Chocolate Cherry “Rudolph” Cookies

Finally finished the baking today. Ten kinds of cookies this year. I know I haven’t posted many, but I tried a bunch of new ones this year, and don’t generally take pictures the first time I make something. It seems to be a guaranteed jinx for me to do so. I will have one more coming up tomorrow though. 🙂

I discovered this recipe last year on Taste of Home. I wanted a cherry thumbprint cookie with a cherry in the middle. This had no picture, and I usually don’t bother looking at the ones without one, but for some reason I took a look anyway. So glad I did. With a couple changes to make them a little more what I wanted, they were perfect. I dubbed them Rudolph cookies, because that was all I could think of when I looked at them was his red nose.

I lightened them up a little this year by replacing some of the butter with greek yogurt, and added the chocolate swirl on top to use up the rest of the melted chocolate. They still taste awesome, and they’re a little lower on the calories. 🙂 002

 I like to cream the butter and sugar together before adding the yogurt. I think it mixes better.


I love the little bits of cherries in these. They just add a nice touch. 🙂 


One of the best things about these is no chilling time required. Just mix them up and they’re ready to go.


I use my thumb to make the holes, but the end of a spoon works too. 


The holes don’t stay as deep through baking, so you’ll need to deepen them after they come out.


Just a small pool of the chocolate, and then set the cherry in the middle. They look so happy. 🙂

Chocolate Cherry "Rudolph" Cookies
Yields 36
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 Tbsp plain nonfat greek yogurt
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 5 maraschino cherries, chopped into bits
  6. 1 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
  7. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  9. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  10. 1/4 tsp salt
  11. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  12. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  13. 18 maraschino cherries, cut in half
  14. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  15. 1 Tbsp butter
  16. 1 Tbsp milk
  17. 1 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar, then mix in yogurt. Beat in egg and add cherry bits, cherry juice, and vanilla. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in to wet ingredients.
  4. Roll into 1" balls and place about 1 1/2" apart on baking sheet. Using your thumb or the end of a spoon handle, make wells in centers of cookies.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cracked and slightly darker on bottoms. Let cool on trays for 5 minutes, then move to wire rack to finish cooling. You may need to push the wells down further at this point, as they tend to be shallower after baking.
  6. In a microwaveable bowl, melt together chocolate chips with butter, milk, and cherry juice. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted through.*
  7. Put a small pool of melted chocolate into each cookie well, then place a cherry half in the middle. If desired, place any remaining chocolate into a ziptop bag and snip a corner to drizzle over cookies. Let sit for a couple hours, long enough to let the chocolate set up some so that it won't make a mess when trying to layer these.
  1. *If there are any unmelted clumps, they will clog up the bag when drizzling over cookies, and you will get large blobs of chocolate instead of nice lines. I definitely have a few like that.
Adapted from Taste of Home
Adapted from Taste of Home
Three Plates Full

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