Cherry Kiss Cookies!!!

I love chocolate covered cherries so when I saw the recipe for these little yummies, I knew I wanted to make them.  I also thought they would make a perfect cookie for Valentine's Day!!!  My first attempt with the recipe, as written, was a mess.  It looked like one of those "Pinterest fail" memes.  I knew, in my heart, when I was making these by the recipe, as written, it didn't seem right, but the pictures were so pretty and picture!!!   Anywho,  I reconfigured the whole mess, and now it works well and is delicious!!!  

  This is why, I will not post a recipe that I recommend to you, without us making it first!   Many of you have told me how the recipes on the internet are so unreliable and I totally agree!!!  Even some from some of the 'famous' cooks who are on TV and have huge followings I have had to reconfigure to make work, which tells me they couldn't have made those recipes themselves or they would have known they don't work.  

My point is, please know, that I try to never do that to you all!  If it is  not an old tried and true family recipe, we make some of these recipes more than once, to get them just right!!!  You can trust them if you follow the guidelines!

Here is what you will need:

3/4 cups butter, softened to room temperature  (1 and 1/2 sticks)
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbs. maraschino cherry juice
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
1/2 tsp. cherry flavoring (optional for more cherry flavor)
3-4 drops red food coloring (optional)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
30 chocolate Kisses or one for each cookie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick foil and spray lightly with nonstick baking spray.   These cookies can stick if you don't do this.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together.  Add eggs one at a time and mix.   Add the cherry juice, almond flavoring and cherry flavoring.  The cherry flavoring is optional if you like a very cherry flavored cookie.   The cherry juice and cherries give these a light cherry flavor!   The food coloring is also optional for a more vibrant pink color.    I left it out and you can see mine are still pink just not as bright.

Add the flour one cup at a time along with the baking soda and salt.  You can use self rising flour also and skip the baking soda and salt, if that is what you have on hand.   Do NOT skip it with All Purpose flour or the cookies will fall flat.

Mix in the chopped cherries last.   It is best to refrigerate this dough for one hour before baking.  The cookies set up better.  While the dough is chilling unwrap the Kisses so they are ready to go.

When the dough is chilled, scoop out and form into one inch balls all the same size and place one inch apart on cookie sheets. I used a small cookie scoop for this and it worked perfectly.   Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.   These bake really fast so watch them carefully.  When they are done.  Remove and allow to cool for just a few minutes, about 4 or 5 tops, then press a Kiss in the middle of each cookie. You can use any Kisses candies you prefer...milk chocolate, dark chocolate, the Hugs would be great!

Let them cool on the cookie sheets completely before removing to a platter with a spatula.

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