Perfect for any holiday cookie tray, these Old Fashioned Cherry Christmas Cookies are a seasonal classic. This old fashioned slice and bake cookie recipe is pretty as well as delicious. They are also perfect if you like to get ahead, as you can make the dough rolls in late November/early December. Then just stash them in the freezer until it’s time to slice and bake them.
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My late Mom used to make these colourful Cherry Christmas Cookies. I have fond memories of eating them when I was very little. They are also one of the first cookies I began to bake by myself.
As a kid, I always loved taking little holiday cookie trays round for neighbours and friends as holiday gifts. I used these Cherry Christmas Cookies on these gifted cookie plates because they are so colourful and pretty. They remind me of stained glass windows.
Fast forward to when I was a young wife and mum living in England, and I wanted to make these beautiful cookies once again. It proved slightly harder than I expected. The first challenge was getting such colourful glacé cherries. When I first lived in England in the late 1980’s the only glacé cherries you could buy were red, and not a bright red at that. In fact, it took me several years before I could source bright red and green glacé cherries.
Cherry Christmas Cookies – A Great Make Ahead Treat
The dough for Cherry Christmas Cookies can be made up to three weeks ahead and frozen, ready to slice and bake. It’s a great way to get ahead with your holiday cookie tray preparations. I also like to keep the rolls of dough on hand in the freezer to make cookies for last minute guests.
Cherry Christmas Cookies’ colourful appearance makes them perfect for putting in little treat bags as well. They make a really nice hostess gift, and still feature on my gifted holiday cookie plates as well.
Your family will love this crunchy, chewy holiday classic, a lovely cookie to have on hand all season long.
What If I’m Allergic to Nuts?
You can leave the nuts out of this recipe. The texture of the cookies is slightly different, but the cookies still taste delicious.
Cherry Christmas Cookies – Printable Recipe
Cherry Christmas Cookies - an Old Fashioned Slice and Bake Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup icing sugar icing sugar is also known as confectioner's sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups colourful candied cherries, halved It is nice to use an assortment of colours like red, green and gold if possible, but just red and green are fine too.
- ¾ cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). You may need to set the temperature a bit lower for a fan or convection oven.
- Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer.
- Add the egg and either the vanilla or almond extract to the butter and sugar mixture.
- Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Gradually add the flour, beating in slowly a bit at a time..
- Remove the bowl from the electric mixer and fold in the cherry halves and chopped pecans using a wooden spoon.
- Put the dough in the fridge for an hour.
- Shape the dough into 3 rolls, each about 9 to 10 inches long.
- Wrap the dough rolls in cling film (plastic wrap) and either refrigerate for up to 3 days, or place the rolls in freezer bags and freeze for up to 2 months.
- When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge or freezer and allow to warm up a little.
- Gently roll the wrapped rolls on a flat surface to ensure they are round and don't have a flat edge where they have been sitting.
- Cut the chilled or frozen rolls in ⅛ inch slices.
- Bake on ungreased baking sheets for 10 - 12 minutes until the edges of the cookies are beginning to turn golden.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.