scoop the cookie dough into balls, and came up with 24 insted of 48.  I think the ground walnuts give these cookies a special texture and richness.

 

 

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