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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.
My late Mom used to make these colourful Cherry Christmas Cookies and I remember eating them when I was very little. After Mom became more preoccupied with healthy eating, Cherry Christmas Cookies made rarer appearances. That is, until I began to bake when I was about ten! They are 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. The ones I used now actually contain gold glacé cherries as well. I usually pick round those, and use them in Christmas cakes, although the odd one does sneak into each batch of 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.
Cherry Christmas Cookies – Printable Recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups colourful candied cherries (red, green and gold if possible), halved
- ¾ cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
- 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.