I can't stand maraschino cherries. Honestly I think they are cherry trash! Maybe it's because I was raised in Michigan which is home to the cherry capital of the world. Maybe it's because I spent many years pondering if they even start out as real cherries...they do if you were wondering. Frankly I think its because they taste so fake and sugary and I am very fond of eating real cherries. I hate them in drinks and on desserts...you name it and I can't stand them! Until now. I do love them in these cherry & chocolate shortbread cookies. And I do remember my aunt telling me once that back in her college days they would drain out the liquid from the cherries and fill it with vodka, back when I was 21 this sounded like a good idea. Today, however, one shot of vodka and Scott would be carrying me home.

When I went to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for this recipe I stared at that jar of cherries for a minute and thought how much I was going to hate putting them in my cart and bringing them home. I did it anyway! Turns out I was actually pretty pleased with this recipe. I think it's a great twist on a classic shortbread cookie and a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day, bakers style. The biscuit like texture pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the maraschino cherries.

Katie's Notes:
-The dough is a little tough to work with while mixing because it is a short bread. Don't be surprised when you keep adding dry ingredient after dry ingredient and you begin to wonder...how in the h*#$ is this exactly going to turn in to a nice soft dough...it eventually does.
- I stuck my cherries in the food processor and chopped them up into smaller pieces than the original blogger did. This made me feel better about using the Maraschino Cherries. I couldn't fathom biting into those cookies and finding a huge piece of maraschino.
-For Christmas I make a similiar cookie, Peanut Butter Blossoms. When I make those I bake them for a minute less than the recipe calls for, pull them out, press the chocolate kisses into each cookie, and place them back into the oven for a minute. This makes the chocolate kisses stay somewhat soft and easier to eat. Just be careful. It will take a while for the kisses to cool and harden before you can move and stack them.

Click here for the link to the Curvy Carrot's Cherry Chocolate Kisses recipe.

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