Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cherry Winks

Tomorrow is our annual Christmas party at the gym where I teach.  After class we always have treats, and we usually do some sort of Dirty Santa gift exchange. Unfamiliar with Dirty Santa? I will quickly explain. If you already know, skip to the next paragraph. Dirty Santa involves bringing gifts and writing down numbers on pieces of paper according to however many gifts are up for grabs. For example, 15 people brought 15 gifts, so numbers 1-15 are written down and placed in a bowl or jar. Everyone draws a number. Whoever draws #1 selects any gift he or she wants, opens it and lets everyone see. Starting with number #2 and all the way through #15, people can either select a wrapped gift or "steal" one that is already open. A gift can only be stolen three times before it is "frozen" and no longer up for grabs. At the end, person #1 gets to go one more time since he or she didn't have an opportunity to steal in the beginning. The end.

So tomorrow after class we are having a crazy-colored exercise sock Dirty Santa exchange. Neon colors seem to be the thing now (hello 80's!) so I found a pack of bright neon orange, lime green and pink exercise socks to bring to the par-tay. In addition, I am bringing a little something to add to the food table. This year, I'm busting out an oldie, but goodie cookie recipe. My grandmother used to make these and although there is a decent amount of prep work, the outcome is a sweet, rich cookie that is a nice change from your standard chocolate chip or sugar cookie. I love the combination of pecans, cherries and dates, but you could totally play with the fruit/nut combos that you like to eat.

I present to you the Cherry Wink cookie.  Ta-da!

Aren't they pretty? The red color is festive for the Christmas season (or just pretty no matter what season it is or what holiday you are celebrating!).

Here's the recipe!
Sift the following dry ingredients into a bowl:
2 1/2 Cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Using a mixer, cream together:
3/4 Cup butter, softened (which is 12 tablespoons if that's easier)
1 Cup sugar

To the butter and sugar, add:
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix thoroughly. Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix again. Finally add the following and do one final good mix:
1 Cup chopped pecans
1 Cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries

Finally, crush 2 1/2 Cups of Corn Flakes cereal in a bowl. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoons into the crushed cereal and roll into balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet and top with a fourth of a maraschino cherry on each. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

These are really, really good! If you don't like maraschino cherries, dried cherries would work. Or even dried cranberries. Or be crazy and try dried blueberries! If you don't like dates, try figs or prunes or raisins instead. Walnuts would be a nice substitute for pecans or just omit the nuts altogether if you don't like 'em! Really the fruit and nut combinations are endless. I happen to like the sweet note that the maraschino cherry adds to the cookie which is funny because I don't like maraschino cherries plain. But chopped up in a cookie, they are delicious! I'm weird like that.


1 comment:

Sarah Purdy said...

Yum! I've never seen/heard of Cherry Winks before but they sure look good!