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Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 ts salt
1/2 ts baking powder
1/4 ts baking soda
10 oz jar maraschino cherries, pitted (48 cherries)
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 egg
2 ts vanilla
1 c semisweet choc chips (6 oz)
1/2 c sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c nuts (walnuts or pecans), finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and soda.
Set aside.

Drain cherries, reserving juice. Use cherry halves, if desired --
cookie will look less lumpy.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium
speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg
and vanilla, and beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients and beat
till combined (mixture will be stiff and form a ball). With a
wooden spoon, mix in nuts.

Shape dough in 1-inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased
cookie sheet. Press down center of each ball with thumb. For
frosting, in a small saucepan combine chocolate pieces and sweetened
condensed milk. Cook and stir over low heat till chocolate is
melted. Make sure chocolate doesn't scorch, you may want to use
a double-boiler instead. Stir in 4 - 6 teaspoons reserved cherry

When assembling cookie, frosting acts like glue to hold cherry.
Either place cherry in cookie's indentation and spread 1 teaspoon
frosting over cherry, making sure cherry is covered; or place a
teaspoon of frosting in indentation and place cherry on top of
frosting. If frosting seems to thick, thin with some cherry juice.

Bake at 350 F about 10 minutes or till edges are firm. Remove and
cool completely on wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


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