Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Yes, I realize this photo is really, really terrible.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 jar (10 ounces) maraschino cherries
1 package (6 ounces) (1 cup) real semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk*

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixer bowl, beat butter with electric mixer about 30 seconds or until softened. Add sugar and beat until mixture is fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating well. Shape into 1/2-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheets. Press down center of each ball with your thumb.
Drain cherries, reserving juice, and spread cherries out on paper towels to dry. Cut cherries in half. Place half a cherry in center of each cookie.
In a small saucepan, combine chocolate chips and condensed milk. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons reserved cherry juice. Using pastry bag,** pipe 1 teaspoon frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover cherry. (Frosting may be thinned with additional cherry juice.)
Bake in preheated oven about 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are firm.

Notes:

* My grocery store only had fat free sweetened consensed milk, which I think made the frosting not as pretty as usual (although it may have been my crappy oven… it’s so hard to control the temp in that thing). It still tastes good if you’re looking to make them healthier where you can, but if you’re going for looks I’d stick with the regular stuff.
** I just used two teaspoons to dollop the frosting on each cookie.

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