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Cherry Snowballs

A juicy maraschino cherry is the secret center tucked inside these special cookies. My mom was inspired to create this by a recipe she clipped out of a newspaper more than 30 years ago. —Evy Adams, West Seneca, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 20 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    about 3 dozen


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 36 maraschino cherries, well drained
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 4 cups sweetened shredded coconut, finely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in water and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, oats and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  • Shape 1 tablespoonful of dough around each cherry, forming a ball. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until bottoms are browned, 18-20 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • Stir together confectioners' sugar and enough milk to reach a smooth dipping consistency. Dip cookies, then roll in coconut. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set.
Nutrition Facts
1 cookie: 174 calories, 9g fat (7g saturated fat), 14mg cholesterol, 102mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.
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  • scorpio6737
    Dec 20, 2020

    This looks delicious! I am from W. Seneca NY as well! Went to W. Seneca East.

  • Kelli
    Dec 18, 2020

    I used Amarena jarred cherries from Trader Joe's. Saved the syrup from the cherries, and used it vs. milk to roll the cookies in. I used sweetened flake coconut, but ran it through the food processor to make it finer. Beautiful pink and white cookies. DELICIOUS with the Amarena cherries.

  • lena
    Dec 18, 2020

    First time trying to bake these because I thought I would like the maraschino cherries. Cookies were easy to bake. Wrapped around the cherry easier than I thought. They were a bit crumbly--delicate to handle but tasty cookie. A bit on the sweet side but still a different cookie from the regulars. Thanks

  • Linda
    Dec 8, 2020

    My daughter liked these, but I thought they were overwhelmingly sweet and too cakey. I cannot even taste the cherry inside. Still, they were pretty good, a little like a sweet Russian tea cake.

  • ornamentnut
    Dec 7, 2020

    No comment left

  • Danielle
    Nov 19, 2020

    I have been making these cookies for the past two years and are now a permanent part of my Christmas cookie recipe collection. These are a flavor explosion in your mouth and highly addicting ;)

  • sandy98rock
    Dec 7, 2019

    I was skeptical at first because I always make Mexican Wedding Cookies each Christmas and have been for 30 years just like my mother made. However, I was quite surprised how easy the dough rolls into ball around the cherries! This recipe is a winner! Mine actually made 30 cookies but I am sure it differs with each person and how you roll them. I will try shredded coconut but I am also trying desiccated coconut because it is finer and sticks easily like on rum balls.

  • TanyaVDB
    Nov 22, 2018

    These are a great cookie for the holidays. They are more time consuming but it's the holidays! I used medium coconut and they turned out really nice. After making the cookies I noticed that at Bulk Barn they sell macaroon coconut which I might try next time. I agree with the other comment that after a few days they are more moist. I also love the idea of the others persons review to use a mix of red and green cherries.

  • sugarcrystal
    Jul 21, 2014

    These are always on my family's holiday cookie tray, but we omit the oatmeal and use extra flour. We prefer the texture without the oats. Another fun addition is to use green maraschino cherries in half of the cookies to create a surprise center.

  • loulabell26
    Dec 18, 2012

    These are delicious & pretty. I use cherry juice instead of milk for the glaze so it's pink & only dip the top of the cookies so they don't get too messy & are more easily stored.