Grandma's Cherry Wink Cookies recipe for old fashioned cherry winks with cornflakes is a vintage cookie recipe perfect for the holiday season.
Old-Fashioned Cherry Wink Cookie Recipe
I found this easy cherry wink cookie recipe in my grandma's recipe collection. These old-fashioned cookies are soft and chewy and loaded with chopped dates, maraschino cherries and chopped pecans. They're rolled in crushed cornflakes and topped with maraschino cherry slices and baked until golden brown.
The cherry slices are meant to mimic a winking eye, hence the name cherry winks! The original recipe by Ruth Derousseau won the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1950 and appeared on boxes of Kellogg's cornflakes.
Enjoy these delightful little cookies with a glass of milk or cup of coffee or hot cocoa throughout the holiday season. They are perfect for Christmas cookie trays and cookie swaps!
You only need a few simple ingredients for this vintage recipe. They should be easy to locate in your grocery store. Full amounts are in the printable recipe card below.
- Butter -- Softened, either unsalted butter or salted butter. The original calls for shortening
- Sugar -- white sugar
- Milk -- I used 2 percent milk
- Large eggs
- Vanilla extract
- All purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Pecans -- chopped and mixed into the dough
- Maraschino cherries -- mixed into the dough and as a decoration on top
- Dates -- I used chopped dried cranberries instead of dates
- Cornflakes -- crushed, to roll the cookies in before baking
How to Make Cherry Wink Cookies
First, chop the pecans, dates and some of the cherries. You will need to slice more cherries into quarters.
Then, crush the corn flakes in a large gallon freezer bag with a rolling pin or in a food processor.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl, and mix in the milk, eggs and vanilla extract using an electric mixer on medium speed. Alternately, you can use the bowl of a stand mixer.
Mix the chopped dates, pecans and cherries into the flour mixture. You will want to use a spoon or spatula for this to avoid breaking up the cherries any further.
Refrigerate the cookie dough for about 15 minutes for easier handling. Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to drop dough into the crushed cornflakes. The dough is sticky, but the crushed cereal makes it easier to handle. Shape dough into balls while rolling it with the crushed cereal.
Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet or line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Gently place a quartered cherry onto the top of each cookie.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. The edges should be firm.
Allow to cool completely before storing.
How to Store Cherry Winks
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They stay fresh for 4-5 days. Freeze the cookies for up to 3 months for best taste.
Recipe Notes and Tips
Many people have their own versions of this vintage recipe, and Grandma always used butter instead of shortening. I prefer using dried cranberries instead of dates, but you can use raisins or other dried fruit.
Make sure to chill the dough so it will be easier to work with. It also helps to drop the dough into the cereal and form the balls while rolling the dough.
You can cut the cherries in half, as the winks are kind of small. It's also fun to use a combo of red maraschino cherries and green maraschino cherries for the holidays.
More Holiday Cookie Recipes
Cherry Wink Cookies
- ¾ cup butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsps milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup chopped dried dates or cranberries
- ½ cup chopped maraschino cherries
- 1½ cups crushed cornflakes
- 15 maraschino cherries quartered
- Cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy in a large mixing bowl
- Add in milk, vanilla extract and eggs, and beat well
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and mix until fully combined
- Use a spatula to stir in the chopped pecans, dates and cherries
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes
- Preheat oven to 375℉, and grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper
- Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to drop dough into crushed cereal. Roll in cornflakes to form balls
- Place dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Edges should be firm
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
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