Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cherry Topped Cream-Drop Cookies

Printable Recipe
Creamy rich and dense with a soft cake-like texture, these cookies are the same cherry drops my Aunt Essie was making in the 40's and which my mom made in later years for us. I've never tasted another one like these.As a matter of fact it's hard to put them in a category - they're not shortbread, much too soft for that; they're not sugar cookies, too rich in flavor. And they're too sticky to be cut with a cookie cutter, even when refrigerated. But I'm not inclined to go to the trouble of cutting out a cookie most days, anyway. Just give me a dough that tastes fabulous and is intended to be baked as a little blob and my needs are met.

So start this little blob with a stick of butter and a cup of sugar and paddle that till it starts looking creamy.

Here's the rest of the line-up to assemble:
1 egg
2 Tbs Cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Maraschino Cherry halves, drained and patted dry

So, now that the butter-sugar mixture has been creamed, add the egg and 2 Tbs. Cream and 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp lemon extract and blend it in on low untill smooth. Careful with that lemon extract - it's a powerful force and a little goes a loooong way.

Next, the dry ingredients need to be blended well before adding to the dough. I'm of the scoop-and-scrape school of flour measurement because I'm not worried about compacting the flour by scooping it (a very real fear amongst professional flour scoopers) because I scoop it gently and I don't pack it down like it's brown sugar, y'all. Just a gentle scoop and scrape the excess off into a nice big orange bowl. And yes, I have a restaurant server's table crumber that is my favorite scraping device because I'm just that geeky. And because I love to shop in restaurant supply houses because you never know what on earth you'll find in there that you just can't live without .

Where on earth was I? Oh, yeah, the dry ingredients: 2-1/4 cups of flour in a bowl with 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk slowly to blend well and prevent the danger of an evil tasting bit of baking powder in any of the cookies your favorite, sweet mother-in-law might bite into later. Now add to the dough and mix on low, gradually speeding up to medium as the flour incorporates. Maybe throw a kitchen towel over the whole shebang until that powdery mess blends in so you don't flour the walls on the mixer side of the kitchen. Just sayin'.
This is how the dough will look when ready. No need to beat it beyond the point when the flour is completely mixed in. It will be creamy but fairly stiff.
I like to use a small mechanical scoop like a mini ice cream scoop. This one dispenses about a tablespoon of dough. I have them in 2 or 3 sizes because they are the quickest, easiest way to make cookies. So much better than spoons and fingers and rolling dough balls in your buttered hands. Although that butter is really good for dry hands if you just rub in the left overs and then wash up at the sink. You may think I'm joking...
 Press 1/2 Cherry into each of these, slightly flattening the balls as you go. Give them about 8-10 minutes in a 350 oven. Really keep an eye on the first batch to determine time for your particular oven. To keep them tender and moist, they should be baked until just done and not brown at all. They will still have just a little "give" when you poke one with a finger. I often take one out and break it open to see that the dough is cooked through and consistently colored all the way through. If so, and it holds together without crumbling, they're ready!  

1 Stick of Butter
1 Cup of Sugar
1 egg
2 Tbs Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Lemon Extract
1/2 tsp Salt
2-1/4 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Maraschino Cherry halves

We're celebrating the holidays with the Food Network by bringing our cookies to a Virtual Cookie Swap. Just look at these delicious recipes for all the holiday sweets that will be there!

Jones Is Hungry: A Cookie for Chocolate Lovers
From My Corner of Saratoga: Gooey Butter Cookies
The Sensitive Epicure: Speculaas Dutch Windmill Cookies
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Salted Chocolate & Dulce de Leche Fudge
Virtually Homemade: Chocolate Mint Snowballs
Sweet Life Bake: Polvorones de Chocolate
FN Dish: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Bacon Cookies
Thursday Night Dinner: Peppermint Bark Cookies
Mooshu Jenne: Biscotti
Cooking With Elise: Sweet and Salty White Chocolate Cranberry Oat Cookies

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to Aunt Essie. These sound unique and fabulous.
    Happy holidays and toujours bon appetit!


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