Mom’s Dried Cherry Cookies
Makes 4 1/2 to 5 dozen, depending on the size of your cookie cutter; you can make more by making these cookies mini-size.
6 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 cup sour cream
2½ cups dried tart cherries
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur
1. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
2. With an electric mixer in another bowl, cream the butter or margarine, sugar and extract until light colored. Add the lemon zest and sour cream, and beat until well blended.
3. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, mixing well until a ball of dough is formed. (You may need to finish mixing by hand since this is a heavy dough.) Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 2 hours.
4. In a bowl, marinate the cherries in the liqueur for at least 30 minutes. In a food processor, in a blender or by hand, grind the cherries to a paste and set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 4 cookie sheets.
6. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time on a floured board, roll the dough out into an 18-inch circle. Use a 3-inch round or fluted cookie cutter to make circles. Use a 1-inch round cookie cutter to cut out a hole in the center of half the circles.
7. Place about 1½ teaspoons of the cherry filling in the center of each whole circle, spreading it slightly. Top each with a circle with the cutout hole. Seal by pressing all around the cookie with a fork. Transfer to a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough and re-roll the scraps to make more cookies.
8. Bake cookies for 20 minutes or until delicately browned. Remove the cookies to cooling racks to cool completely. Then store in airtight containers.
Note: Cooled cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months.