Cherry Pecan Chews

The recipe for these cookies resulted from my need to tweak every recipe that I encounter.  When I tweak a recipe, it’s not always to make it better, although the majority of the time that is the case, some of the time I’m just looking for a different texture or a new flavor profile.  In this instance, it was the make a better cookie.  The original recipe was for Cherry Balls, a cookie from my maternal grandmother, Josie.  I’ve mentioned my grandmother many times, and as I’ve said in the past, she couldn’t read or write, with the exception of writing her name.  So, in order to record her recipes, you had to watch and write quickly.  The original written recipe for Cherry Balls yielded a tasty, but dry cookie.  My mother has the original, and I’ve tweaked it numerous times, although I’ve yet to achieve what I’m looking for; however, everyone else seems satisfied with my result.  In fact, my sister-in-law, Pam, loves them.  Personally, it’s still not what I want in a Cherry Ball; yes, it is a good cookie, but I know it can be better.  With that said, today’s recipe is one of the many that resulted from my compulsive need to tweak.  This, my friends, is an awesome cookie; no, not a Cherry Ball, but a Cherry Pecan Chew.  I love to make it for Christmas, as the pink hue with the lovely bits of maraschino cherries peeking through make a truly pretty cookie.  I’m so happy to share one of my favorite Christmas cookies as part of 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, and I hope you give Cherry Pecan Chews a place on your Christmas cookie tray this year!

Cherry Pecan Chews Printable recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup toasted and finely chopped pecans
Note: The dough must chill before baking; preheat oven to 350 degrees when ready to bake.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together; set aside.
Beat together butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extracts until creamy.
Beat in egg.
Mix in cherries and pecans.
Add flour mixture, mixing until well-incorporated.
Pat dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap  or wax paper, and chill for at least 1 hour, although overnight is best.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray.
Using a small cookie scoop, portion dough onto prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies 2″ apart.
Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until lightly brown around the edges.
Allow cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Yield: 5 dozen.

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20 thoughts on “Cherry Pecan Chews

  1. I made these last weekend in prep for possible inclusion on the holiday cookie trays. They are very, very pretty with a delightful pink color as promised. But I didn't love them. The cherry flavor wasn't…pronouced?…enough for me. I was looking for something with a bit more punch, I guess. I also added in about a cup of cherry flavored chips.

    But. I brought them to work and they went over big time! Just as Miss Louanne promised, they were a big hit. I guess maybe my tastes are just a bit weird. Next time, I might throw in some dried cherries or cranberries to up the cherry(?) quotient for me. But just based on the response from my eaters, I'll definitely be putting these on my table this year. Thanks for sharing your recipe

  2. I love cherries and I'm so glad you shared this recipe! I'm definitely adding this cookie to my Christmas cookie trays this year!

  3. Definitely want to make these d'lish cookies!!! I like the idea that there are cherries and pecans in these cookies….serious YUM-O!!!

  4. I hate it when you can taste something in your head but can't quite get it right in real life. THese do look awesome however, so thanks for sharing them! I foresee them making their way onto my cookie tray…

  5. Wooo-weee! Lots of cherry goodness in there.

    I like your story about your grandmother – having to watch and write as fast as you could.

    My mother bakes like that sometimes and it drives me crazy.

  6. Your cookies look absolutely gorgeous! I'm sure they taste wonderful too:) Good luck in the future trying to replicate cherry balls just like your grandmother's!

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