Maraschino Cherry Cookies


Don’t we all have a love/hate affair with maraschino cherries? As children, we coveted them…untouchable, swimming with impossibly cheerful insouciance in the refrigerator door. If we sneak just one, will anyone notice? As adults – especially those who’ve taken on, or been given the mantle of “foodie” – we want to loathe their chemically-induced neon blush. But we can’t. Our inappropriate lust for them is permanently ingrained within our reptilian toddler brains. (Toddlers are reptilians, right?)

Maraschino cherries do have a regal lineage that, like many fine foods, involves a bit of European history, an heirloom cherry variety, plenty of royalty, and an obscure Croatian liqueur. But also like many fine foods, we Americans “improved” it, stripping out any vestige of authenticity and replacing it with corn syrup and dye sometime during the 1940’s. But let’s not denigrate our scientific culinary forefathers. Audacious ingenuity is why we won two world wars, people.

Every few years the New York Times or some other elitist publication (which we love) will publish an article attempting to elevate, recreate, or variate this garish mid-century American cousin of the original preserved Marasca cherry. Food bloggers urge us to source the original liqueur and spend months preserving a historically accurate maraschino throwback. But we reject these attempts. The American Refrigerator Door Maraschino Cherry is so brazen in its artificiality that it’s ultimately excusable for being, well, phony. They exist, really, for no other reason than their ability to survive for years in the harshest climate on earth – a refrigerator full of dull, workaday leftovers. And even though they literally stare in the face of boring foodstuffs like skim milk, squeezable yogurt, limp celery and chicken carcasses, day after day after day…they still retain their cheery, voluptuous allure.

They are, quite simply, your refrigerator’s World War II pin-up girls.

Maraschino Cherry Kisses Sandwich Cookies


We developed this recipe for Cherry Kiss Sandwich Cookies to encourage you to give in to their siren call and use up that jar that's been sitting in your fridge forever. It uses both the cherries and their juice, because as sinful as these jars of jewels may be, it's even more sinful to waste any of them.

Prep time: 1 Hour
Cook time: 9 Min
Total time: 1 Hour 30 Min


For the cookies:
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ¾ sticks,) chopped into rough ¾ inch cubes
1 ½ cups sugar
1 large egg
3 teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup drained maraschino cherries, chopped coarsely (reserve syrup.)

For the cream filling:
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ¾ sticks,) chopped into rough ¾ inch cubes
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup maraschino cherry syrup (from the jar)


In medium bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking soda. In mixing bowl of stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla thoroughly. Add in dry flour mixture, in thirds, beating on medium speed. Once dough is combined, stir in chopped cherries carefully. Do not over-mix, or cherries will break apart.

Chill in dough refrigerator for 20 minute. Preheat oven to 350F.

Once chilled, remove and roll balls from approx 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of dough each. Set balls on baking sheet, approximately 3 inches apart. Place trays in freezer for 20 minutes until dough balls are very well chilled.

Bake in oven for approx 8-10 minutes, rotating tray one time during baking. When cookies are just set and beginning to brown, remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, the transfer to rack to cool completely.

Make cream filling. In bowl of stand mixer, beat together the butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla until combined. Add cherry syrup slowly, and mix until combined. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

To make sandwich cookies, spread approximately 1 tablespoon of cream filling on the flat side of one cookie. Choose a second cookie of roughly the same size and press flat side into cream filling until filling spreads to reach the edges of cookies.



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  • By: Beth

    Made these for the first time and they came out fabulous! I followed the recipe to a tee and they look just like the picture. A perfect Valentine’s treat. This is a keeper for sure!

  • By: Suzanne Koba

    Looks very good, like Jan Martin I am planning on adding chocolate pieces. How do you feel about substituting splenda with half of regular sugar? Is there a better substitute you would recommend? Thank you.

    • By: Dr. Brent

      Hi, Suzanne. We’ve never tried it with Splenda, so please let us know how it turns out.

  • By: Jessica

    Love this recipe gonna try to make them gluten free for my class

  • By: R

    I made these last year and what a hit they were! I’ll be making them again this Valentines season. Thanks for passing along a great recipe! Ron

  • By: Sally Latimer

    Is this recipe in your cookbook? My husband loves cherry anything as do I . Gotta make these but am afraid I’ll lose this recipe before I get a chance to copy it.

    • By: Dr. Brent

      Hi, Sally. This recipe is not in the cookbook, but you will always be able to find it here on our webiste. It’s not going anywhere

  • By: Jan Martin

    I made these for valentines day for my husband. He loves cherries and dark chocolate. I added dark chocolate chips to the cookie batter. They came out great. He loved them. Thanks for providing the recipe.

