Black Forest Cookies

I once drove through a Minnesota snowstorm, left my car on the side of the road, and hitchhiked in an SUV to eat Black Forest Cookies. They were worth it.

Black Forest Cookies

Now, by “side of the road,” I mean legal street-side parking spot, and by “SUV,” I mean my friend with four-wheel drive. We did, however, drive 30 minutes on poorly plowed roads for the sake of a cookie exchange. A group of girlfriends and I had it planned for weeks and nothing, nothing was going to stall our buttery sweet cookie consumption.

I think I’ll mention this story in my next job interview to highlight my ferocious determination when met with a challenge.  Also, the sooner your future boss knows how you are motivated (cookies) the better.

Black Forest Cookies.Soft and fudgy cookies with a hidden cherry on the inside. A winner for any cookie exchange!

Black Forest Cookies: Chocolate thumbprint cookies with a cherry center and fudge frosting.

Black Forest Cookies—soft chocolate thumbprint cookies with a sweet cherry in the center and thick, fudgy frosting on top—were my friend Lisa’s contribution to our snowmageddon cookie exchange. By my fourth Black Forest Cookie, I was considering entering cookie rehab. The flavor combination of cherry and chocolate, the melt-in-your-mouth soft texture, and the ultra rich fudge frosting stole my cookie-loving heart, and I have been smitten since.

When drafting my “must bake” list for this year’s Christmas cookie assortment, I wrote two recipes at the top in indelible ink: the Andes Mint Cookies I shared last week and today’s Black Forest Cookies. Like Andes Mint Cookies (which are super fluffy sugar cookies with an Andes chocolate mint candy tucked inside), Black Forest Cookies also hide a secret treat beneath their exterior. Sink your teeth through the rich ganache frosting and you will find a lightly sweet, juicy morello cherry. When jarred, morello cherries are similar to maraschino cherries, but darker and much less sweet. I found mine at Trader Joe’s (a 24.7 ounce jar was only $2.39), but if you can’t find morellos, maraschino cherries—which Lisa used in the cookie that inspired today’s recipe—will work just fine. Your final cookie will be sweeter, but your cookie jar will be just as empty at the end of the night.

Black Forest Cookies: Chocolate thumbprint cookies with a cherry center and fudge frosting.

I also altered the chocolate cookie dough to include Greek yogurt (sour cream works nicely too.) I love the way its tang off-sets the sweetness of the frosting and the fact that it makes the cookies a smidge lighter. For additional depth of flavor, I pumped up the fudge frosting with vanilla extract and instant coffee. (Don’t worry, the frosting doesn’t taste like coffee—the coffee simply intensifies the chocolate’s flavor). I recommend making extra to top your ice cream, smear on your toast, and assuage late-night chocolate emergencies.

Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review »

Black Forest Cookies

Soft chocolate cherry cookies with a sweet cherry center and thick fudge frosting.

Yield: 36 cookies

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes (including cooling time)


For the Cookies

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 10-oz jar morello cherries (about 36), or sub maraschino cherries

For the Frosting

  • 6 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate (about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

To all who are traveling this holiday: wishing you a smooth journey and joyous arrival. Be sure to obey traffic signs, buckle your seatbelts, and pack an extra-large container of Black Forest Cookies for the ride.

Imperial Sugar compensated me for my time to create this recipe and post. All opinions are, as always, 100% my own.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…


  1. I love that you used Greek yogurt here! Any cookie with a surprise center is my favorite. Who doesn’t love a surprise party for yo’ taste buds! These look amazing Erin!

  2. That cookie exchange sounds like it was worth the drive. These cookies look fantastic. Pinned.

  3. Erin – these cookies look so good – that frosting – yum!
    ” What’s In Santa’s Bag” is such a fun contest and congrats on having another one of your recipes on the Imperial Sugar site!!!

  4. Love that picture with the bite taken out! These look delicious!

  5. Ooh, I would much rather find these morello cherries than the maraschino ones! I think I would hitch hike for these, too. ;)

  6. Dark and yummy looking cookies here, I have got to pick up a jar of morello cherries – thanks for the tip!

  7. OH YUM! I just adore anything with chocolate and cherry in the same bite.

  8. YOU are the reason Morellos have been at the top of my TJ’s list for a month now. First the Manhattan cocktail, now this? I’m sooooo in! And can’t wait to get to St Louis where Trader Joe’s is thriving!

    PS I would totally mention your tenacity in reference to the cookie exchange in your next job interview! Worst case scenario, they think you’re nuts and don’t hire you. Best case scenario: they’re foodies too and they hire you instantly. Then, you get to work with foodies all day! :)

    • Lady, you need a big ol’ jar of these morellos (and a Trader joe’s) in your life. Now I am definitely mentioning this story in a job interview. Foodie coworkers=awesome treats brought into the office. Win!

  9. I would travel through five snowstorms just to eat one of those cookies!

  10. I love surprises in desserts! I want to dive right into the screen and snag one Erin!

  11. Chocolate-covered cherries are my grandmother’s favorite thing. She would swoon over these!!

  12. Hi Erin! Yum! These look and sound so good. I’ve actually never seen or tried a black forest cookie before. Must change soon!

  13. Oh Erin, any girl that faces a snowstorm for cookies is a friend of mine!!! These look awesome, and we’re actually getting snow here this morning… so ya know… be prepared for my arrival ;)

  14. Erin, just wanted to know that I made these last night and totally love them! I was putting together my cookies trays and figured one more couldn’t hurt, right? They turned out to be the perfect addition! I’m crazy about that chewy chocolate and gooey cherry combo! Yum! Great recipe!

    • Meg, I am SO SO excited that you tried these cookies and loved them! It sounds like we like them for the same reason :) Thanks for giving them a try and for taking time to share your thoughts here. Makes my day!

  15. I would definitely brave a snowstorm for these cookies too! These look awesome!

  16. Haha, that’d be a great story to tell, honestly, at an interview to show how determined you are! They might ask for a sampling of this cookie so you should totally make a batch and win them over ;) these look so good!

  17. These look amazing! I love chocolate and cherry. I’m going to have to pick up a jar of these morello cherries at Trader Joe’s, they sound delicious.

  18. what a fun story to tell! cookies are important :)

  19. That is dedication my friend! These cookies sound divine!

  20. Give me ten of these, please! I would have to go to cookie rehab as well, because I don’t think I’d left a single cookie in the plate whoops

  21. Now having a dozen of these in my car on Monday when I was stuck in snowstorm weather would have made things so much easier. Love the combination and your determination to make it with the cookies :)

  22. Just enjoyed reading your clever blog and couldn’t just stop with one recipe.We love how you mingle stories or adventures with all these yummy recipes. ANDD THE PHOTOS look professional ; Are you sure Ben does’t have to wait til the next day to eat dinner?

  23. My friends are obsessed with black forest. OB-SESSED. They would inhale these and then reach for another. Must make, soon (I’m sure this recipe needs a secondary title, ‘How to win friends and influence people’!) x

  24. Pingback: 50+ Christmas Cookies | Like Mother, Like Daughter Food

  25. Haha. You should totally use that story in a job interview!

    And these cookies look SO good! Love that you used Greek yogurt. I throw that in everything these days. :D

  26. Your cookies look delicious, I love chocolate and could eat 3 – 4 of these right now! :-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *