I made this recipe for cherry nut cookies a few years ago and thought they were delicious. So when I came across the card again in my search for the next of Mamaw’s creations to feature, I immediately pulled it out of the file. Besides her distinctive handwriting, Mamaw almost always put the name of the person who gave her the recipe, often with the date. I was shocked to see my name printed at the card’s bottom. She got the recipe from me? I don’t remember ever giving it to her. In fact, I thought I got it from her. The only explanation is she copied it from a cookbook I showed to her, or from an article I’d clipped from a newspaper or magazine. Whatever the reason, my heart warmed at the sight of my name in her beautiful script.
This recipe reminds me of a cross between a shortbread cookie (because of the shape and the butter) and a chocolate chip cookie (because of the brown sugar.) The original called for butter-flavored Crisco, but I used unsalted butter.
The ingredients also list chopped maraschino cherries, which I used the first time I made these cookies. They tasted great and looked pretty with the small flecks of red. However, this time I wanted to use real cherries—or at least real canned cherries since they are not in season—so I chopped up some dark, sweet cherries. They changed the look a bit—a little less pretty and more rustic—but the cookies still tasted wonderful. Next time I may try canned tart cherries, or perhaps wait until cherry season and use some bought fresh at the farmer’s market.
Cherry Nut Cookies
1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco (or unsalted butter)1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (I used a mixture of walnuts and pecans, only because that’s what I had on hand.)
1/3 cup chopped maraschino cherries
Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth.
Blend in flour, baking soda and salt. (I whisked these ingredients together in a small bowl before adding to the butter/sugar mixture.) Stir in the nuts and cherries.
Shape the dough into a roll about 14-inches long. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4-inch slices. Place on an un-greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until just golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool on racks. Store in an air-tight container.
Mamaw and I, sometime in 1963.