These delicious cookies are all about the chocolate covered cherry, a favorite candy of my mom’s dad. He and my grandma were nice enough to cart me around after my car was stolen last month! I threw together these cookies to repay them. The cookies are flavored with cocoa and real cherry bits. The filling is flavored and tinted with real cherry juice. If you consider bright red sugar acid ‘real.’ Top with a cherry cordial-filled Hershey kiss and you’re all set!
The name ‘cordial’ comes from cor, which means ‘heart’ in Latin. It is used to refer to a medicinal tonic. Cordials were believed to stimulate the heart and improve circulation. By the 1700’s, in England, cordials were also thought to aid in indigestion and were considered aphrodisiacs. Around this time, in France, a confection called griottes were being developed. They consisted of a sour griotte cherry dipped in chocolate.
Next, the candy travelled to the U.S. where Americans had the idea to soak the cherries in liqueurs before covering them in chocolate. A specific type of liqueur was referred to as ‘cordial’ by Americans. It was particularly strong and used crushed cherries steeped in sugar and alcohol. The thick, syrupy cordial was often added to something else to make a mixed drink.
These days, cherry cordials are mostly alcohol-free, instead using a syrupy, sugar-based soak and filling. Many candy companies also make cherry cordial-inspired versions. I used one from Hershey’s in these cookies!
January 3rd is National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day. Sorry I’m a little late! You can always enjoy these treats next year on the holiday but I’d suggest testing them out before then. They’re so yummy! The pink filling also makes this a cute Valentine’s Day treat.
More cherry cordial desserts:
Cherry Cordial Thumbprints
Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies: (Also yummy alone! Just form into small patties and skip the thumbprint step.)
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup maraschino cherries, well drained and finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice (liquid from the jar of cherries)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 teaspoons milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon maraschino cherry juice
Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies:
Cream together butter and sugar.
Add cherries, egg, milk and juice.
In a separate bowl, sift or whisk together flour, cocoa and salt.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.
Chill dough overnight or for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Drop by tablespoonful onto greased cookie sheet.
Press thumb gently into center of each cookie to make a deep indentation.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. (Check the cookies halfway through the baking time. If necessary, reform the thumbprint indentations with a greased spoon.)
Remove to wire rack and allow to cool completely before filling.
Combine all ingredients except Hershey’s Kisses and beat until smooth.
Spoon about a ½ teaspoon of filling into each thumbprint.
Gently press a kiss into each filled thumbprint.