Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

By Polly Conner
February 5, 2019

This Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookie recipe comes from our friend, Lauren Smith, author of Taste of Amercia: 50 States, 50 Cookies. We’re thankful she’s sharing this delightful cookie recipe with us today. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Every Valentine’s Day, my grandma would send a box of cookies to each of her grandchildren. It was one of her many ways of loving us.  She would carefully select a variety of recipes to combine into her signature cookie sampler, then spend hours in the kitchen baking them. Grandma wrapped them in waxed paper, the particular crinkle of that variety of paper is still nearly palpable to my fingertips, and set them in a box to entrust to the local postal carrier. I fondly remember the excitement of finding those boxes on my parents’ front step and the eagerness with which we opened them to discover which delicious cookies she had sent that year.

This is who my Grandma was. An encourager. She sent love with handwritten notes. And cookies. This is a part of who I want to be. And a part of why I wrote a cookbook.

Chocolate cookies on a baking sheet with cherries in a bowl

I selected cookies as the basis for my book because they are easily shareable. One for me, some for you. Sharing the product of one’s baking efforts is truly enjoyable!

Each of the recipes in my cookbook, “A Taste of America: Fifty States, Fifty Cookies” reflects a state based on that state’s main agricultural product, a historical event from that state, unique geological features, etc. While I strive to regularly serve nutritious meals comprised of healthy ingredients (isn’t Thriving Home a fantastic resource for that?), it is fun to indulge one’s sweet tooth from time to time.

My cookbook is a collection of recipes designed to have something for everyone and stretch the boundaries of your go-to cookie baking repertoire. Whether you need a quick cookie (Pecan Pie Cookies) or have time for an intricate delicacy (Kuchen Cookies), whether you want a light tea cookie (Pineapple Citrus Cookies with Orange Glaze) or a decadent dessert (Kentucky Derby Cookies), whether you want a mostly nutritious cookie (Sweet Potato Cookies) or an ultra-rich treat (Buckeye Cookies), there is a recipe for you.

Lovingly baked cookies, thoughtfully given, are nearly a love language in themselves. This Valentine’s Day, I am giving you a recipe from my cookbook, “A Taste of America”. It is my hope that as you bake and share them, you feel just a bit of the love and care that went into each of my Grandma’s cookies.


Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

  • Author: Lauren Smith
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 11
  • Total Time: 26 minutes
  • Yield: 36 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking


Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies are delectable, delicate, and doable with your kids! They represent the state of Washington where the majority of sweet cherries are grown and, like each of the recipes in “A Taste of America”, have both a niche for special holidays and everyday occasions alike. Into each bed of cookie dough is nestled a cherry. And, what is the best part of chocolate covered cherries? The chocolate! These cookies are no different. Drizzled onto each chocolate cookie is a rich crown of ganache.



  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can cherry pie filling


  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine (optional)


  1. Into a medium bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until fluffy. Cream in egg, then stir in vanilla until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two to three increments, mixing until thoroughly combined. The dough will be stiff at this point.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  5. Roll dough into 1” balls and place on lined baking sheets. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, a level tablespoon measure of dough produces the perfect size. Press an indentation into top of each cookie, and place a cherry in the center without an excess of syrup.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until just set on the perimeter. Baking beyond this point will result in hard cookies.
  7. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for five minutes, during which time the cookies will continue to bake. After cooling for five minutes, transfer to cooling rack to completely come to room temperature.
  8. While the cookies are cooling, go ahead and make the ganache icing. Over low heat, in a small saucepan, melt together chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Remove from heat once melted.
  9. Add almond extract and grenadine (if using). Stir until smooth. If necessary, add water to reach desired consistency and allow ganache to partially cool.
  10. Spoon slightly-warm icing into icing bag (or Ziploc bag), then cut off small corner. Squeeze icing back and forth over tops of the completely cooled cookies.

Lauren is a wife and mother with a lifelong passion for baking that was instilled in her by her mom and grandmothers. She lives on a small farm with her family, their shelter pup, some honey bees and heritage hens. Dogwood Farm is a place where simple pleasures are the zest of daily life. You are invited to follow along life on her little Midwest farm on Facebook (@tasteofamericablog) and Instagram (@tasteofamerica). Her cookbook, “A Taste of America: Fifty States, Fifty Cookies”, is available at

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4 replies
    • Lauren Smith says:

      Great question! You definitely can. Because maraschino cherries do not have the thick syrup on them that pie filling cherries do, they might dry out just a little more on the surface while baking. But, it is a fantastic option for a substitute especially if you prefer that kind of cherry or if you already have some on hand. Enjoy!

  1. Jenn @ Blessed and Busy says:

    These look delicious (can you hear my chocolate obsession coming out??) We just started having my two year old join us in baking our Christmas cookies. She’s so good at it and she loves it so much. This will give us a great opportunity to make a new cookie tradition for Valentine’s Day. Thank you!

    • Lauren Smith says:

      I love baking with kiddos, too! While it can be a bit messy, seeing their interest and joy in helping is so sweet. And, there are such delicious results to be had. I hope you and your little girl make lasting memories while building your baking traditions together. Enjoy!