Cream Cheese Dainties – A Serious Christmas Cookie

Here’s a serious Christmas cookie; it’s white like snow, has a little red Christmas color in it, and it’s full of fat, like Santa. How could you go wrong? It’s also sweet with a crispy texture, and has a hint of almond flavor. This recipe comes from my grandma. She’s been making these cookies at Christmas time for as long as I can remember Christmases. The funny thing is she brings these to Christmas every year but I refused to try them til about two years ago. I think I was afraid of the cherry piece in the middle. So I’m here to tell you don’t be afraid, they’re good, even if you don’t like cherries. Be brave this year and try that Christmas cookie that looks weird and has too many nuts stuck to it, you just might like it.

Tip: to crush cereal use a food processor or place cereal in sealed bag and crush with a rolling pin. These cookies also freeze well.

1/2 cup butter

3 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1 cup flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups crushed cereal (Rice Krispies or Cornflakes work well)

maraschino cherries, stemmed and quartered

Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in sugar and almond extract until smooth. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour to butter and cream cheese mixture. Stir until just combined. Chill dough 1-2 hours until firm. Roll chilled dough into 3/4 inch balls. Roll balls in crushed cereal. Slightly push cherry piece into middle of ball. Place balls on baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until slightly browned.