  • By: Ann Patrice O'Shaughnessy

    My dad was home on leave during WWII. I was 3 or 4 years old. I remember sneaking into the kitchen pantry with him, sitting on the floor and eating an entire bottle of Maraschino cherries with him. He had to leave that night, and while on the train broke out into a terrible case of hives. Looking back, those hives were probably from war nerves, but he swore for the rest of his life that it was those cherries! I will make these cookies in his honor. Thanks!

  • By: Cookie

    And here I thought I was the only one sneaking those cherries!!!!!

  • By: Mandy Parker

    Made these for Valentine’s Day and they were super cute and tasted great. Be sure to use a small cookie scoop. I used one that was too large and the cookies spread too far. They tasted great but looked a bit sloppy. The cookies were reportedly wonderful with or without the icing. I also used the left-over icing/filling between Martha’s sugar cookies for an extra treat. No complaints from my cookie eaters!

  • By: Christie Hufstedler Boyd

    I loved the cookies except the filling was so sweet, we couldn’t eat them. I will make the cookies again and leave out the filling. I will also reduce the butter content some, they were a tad…errrr, greasy. My husband’s favorite fruit is cherries. I loved the cookies too. If he said the filling was too sweet, it was extraordinarily sweet.

    Cheryl, I am going to only put 1 and 1/4 stick of butter in the dough. You might want to try that too, it is the fat content that makes them spread so thinly.

  • By: Cheryl

    Would love to know what I did wrong. Followed the recipe precisely and cookies spread out so much that they are falling apart getting off the parchment paper.

    • By: Dr. Brent

      Hi, Cheryl

      Did you put your dough in the freezer to keep the butter hard? Usually when cookies spread out while making it’s because the butter in the dough was too warm when it went into the oven

      • By: Cheryl

        Yes I did. My husband says they taste great, but they certainly don’t look like the ones in the pic! I will try again.

        • By: Michele

          Did you use real butter sticks, I had a friend that said she just can not bake, found out she was using the margarine in the tub, instead of butter sticks or even sticks of margarine, I do think there is a difference between butter and margarine in the final product.

  • By: Brenda Jones

    Since my husband cannot have chocolate, I made these cookies this morning for him for Valentine’s Day. They are as fabulous as the picture (and the Beekman Boys). I think they will become a tradition for the one I love.

  • By: Sara Ann

    The recipe calls for TABLESPOONS of vanilla! Really?? Tablespoons?? Whew!

  • By: Kayley

    I adore cherries! When my grampa was dying of cancer the only thing that he liked to eat was cherry shakes my grama would make. Cherries remind me now of those precious moments spent with the man who was my father figure before I lost him.
    I want to make these with my gram, but freezer space is low! Can they do without? Just the fridge again? Help! ♡

  • By: Cynthia

    I’m SO ‘hooked’ on getting these emails from this site…

  • By: cris

    OMG..thank you for such a great recipe and wonderful memories. My Grandfather introduced me to cherries while he tended bar at the local Elks Club. I was 6 years old that fateful day..and ate about 2 jars. My mother about had the “big one” as I was sick all night long. BUT..that didn’t stop my love for cherries. Now,57 years later,I am still a cherry freak! I consider cherries as my major fuit choice for the day. Love swinging open the old refrig door and seeing those “old so bad for you” gleaming red balls on a stem! also congrats on winning the Amamzing Race. You all are AMAZING and so glad you can finally be together on the farm! Thanks again for all the great recipes!

  • By: Jane

    I love maraschino cherries. Got to make these! I consider eating these cherries as one fruit serving as we are guided to have on the food pyramid!

  • By: Kathy

    Wish me luck guys….trying them on Saturday or Sunday this week.

  • By: adonaisbeauties

    Awesome, another one I’ll have to try 😉 Hubby might not care to eat them, but I’m sure kids will love em and I know I would 😉

  • By: Michele

    Will be making these for my husband, for Valentines Day. What will you come up with next, can’t wait to see, love to both of you and every living thing at the Beekman farm.

  • By: cynthia50

    When my daughter was about six we took her to a fancy restaurant. The bartender must have been a bit smitten with Bella because he put 12 maraschino cherries in her Shirley Temple. She was in heaven (what six-year-old wouldn’t have been?), but it ruined all future Shirley Temples for her since they were only served with one or two cherries. These cookies will take her back to that glorious moment in time of maraschino cherry delight!

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