Chewy Black Forest Cookies!
Originally posted July 21, 2011. Updated 12/4/2020
Later on, it inspired the creation of my chewy chocolate gluten-free cookies recipe, which I've blogged in the form of my Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies.
Loads of good stuff, here!
Back in the day, this was a very popular item on my holiday cookie tray orders, as well as for gift box orders around Christmas time.
Not surprising, really - they’re a fudgy, chewy chocolate cookie with chunks of maraschino cherries and a white chocolate drizzle... what else is there to say?
Of course they were popular!
Holiday Cookie Recipes
Well, with the holidays coming up, it’s probably a good time to not only update this particular recipe, but to direct your attention to some other amazing holiday cookie recipes, as well.
After all, as great as these cookies are... a proper holiday tray should have a great selection of cookies. I love including a variety of flavours, colours, and textures.
This is both for visual appeal, and to try to make sure that there is something there for everyone.
Additionally, I like to recommend a few gluten-free cookies, as well.
Just be sure to keep your gluten-free offerings separated from the gluten cookies at all times - cross contamination can happen at any time, from raw ingredients all the way through to presentation!
So, before I get to this recipe, a few suggestions to accompany it:
Sweet Ecstasy Cookies - This recipe is ingredients-intensive and makes a TON ... so I usually only make it around the holidays. There’s a bit of everything in these, and they’re *wildly* popular whenever I make them!
Boozy Chocolate Haystack Cookies - This is a slightly more adult version of a childhood favourite. Use certified gluten-free oats to make these gluten-free!
Noelles - My version of a childhood favourite. Chocolate, coconut, and maraschino cherries make these a pretty - and tasty - holiday staple in our house!
Pecan Pie Cookies - Another one of the recipes that was SUPER popular back when I catered holiday trays. These unique cookies are not only full of flavour and texture, they’re gorgeous!
Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies - A kicked up version of an old childhood favourite. I love what warm spices do with a traditional chewy oatmeal cookie.
Peppermint Swirl Meringue Cookies - These are actually inherently gluten-free, but I included them here because they’re also a mainstream favourite. A little effort to make, but super satisfying and festive!
Fruitcake Cookies - I may not be a fan of glaceed fruit, but those who are go WILD over these cookies. They’re laced with Jack Daniel’s, so that may have something to do with it, LOL!
Chai Shortbread - a simple, elegant cookie with great flavour.
How to Make Chewy Black Forest Cookies
These cookies are easier to make than you may think, but there are definitely a few key points to keep in mind when making them. So, let me walk you though it:
1. Use Maraschino Cherries and DRAIN THEM WELL
First and foremost: Don’t use glaceed cherries with this. Just... don’t.
Drain your cherries, chop them up, and then pat them down with a paper towel if needed - you want to be rid of any extra moisture, or these will spread like mad.
You could probably use fresh or canned cherries, but moisture is going to be a huge issue here, as well.
Canned can be chopped, drained, and patted down like maraschino cherries are... but fresh ones will probably do better if you pit them, chop them up, and let them air out in the fridge for a day or so.
Follow the Directions to Make the Dough
Be sure to start out with softened butter, and whip it well before creaming in the sugars - it’ll make life a lot easier!
Check the consistency of the dough. A little moist is fine, but you don’t want it super sticky.
If your dough is very sticky - if your cherries were too wet - you can add a bit more flour / cocoa to dry it out a bit. I like to add a 50/50 mixture of the two, as flour alone will dilute the chocolate flavour.
Roll Your Dough... or Don’t
When I first posted this recipe, I used to roll the dough balls by hand. I’ve gotten lazy and a bit more mess-averse in the ensuing years, so now I use an ice cream scoop to portion it out.
If rolling by hand, you’ll want to flatten them *slightly* - just enough to prevent them from rolling.
If using an ice cream scoop, just level off the dough in the scoop and plop it down on the prepared baking sheet, flat side down.
If you’re in a very warm house - or your dough still feels a bit too sticky - you can chill your dough if you’d like. This will help prevent spreading.
Place your dough balls on a prepared baking sheet, leaving plenty of room for any spread - at least 2" apart.
Bake the Cookies
I like to bake a small pan of the cookies for the first round, to check if the dough is a good consistency.
If everything’s good, I’ll bake the rest of the dough as-is.
If it’s too warm in the house, or the dough was too wet, I’ll either add a bit more flour/cocoa, or chill the dough for 30 minutes, to rein in the spread.
Also: Be sure to not overbake the cookies.
It’s better to slightly under bake them and put them back in for a minute, than to overshoot and end up with a dry, crunchy cookie.
Let Your Cookies Cool
I let the cookies cool for a couple minutes before removing them from the hot pan.
You’re going to want to let them cool to room temperature before proceeding, also.
Drizzle the Chocolate!
Back in the day, I used to melt the white chocolate, transfer it to a microwaveable squeeze bottle, and squeeze out fat little snakes of white chocolate in a zig zag pattern across the cookies.
I’d reheat the bottle as necessary - generally a pain.
These days, I melt the chocolate and use a spoon to scatter the white chocolate across the cookies. Much quicker and easier!
You’re going to want the white chocolate to be good and hot, but be careful not to burn it.
As the chocolate cools, the mixture will thicken up, and it won’t scatter as well - don’t be afraid to reheat and stir as needed!
Note: I like to cover my work surface with parchment paper, spread the cookies out, and just scatter the chocolate over them in groups. The parchment paper makes for easy clean up!
Let the Cookies Set
White chocolate STARTS to set up quickly - as you’ll notice when scattering it - but it takes quite a while to actually, fully set up. Give it that time!
Once the chocolate has solidified, transfer cookies to an air tight container.
More Chocolate Recipes
Looking for a tasty ways to indulge your inner chocoholic? I've got you covered!
Chocolate Dessert Ravioli
Chocolate Fondues and Fountains
Cookies N Cream Cake
Creme de Menthe Nanaimo Bars
Dark Chocolate Coffee Truffles
Ultimate Double Chocolate Brownies
Grownup Hot Chocolate & Hot Cocoa
Homemade Deep N' Delicious Cake
Milk Chocolate Chai Truffles
Puffed Wheat Squares
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Now, how about that Chewy Black Forest Cookies recipe?
Chewy Black Forest Cookies
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ cup Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 ¼ cups Butter softened
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract*
- 1 cup Maraschino Cherries chopped and well drained
- 1-2 cups White Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, set aside.
- Cream together sugars and softened butter. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth.
- Slowly add dry ingredient mixture, mix until fully incorporated. Add chopped cherries, stir just until evenly distributed.
- Roll dough into 1.5” balls, and place on un-greased cookie sheets, leaving 2″ between cookies. Flatten slightly.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes. Cookies will puff during baking, be soft when removed, and will flatten and set when removed from the oven.
- Cool on cookie sheet for about 2 minutes, until cookies are set. Move cookies to wire rack to cool.
- Melt white chocolate chips – I like to place them in a glass bowl and microwave them for 45 seconds at a time until almost melted, then stirring until fully melted. .
- Use a spoon or pastry bag to drizzle melted chocolate over the cookies, allow chocolate to cool and set completely