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Cheery Cherry Cookies

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Preparation and Cooking Time
20 to 25 minutes

Chill Time
4 hours

Serves
Makes about 7 dozen cookies

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Cook's Tips: Peanuts must be finely chopped to easily slice dough into rounds.

Cookie dough logs may be made in advance, wrapped airtight and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 weeks. Thaw frozen dough in refrigerator before slicing and baking.

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Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
  • 1 cup honey-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted (optional)

Preparation
    1. Combine cherries and 2 teaspoons of the flour in small bowl; toss to mix well. Set aside.
    2. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large mixing bowl with electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in remaining flour and salt. Add orange peel and cherry mixture; mix to combine.
    3. Divide dough into thirds; shape each third into log, 1-1/2 inches in diameter and about 7 inches long. Roll each log in 1/3 cup peanuts. Wrap each log in waxed paper or plastic wrap, twisting ends to seal. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
    4. Heat oven to 400°F. Unwrap logs and cut crosswise into 1/4- inch slices. Place slices 1 to 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in 400°F oven 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove cookies from cookie sheet to wire racks; cool completely. Drizzle cookies with melted chocolate chips for festive appearance, if desired. Store in airtight container.



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