1986 Winner: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

** 1 1/2 C Flour
** 1/2 C Unsweetened cocoa powder
** 1/4 T Salt
** 1/4 T Baking powder
** 1/4 T Baking soda
** 1/2 C Butter (or margarine,) Softened
** 1 C Sugar
** 1 Egg
** 1 1/2 t Vanilla
** 48 Maraschino cherries
** Frosting
** 6 oz Semisweet chocolate chips
** 1/2 C Sweetened condensed milk
** Cherry juice (4 to 5 tsp)

1. In bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla to butter-sugar mixture and beat well. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter-sugar mixture and beat until well blended.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and push down center of each ball with thumb. Drain cherries and reserve juice. Place 1 cherry in center of each indentation. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

3. For frosting, put chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in small saucepan. Heat until chocolate melts. Stir in 4 teaspoons cherry juice. If too thick, add more juice.

4. Spoon 1 teaspoon frosting over each cherry. Spread to cover cherry. Bake for 10 minutes or until done. Do not overcook. Remove to wire rack and cool. The cookies freeze nicely.

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