Cherry wink cookies are an awesome throwback to the 1950’s. Remember when your grandmother would make these iconic cookies? My grandmother would make these and we always would eat tons of them at a time with a huge glass of milk. Cherry Wink Cookies have so many flavors in them which also offer a variety of textures. Traditional cherry wink cookies are made like this recipe however, I have seen other variations with candied cherries, both green and red.
Cherry Wink Cookies were first made by a home baker named Ruth Derousseau from Rice Lake, Wisconsin. It was during the second ever Pillsbury Bake contest that Ruth ended up as a junior winner with these cookies. Her original version uses pecans and dates. The classic version also uses shortening but of course I swapped that out for butter!
You can never go wrong with a delicious cookie that isn’t too sweet and has layers of flavor to it. I loved the lightness of these cherry wink cookies and they will be spectacular for the Christmas season.
If you are looking for other cookies to add to your holiday season boxes try these Chocolate chip cookies with toffee bits.
Why This Recipe Works
- These cookies aren’t overly sweet and you can definitely taste the dates in them.
- You don’t have to chill this dough before you make it.
- The Cherry Winks are so easy to apply to the cookies giving them a very homemade feel.
- These cookies are the perfect balance with textures in each bite from the cornflakes, dates and the pecans.
The most important ingredient in these cherry wink cookies are the cornflakes and the maraschino cherries.
The two together give tons of flavor and texture to these cherry winks. The dates and pecans offer a salty and sweet sensation.
Cherry winks are also made up of flour, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. As everything is mixed together, you get a beautiful batter that cooks very similar to a shortbread cookie without the chilling time.
- During the holiday season you can find green maraschino cherries and you can make a cherry wink with both kinds of cherries on top.
- If you don’t want to use the traditional cornflake crumb to roll your cherry winks in, you can substitute cornflakes for shredded coconut but, beware, this will completely change the flavor.
- If you are gluten free, you can definitely make these as a gluten free cookie.
Heat the oven to 375’F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer set a medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the milk and blend well.
Add the eggs, mixing between each addition, then add in the vanilla.
Add in the 1/2 cup chopped cherries and the dates and pecans and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.
Spoon the dough in tablespoon-size portions and roll them into the cornflakes. Arrange on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Press a quartered cherry into the top of each cookie.
Bake the cookies until set, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Hint: Depending on where you live, you may find you need a few extra minutes to cook these cherry wink cookies until they are set.
You can store these cookies in an air tight container for up to 5 days on the counter or you can put them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I put the dough in the refrigerator before cooking?
No, you do not want to put the dough in the refrigerator before cooking.
What are Maraschino Cherries?
They are originally sour cherries that are picked and put into brine, then dyed and packed into a sugar syrup to preserve them. They are most commonly used in drinks like a Shirley Temple.
Can I use Frosted Flakes instead of Cornflakes?
Yes, you can use Frosted Flakes instead of cornflakes but these will make the cookies sweeter than the cornflakes will.
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Cherry Wink Cookies
- 1 Stand Mixer
- 2 ½ cups flour all purpose
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup maraschino cherries patted dry, chopped, plus 8-10 more quartered for the cookie tops.
- 14 dates pitted and finely chopped
- ¾ cup pecans toasted and chopped
- 2 ½ cups cornflakes lightly crushed
- Heat the oven to 375'F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, set a medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the milk and blend well.
- Add the eggs, mixing between each addition then add in the vanilla.
- Add in the ½ cup chopped cherries, the dates and the pecans, mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Spoon the dough in tablespoon size portions and roll in the cornflakes.
- Arrange on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Press a quartered cherry into the top of each cookie.
- Bake the cookies until set, about 12 minutes.
- Transfer to a rack to cool completely.