Cherry Christmas Cookies

4.71 from 31 votes

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Cherry Christmas Cookies are a living celebration of the love and memories that the holiday season brings.

These Christmas cookies are a part of my life and therefore one of my all-time favorite dessert recipes.

It’s through holiday cookies like these, the legacy of my beloved grandma continues to live on, long after she left us so many years ago.

Plate of Christmas cookies made from scratch.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year.

What are These?

I love trimming the Christmas tree, decking the halls and enjoying time with family and friends. And making Christmas cookies. Classics like Italian Ricotta Cookies, Phefferneusse German Christmas Cookies, Forgotten Cookies, and so many more!

Plate of Cherry Christmas cookies with garland and a glassof milk.
These cherry Christmas cookies are light and delicate with a buttery flavor.

My grandmother, my dad’s mom, was an incredible woman.

She was a kind and gentle woman who would be quite content watching her soaps and crocheting.

As a boy growing up, she would stay at our house for the summer.

Her visits normally started with her arriving and saying that she was only be staying for a few days, but would end up with her leaving after a few weeks.

We did not mind a bit. We all loved her being around.

Stack of holiday cookies made with candied cherries.
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I can give you every detail of her visits.

She was a simple woman with a daily routine.  She would wake up in the morning, play solitaire and eat half a grapefruit.

If we were lucky enough to wake up early, we could join her, and she would gladly interrupt her routine and play rummy with us.

After a heated game of cards, Grandma would quickly get back to her routine and get dressed.

Part of her dressing routine was a particular fragrance that she wore, not a perfume but a powder, called Charlie.

She would come out of her bedroom, and I could smell it on her.

As I sit here writing this, I can still smell it. I don’t know how to explain it to you, but she simply smelled as beautiful as the lady who wore it.

Plate of Cherry Christmas Cookies and a glass of milk.


Candied cherries come in a small plastic container and may say something like, glazed red cherries, or something of that sort. You can use green or red candied cherries for this holiday cookie recipe.

One of the many things that I remember about my grandma was the Cherry Christmas Cookies that she would make during the holidays.

They were all delicious, but hands down my favorites were these cherry cookies that she would make.  This is the recipe I am sharing with you today.

How to Make These

(Full recipe at the end, in the recipe card.)

If you are new to baking or an experienced baker, take a look at our in-house professional chef’s post on how to bake cookies for beginners.  It’s a great review for all!

Process steps form making Cherry Christmas cookies.

The beauty of this recipe, like the lady behind it, is its simplicity.

1. Start by creaming together butter and powdered sugar.

2. Mix in an egg.

3. Add some vanilla extract.

4. Then slowly mix in some flour.

Adding chopped candided cherries and chopped nuts to cookie batter. The recipe uses candied cherries, which add a little sweetness and a nice chewy texture.

Using a spatula to stir cookie batter in a glass mixing bowl.

These holiday cookies are considered a refrigerator cookie because once you assemble the dough, you roll it into a log and place it in the refrigerator to firm up so that you can cut the cookie before baking.

We do the same thing with our popular hot chocolate fudge, our peanut butter tuffles, and another popular cherry dessert, our no bake cherry cheesecake.

Process steps of rolling, chilling, and slicing refrigerator cookies.

These easy holiday cookies are a snap to put together and are sure to become one of your family’s favorite, just like mine.

Tray of baked Cherry Christmas Cookies.

I bake these Cherry Christmas Cookies every year for my family and friends.

Each time I do, I remember my grandmother and feel blessed for everything that she did for me and everything that she taught me.

Picking up a baked Christmas cookie.

Give these special Christmas cookies a try and when you are in the kitchen baking them, maybe you will remember someone who is, or was, special to you and you too will feel blessed.

Taking a bite out of a Cherry Christmas cookie.

Merry Christmas, all.  Grandma, this one is for you.

A man leaning on a table

Signature of Scott from Platter Talk


A person posing for the camera

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Cherry Christmas Cookies

4.71 from 31 votes
These old-fashioned Christmas cookies are inspired by my grandmother, Alice Marie Brotherton
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 48 Cookies


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 cups candied cherries, quartered. (Red, green, or a combination of the two.)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cream butter and powder sugar together.
  • Add egg and vanilla and slowly incorporate flour to mixture and mix well.
  • Fold into the dough the quartered cherries and nuts.
  • Continue folding the cherries in the dough so that the cherries are distributed evenly throughout.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper on the counter and place approximately 1/3rd of the dough on the paper.
  • Using your hands roll the dough into a log shape about 2 inches round.
  • Once you have your shape, then roll the log in the paper and secure the ends of the parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator.
  • Continue 2 more times until all of the dough has been rolled and placed in the refrigerator.
  • Allow the dough to stay in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  • Take out of the refrigerator and unroll the dough from the paper.
  • Cut the dough with a knife into 1/4 inch slices and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for approximately 13-15 minutes or until the cookie is light golden in color. This recipe will yield approximately 4 dozen cookies.



Use red or green candied cherries for this recipe.


Calories: 104kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 35mg, Potassium: 19mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 123IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Holiday
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!
Updated from the original post of December 17, 2013

Favorite Christmas Cookies

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    I have cookie memories of my grandmother too. She wasn’t a softie but I could always trust that she told the truth and loved me. These cookies are just gorgeous, and I’d say she definitely left you with some loving memories too.

    1. Thanks for the comments, Jules. Part of the magic of Christmas are the memories that last a lifetime and it seems a bit magical that something like a Christmas cookie can make those memories last a lifetime. It’s so nice to hear from you and we wish you and yours a beautiful holiday season.

  2. I am making these tonight for the first time. They are in the fridge now. My spouse just said he can’t stop thinking about those cookies in the fridge. I sure hope I don’t burn them. These just might be added to my Christmas cookies list!! Thanks for sharing

  3. I am looking forward to making these cookies. I have green candied cherries and I am wondering what nuts you normally use. It looks like almonds, but I was thinking of using pistachios. I would love to hear back from you regarding your suggestions. Thank you.

    1. We like to use chopped walnuts, but pistachios would be excellent! Give the nuts a quick “toast” in the oven for extra flavor. To do this, preheat your oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle a little olive oil on it. Then, place the (chopped) nuts on the parchment paper and stir them around a bit to get some oil on them. Place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes. This will add tons of flavor to the nuts and to the cookies.

  4. 5 stars
    I didn’t even get to the recipe before scrolling down to comment. I loved the tribute to your grandma. It made me want to wake up early just to play cards with her. Don’t you hope that you can be remembered so fondly when you pass into the next life? When I make these cookies I will remember you and your precious grandma.

  5. What a wonderful post, and these cookies are so festive! I think they’d be fun to make with my granddaughter during the holidays! Thank you.

  6. 5 stars
    Dan, these remind me a bit of the stollen that my grandparents love so much. I think I have to share this recipe with them. They’re sure to enjoy it.