Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies
These 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.
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! D We’ll also be baking our other favorite holiday cookies.
More Christmas Cookies:
- Snowball Cookies
- Molasses Cookies
- Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
- Cream Cheese Cookies
- White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
- Candy Cane Cookies
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Sugar Cookies
Cherry Cream Cheese Cookies
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ½ 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.
I’m sure your son loved helping with these cookies! Your pictures are just gorgeous, too. I love the combination of cherries and cream cheese. What a fun and festive cookie, Kristine!
Thank you so much, Gayle! I love that he loves to help me in the kitchen. 🙂
I think I’m going to try these for Christmas, but I’m going to use Graham cracker crumbs then nuts. I’m not a fan. I think this will be a good addition to the pies my husband will probably make.
The graham cracker crumbs are such a great idea! What a delicious nut-free option. I hope you love these cookies as much as my family does, Joy! Merry Christmas!
Family recipes are the best – especially when they’re for melt in your mouth cookies 🙂 these look amazingly delicious!
I completely agree! Thanks, Rachel!
There’s just no beating a grandma’s recipes! I have so many tattered and torn recipes on notecards that pretty much look exactly like that—absolutely the best kind of recipes for sure. 😉 I cannot even wait to try these cookies! I love their size and the cherry in the middle is so cute!
Thanks, friend! Those old recipe cards are priceless!
Awww so cute. And good that William’s paper airplane was fine! Hahaha! Kids 🙂 These cookies are so pretty, Kristine! We haven’t really mad had enough time as a family to call anything a holiday tradition so far, but I’m excited to see what’s going to stick 🙂
Thank you, Nora! Creating new traditions is so much fun!
These are so pretty and festive!! And I’m obsessed with anything almond-flavored so they sound awesome. Family recipes are just the best!
Thank you, Jess! I love adding almond extract to baked goods!
Cherries are one of my favorite addition to cookies so I can’t wait to sink my teeth into these! 🙂
William sounds like my youngest when he was that age, and to this day he still likes to help me in the kitchen (my oldest not so much)! What a sweet story, and I love all the tradition behind this recipe. And those handwritten recipe cards are SO special! These cookies look so delicious, Kristine. 🙂
Thank you so much for your sweet words, Marcie! I hope William will still like to help me in the kitchen as he gets older!
When you say small..hiw small? Thanks
Hi Veronica, I roll mine about 1 inch wide.
Cream cheese today comes in 8 oz. packages. Do you just use half a package? Or do you actually weigh out 3 oz.?
Most packages of cream cheese have markings in 1 ounce increments on the package, making it easy to cut off a 3 ounce portion. If yours doesn’t have those markings, I’d recommend marking it halfway, and then using 3/4 of a half package. That will be 3 ounces out of the 8. 🙂
I used 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening and followed everything else to a T. These cookies are delicious! My husband took them to work and a coworker asked to take some home to her husband! (yea, right!) Great recipe! Its a keeper!
I’m so glad that you, your husband, and his coworkers enjoyed these cookies! I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. 🙂
What can be used instead of cherries? The main recipe sound fabulous, as I am a huge fan of anything cream cheese! Cherries, on the other hand, not so much! My brain is cooked from holiday baking and I just am out of ideas, but I’ve got to try this somehow.
I bet jam would be delicious! Before baking, make a small indentation in the center of each cookie and spoon in a little bit of your favorite jam. Let me know how they turn out. 😉
Do you use salted or unsalted butter? I’m very excited to make these for cookie trays. Thanks so much!
I use unsalted butter. Enjoy!
Do you think these cookies would freeze well?
I’ve never tried freezing these, but I think they would. Let me know if you try.
I’m making them right now….and boy I can’t wait to taste them ?
I hope you love them!
Kristine, I have been baking cookies for 40+ years and these are a wnner! The dough is so easy and versatile! I followed your recipe and on the last batch dipped in sprinkles for my grandkids who only like peanut butter but not regular nuts. Will add this to my cookie faves and used the dough recipe for other variations. Thanks and have a great Christmas!
Hi Jackie, Thank you for trying this recipe and for letting me know how it turned out! That is a good idea to use sprinkles for the kids! Merry Christmas!
Looks beautiful. Do theses taste like thumbprint cookies.
Are they soft or crumbly Thanks!
No, these don’t taste like thumbprint cookies. They are soft, not crumbly. They’re delicious!
I found this recipe on Pinterest about 2 or 3 years ago and have been using it ever since. I have made it following the recipe exactly, sometimes I leave out the cherries (for my kids) and just press the center down, and I have also rolled them in graham crackers instead of nuts (tastes like a cheesecake in cookie form)! They have always turned out delicious and I always get asked for the recipe! This is seriously the yummiest and most versatile cookie ever!
The graham crackers are a great idea! I’m so glad you enjoy this recipe! 🙂
I made this recipe today, it’s wonderful! It will most definitely be a new favorite at my house! Can you tell me if it needs refrigeration or are they okay to store in an airtight container on the counter?
Thank you again!
Hi Robin, I am so glad that you love them! I always store these in an airtight container on the counter. I find that they stay fresh for about a week. Enjoy!
Can you freeze these?
Yes, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
Have you ever tried candied cherries in this recipe? I bought them
then re-read the Ingredients and realized you used maraschino cherries.
I also was thinking of rolling them in unsweetened ground coconut, since I have a tree nut allergy, but the graham cracker nut free option sounds like a good one too. Will let you know how they work out. Thanks for sharing you family recipe. Lynne
I haven’t tried using candied cherries. I hope you enjoy the cookies!
I love these cookies! And everyone who tries them just love them! Thank you so much for the awesome recipe, I dont like cherries so I put diced strawberries or blueberries, they come out great! I wanted to ask you, for how long can I store the dough in the fridge before baking them? Thanks a lot! Greetings from Chile!
I’m so glad you love these cookies! You can store the dough for up to 48 hours in the fridge before baking.
Thank You so much for you quick reply!
How long does these cookies keep for?
They will keep for about a week at room temperature. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. Enjoy!
I’ll be sure to try these, if only because the handwriting on that recipe card looks precisely like my Grandmother’s! I have many of her recipes that I use each year, mostly during the holiday season. Thanks!
I hope you enjoy them! Those family recipe cards are priceless!