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Cherry Mocha Balls

 Cherry Mocha Balls
My mother-in-law gave me this recipe before my wedding (six children ago!). I've made mocha balls nearly every Christmas since then. Because they freeze so well, I bake some early and put them away to call on as last-minute holiday treats. —Jeana Crowell, Whitewater, KS
72 ServingsPrep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min./batch + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup chopped red candied cherries
  • Confectioners' sugar

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat
  • in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, coffee granules and
  • salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in pecans and
  • cherries. If necessary, cover and refrigerate dough until firm
  • enough to shape.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; place 2 in.
  • apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes or until cookies
  • are set. Cool completely on wire racks. Dust with confectioners'
  • sugar. Yield: about 6 dozen.
Freeze option: Freeze cookies, layered between waxed paper, in freezer containers. To use, thaw before serving.