Monday, February 4, 2013

A Very Cherry February!

Ever since I was a little kid, February has meant cherries. Maybe it's because cherries are Valentine's Day red. Maybe it's from elementary school President's Day celebrations.  Maybe it's just because I was a weird little kid and made strange connections

I absolutely love cherries and cherry pie filling. I rarely eat cheesecake, but when I do, I really get it for the cherry topping. In fact, when I graduated from high school, my friends gave me cans of pie filling as a graduation present. And, yes, I have been known to eat pie filling directly out of  cans with a spoon. 

So, you can imagine my excitement when found this recipe on Pinterest. (Is there anywhere else to find recipes anymore?) 

You'll Need:
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I omitted this.)
  • 2 8 oz packages Neufchatel cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 6 full-sized graham cracker sheets, crushed
  • 2 20 oz cans cherry pie filling (I only used 1 1/4 cans on the cookies.)
Directions:
  1. In one bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flower, baking powder, and optional salt). 
  2. In another bowl, mix the Neufchatel, butter, and sugar until creamy.  
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix together. Mix in the dry ingredients until incorporated.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  5. Roll a tablespoon of dough in graham cracker crumbs. 
  6. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Push the bottom of the teaspoon into the middle of each ball of dough. Drop 2 cherries into each indentation. 
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

These cookies are much better completely cooled than hot out of the oven. I know, I know-- that's a weird thing to say about cookies, but it's true. It'll be hard, but wait until they're cooled, and then eat until your heart's content!

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