Cherry Hearts

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Cherry Hearts
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  1. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
  6. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  1. 12 red maraschino cherries, finely chopped
  2. ¼ cup red maraschino cherry juice
  3. ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  4. ½ cup granulated sugar
  5. 4½ teaspoons cornstarch
  6. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar; cream together until mixture appears light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt; stir to mix.
  2. Form dough into a 6 inch flattened disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
  1. In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, cherry juice, orange juice, sugar, cornstarch, and butter; bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula so the mixture does not burn. Boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat. Cool, and then refrigerate to chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Baking sheets may be ungreased, lined with parchment paper, or lined with a non-stick baking mat.
  1. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a ⅛ inch thickness. Cut dough into hearts or other desired shapes using a 2½ inch cookie cutter that has been dipped in flour (to help prevent dough from sticking to the cutter.)
  2. Place one half of the cutout dough shapes 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Spoon about ½ teaspoon of the chilled cherry filling in the center of each cookie.
  3. Using a 1 inch heart shaped cookie cutter that has been dipped in flour, cut out the center of the remaining 2½ inch cutouts. Place over the filled cookies and gently press the edges together. Fill the centers with additional filling if needed. Re-roll the scraps, or bake the 1 inch heart shapes separately.
  4. Bake: Bake 10 minutes or until cookies are set and the edges are very lightly browned. Remove cookies from baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on a wire cooli
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