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.

Black Forest Cookies
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Black Forest Cookies

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


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 jar morello cherries — (10 ounces) 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
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Black Forest Cookies, Easy Cookie Recipe

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.