CHERRY ALMOND CREAM CHEESE COOKIES

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. almond extract (preferably use Almond Emulsion from LorAnn Oils, it has the best taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries, well drained & patted dry with paper towels (You will use roughly 1/2 of the jar of cherries for this recipe)
  • 4 oz. Vanilla Almond Bark (This should be 2 squares worth)

Directions:

Beat butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract; beat until just combined.
Combine flour and salt. Gradually add flour and salt to butter mixture; beat until combined. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Roll dough into roughly twenty one 1 1/2-inch balls. Using a 1.5 Tablespoon cookie scoop makes this quick and easy. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. With your thumb, press an indentation into the top of each ball. Place a cherry in each indentation.
Bake at 350-f degrees until edges are light golden brown, about 12 – 14 minutes. Let cool on pan about 5 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Melt the vanilla almond bark in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each session, until totally smooth. Scoop into a small ziploc bag and let sit until slightly cooled, about 15 minutes. Snip a tiny corner of the ziploc and drizzle the melted almond bark over the cookies. Let set for about 30 minutes until the almond bark is firm. Store in
an airtight container for up to a week.

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