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+ servings
round cookies with cherry in center on baking sheet.
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Cherry Christmas Cookies

A crisp buttery cookie with a sweet maraschino cherry in the center. This simple holiday cookie is a delicious choice for Christmas.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: cherry christmas cookies, maraschino cherry cookies
Servings: 36 cookies
Author: Katie Shaw


  • Baking Sheet
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • extra sugar for rolling
  • 36 maraschino cherries halves 1 jar is enough if you're cutting them in half, otherwise use


  • Prep. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare 3 baking sheets. You do not need parchment or to grease the baking sheets, but parchment makes clean-up easier.
  • Beat wet ingredients and sugar. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take at least 3 minutes using a mixer on medium speed. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Beat 1 minute more.
  • Add dry ingredients. Combine the salt and flour in a separate mixing bowl. Add to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing on low until just combined. The dough should be soft and smooth.
  • Roll into balls. Roll into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in additional sugar. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. (They will spread.) Using your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon, press an indentation into each ball and place a cherry on top.
  • Bake. Bake at 350° for 13-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.


Some people prefer to cut the cherries in half, but we like them whole.  Either way is fine.
Make sure to let the cookies bake until the bottoms are golden brown.