Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Covered Cherry Cookies (Dairy-Free Options)

Making this chewy chocolate covered cherry cookies recipe is much easier than you can imagine. There’s no need to dip them in chocolate. Everything bakes together in the oven in one simple step. Rich chocolate cookies topped with maraschino cherries and covered in chocolate caramel. They make exquisite gifts (especially for a chocolate covered cherry-lover), present for a host/hostess, bring to cookie exchanges, or serve to your family and friends. Oh, and did I forget to mention?… They’re delicious!

I’m not a chocolate covered cherry fan at all, but these cookies are incredible! The brand of cherries you use make a huge difference. The brands of gluten free maraschino cherries that I list taste nothing like the inexpensive brands that you find in the stores. Those taste like plastic to me and are full of Red Dye No. 40. I used Harvest Bordeaux  ariety. They also come in red.

Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Covered Cherry Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Total Time: 47 minutes

Yield: Makes 40 cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Caramel Covered Cherry Cookies

Delicious chewy chocolate cookies topped with a maraschino cherry covered with chocolate caramel

Ingredients:

    For the Cookies:
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (or gluten-free margarine)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten (or 2 tablespoons cannellini bean liquid + 1 tablespoon butter/margarine)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure/gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups Carla’s Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free Dutch-processed cocoa powder (or natural unsweetened)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 40 gluten-free maraschino cherries, blotted dry (Royal Harvest or Tilen Farms)
  • For the Chocolate Caramel Topping:
  • 1-1/2 cups (9 ounces) gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips (Nestle’s or Enjoy Life Minis for dairy-free)
  • 1-1/2 cups canned sweetened condensed milk*
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free maraschino cherry juice

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until thoroughly distributed, scraping the bowl as needed.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Remove the whisk attachment and add the paddle attachment to your mixer (if you have one). Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter-sugar mixture while beating on low speed. Once the dry ingredients are all added, increase the speed to medium and beat until thoroughly combined.
  6. Measure dough into 1-inch balls, between 1/2 tablespoon and 1 tablespoon; place on a parchment or silicone baking mat baking sheets.
  7. Push one cherry into each ball so that only half of the cherry shows.
  8. To a small saucepan, add the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Stirring constantly, melt over medium heat. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the cherry juice.
  9. Spoon 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of chocolate caramel over each cherry (shown using 1 teaspoon), covering the cherry as best you can. (The caramel  will slightly melt over a portion of the cookie if you use 1-1/2 teaspoons.)
  10. Bake on the center shelf for about 11 minutes.
  11. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets on top of a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies directly to the wire rack to cool completely.

Tips

For Dairy-Free: Do not make the chocolate caramel. Instead, once the cookies cool, melt 1 cup of dairy free chocolate chips in a saucepan and stir in cherry juice. Place a teaspoon of mixture on top of cherry and set aside until set.

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