Cherry CookiesClick to Play

Cherry Cookies

Biscotti di Ciliege

Mary Ann Esposito

MAKES 4½ TO 5 DOZEN

Dried cherries soaked in almond liqueur, and spooned between my mother's cookie dough, produced the most delicious of her dozens of Christmas cookies. I loved them so much that I could not wait for Christmas. When the need to bite into one of these came on strong, I quietly entered the back room where these cookies were stored in large gleaming tin cans and helped myself.

These are good keepers and can be made 2 weeks ahead. Dried cherries are available in gourmet food shops. Sour cream has been substituted for Italian heavy cream, panna doppia, which has a thicker consistency.

DOUGH

6 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup sour cream

FILLING

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) dried tart cherries
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur

DIRECTIONS

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter or margarine, sugar, and extract until light colored. Add the lemon zest and sour cream, and beat until well blended. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, mixing well until a ball of dough is formed. (You may need to finish mixing by hand since this is a heavy dough.) Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 2 hours.

In a bowl, marinate the cherries in the liqueur for at least 30 minutes. In a food processor, blender, or by hand, grind the cherries to a paste and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease 4 cookie sheets.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Working with one piece at a time on a floured board, roll out to an 18-inch circle. Use a 3-inch round or fluted cookie cutter to make circles. Use a 1-inch round cookie cutter to cut out a hole in the center of half the circles.

Place about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each whole circle, spreading it slightly. Top each with a circle with the hole. Seal by pressing all around the cookie with a fork. Transfer to a cookie sheet.

Repeat with remaining pieces of dough and re-roll the scraps to make more cookies.

Bake cookies for 20 minutes or until delicately browned. Remove the cookies to cooling racks, then store in airtight containers or freeze for up to 2 months.

Note: These are great for Valentine's Day too; use heart-shaped cutters.

item recipe is featured in Episode 610 of Season 6.

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Comments

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  1. Albert J. Beltz's avatar

    Albert J. Beltz

    | Permalink
    LOOKS GREAT. I REMEMBER THOSE COOKIES WHEN I WAS LITTLE. MY GRANDMOTHER AND MOM MADE THEM. MUST TRY THEM THIS SEASON. MARYANN, YOU DID IT AGAIN. LOVE YOUR WEB SITE. USE TO CATCH ALL YOUR SHOWS ON 45/49 PBS, CAN'T ALWAYS DO THAT NOW, SO THIS WORKS OUT GREAT. IF I WANT TO WATCH A VIDEO AT NIGHT OF ONE OF YOUR SHOWS I CAN.
    THANKS MARYANN AND CREW
  2. Gene Longo's avatar

    Gene Longo

    | Permalink
    Mary Ann -
    I made the cherry cookies in the log shape - iced and decorated them, and they look just like Mrs. Ciarletta's - so this morning could not wait any longer - cut into one - and they are delicious and taste just like how I remember! Thank you - you helped us solve a long lost family recipe! I cannot wait to share with my cousins on Christmas!

    Since I have taken on the role of "family baker" - I do make my Grandmother's "Knots", Sesame Seed, and Anise Cookies. My mother's Biscotti, Aunt Betty's "S" Cookies, and Pete Muro's Pizzelles! On Christmas Eve morning I will bake 12 loaves of the sweet Christmas bread that my brothers and their families wait for - great memories of my Mother baking it to have with Christmas breakfast! It is such a wonderful time to bring back memories of family and friends and keep up the traditions. Buono Natale!
  3. Sharon's avatar

    Sharon

    | Permalink
    Your brother would like a batch of his favorite cherry cookies ASAP! The picture brought back fond memories.

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