Baked Chocolate Covered Cherries

These cookies are linked up to, The Farm Chick,  Serena's Cookie Exchange!  

Check out Thrify & Chic Mom! She also has a cookie exchange and a cookbook giveaway!

These little cookies are always made in December for our Christmas Open House.  They are a lot of work and I decided this year that I would not be making them.  I mentioned this to my youngest daughter and she was disappointed!  She said that I had to make them because they are really good and they are a part of our tradition.  She helped make them last year so she will be the one in charge of these!
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Baked Chocolate Covered Cherries
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. margarine, softened (sorry folks but I tried butter and margarine works best)
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
16oz jar Maraschino cherries with stems on (need about 30 cherries separate juice from cherries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, salt, b.powder & b. soda.  Separately, beat together margarine & sugar until fluffy.  Add egg & vanilla.  Gradually add dry ingredients & beat until well blended.  Shape dough into 1-2 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Press thumb into center and put in a cherry.  Cover back up with the dough.  Bake 10-12 minutes and let cool completely.  While baking make frosting.

Frosting (optional)

6 oz pkg. semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
Drained cherry juice

In a small saucepan, combine chocolate and sweetened condensed milk. Heat until chocolate melts.  Stir in 4 tsp. of reserved cherry juice.  Once the cookies come out of the oven, spoon about 1/2-1 tsp over each cherry.

These are very yummy! They just take time to make.
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