Chocolate Cherry Cookies

This is my favorite Holiday cookie recipe –
I got it from Better Homes and Gardens magazine many years ago.

11/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt 1 egg
1/4 tsp. baking powder 1 1/2 tsps. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries (48 cherries)
1 6-oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate bits 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Drain the cherries on paper towels, reserving the juice.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and soda.
In mixer bowl, beat together butter and sugar on low speed until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, beat until well blended.
Shape dough into 48 1-inch balls, place on ungreased cookie sheets. Press down center of dough with thumb (I use a 1/4 tsp. measuring spoon) and place a drained cherry in the center of each cookie.

To make the frosting, in a small sauce pan combine chocolate bits and the condensed milk, heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 4 teaspoons of the reserved cherry juice. Spoon about 1/2 to 1 tsp. of the frosting over each cherry, spreading to cover the cherry. If too thick to spread use more cherry juice. Reheat if frosting cools too much to spread.
Bake in a 350 degree oven about 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool. Makes 48 cookies.

Submitted by Lyn