These Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies are one of my family’s favorite Christmas cookies! We’ve been making these festive, melt-in-your mouth cookies for as long as I can remember.
Being a mom of a boy is (in my experience) completely different from being a mom of girls. My William is 3 ½ right now and just bursting with energy. He’s on the floor all day long, pushing his cars and trucks around, building roads with blocks, and giving (many times not-so-gentle) hugs to his little sister. And don’t even get me started on the pee on the bathroom floor. 😉
I’m home with William and Hannah on Mondays and Tuesdays, and I’ve learned to expect that I won’t get much done besides taking care of the kids, getting food on the table, and maybe washing a load or two of laundry on those days. Folding that laundry and putting it away? Forget about it.
Last week I was feeling ambitious so I decided to bake these Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies on a Tuesday. I originally posted this recipe five(!) years ago, and the photos desperately needed an update. William loves to help me in the kitchen, so I figured we could bake the cookies together.
He helped me to mix up the dough, but when it came time to roll out the cookies he was more interested in flying his paper airplane. He even flew it into my bowl of chopped walnuts. Oops! He said, “It’s ok, Mom, I just brushed the nuts off my plane.” Thanks, buddy.
The recipe for these Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies has been in my family for years. Every year my mom, sisters, and I get together to bake dozens of Christmas cookies and these festive cookies are always included. Since we’ve had children, the kids get to join in on the fun.
These Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies are especially fun to make with kids because there are lots of jobs that are good for little hands. Rolling the dough into balls, rolling the balls in the chopped nuts, and pressing the maraschino cherry half on top of each cookie are all jobs that you can delegate to your eager helpers!
My mom has the original copy of this recipe, handwritten on a recipe card by my great-grandmother. Seeing this recipe card is like listening to a story told by my great-grandma. It’s the type of old-fashioned recipe that’s not too specific, saying things like “nuts,” but not specifying which kind. We’ve always rolled these cookies in chopped walnuts but pecans would be delicious as well. I’ve stayed true to the original recipe except to swap the shortening out for butter. I just love the flavor that real butter adds to these cookies.
What special traditions do you have with your family this time of year? I’m looking forward to my family’s cookie baking day, and to more of these Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies! We’ll also be baking our other favorite holiday cookies: Butter Snowballs, Chocolate Crinkles, and Candy Cane Cookies. Do you have a favorite holiday cookie?
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
- Maraschino cherries, halved
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter and cream cheese together. Add sugar, egg, and almond extract and mix until well combined. Sift dry ingredients together over the mixer bowl; mix on lowest speed until combined.
- Chill dough for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Form dough into 1 inch balls. (Cookies turn out best when the dough balls are tiny.) Roll each ball in the chopped walnuts and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press a half cherry into each cookie.
- Bake for 9-12 minutes, until barely set and lightly golden on the bottom. Be careful not to over-bake.