Cherry Wink Cookies – These sweet, rich, and delicious old-fashioned holiday cookies are filled with pecans, dates, and cherries, then rolled in a crunchy cornflakes coating. A must-have vintage cookie recipe for Christmas!
What are cherry wink cookies?
Cherry winks are a popular old fashioned cookie, often made during the holiday season. These vintage cookies gained popularity through a national Pillsbury baking contest in the 1950s. What makes them unique are the sweetness from the cherries, nuttiness from the pecans, and the crunch of cornflakes.
They’re chewy on the inside but crispy on the outside. The fruity, nutty, and buttery dough shaped into a ball then rolled in crushed cornflakes cereal before baking, adding a wonderful crunch and an extra layer of texture to the finished cookies. Cherry winks are topped with a halved cherry before baking to add a charming and festive touch.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
The mix of nutty, and fruity tastes in every bite is irresistible.
It’s a no-chill cookie recipe and the process is pretty straightforward.
Sweet, delicious and festive. Perfect for holiday gatherings and cookie exchanges!
These are wonderful for gifting.
Ingredients & Substitutions:
Flour – This is the base of the cookie dough. I used all purpose flour / plain flour here. Gluten-free flour blends can be replaced regular flour for a gluten-free version of these cookies.
Butter – Make sure the butter is at room temperature for easy blending. Margarine or a vegan butter substitute can work for those avoiding dairy.
Sugar – Can be replaced with brown sugar.
Cornflakes – This is the star ingredient. It is used to coat the cookie dough for a crunchy exterior. Do not skip this ingredient if possible.
Cherries – Adds a burst of flavor and sweetness. I have used candied cherries here. If you are using maraschino cherries, make sure they are not too wet to prevent affecting the dough consistency. You will need chopped cherries for the dough and halved cherries to decorate the cookies.
Pecans – Adds a wonderful crunch and nutty taste. Other nuts such as walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts can also be used.
Dates – Adds extra sweetness and chewiness. You can replace it with any other dried fruit but the taste and flavor will be different. Raisins, dried cranberries, or apricots can be used instead of dates.
Milk – The original recipe calls for eggs but I have substituted it with milk.
Vanilla – Adds a wonderful flavor. You can also use almond extract if you want.
Baking Powder & Baking Soda – Helps the cookies rise. Do not skip this.
Salt – Skip this if you are using salted butter.
Serve them with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.
Arrange these cookies alongside other festive treats for a colorful holiday platter.
Pack them in decorative boxes to give as gifts during the holiday season.
These can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you want to store them for longer period of time, store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze the cookies, transfer the cooled cookies to a ziplock bag or freezer safe container and store in the freezer. You could also freeze the unbaked cookie dough for up to 3 months
Tips & Notes:
Ensure the pecans, dates, and cherries are chopped into relatively uniform pieces for even distribution.
If using maraschino cherries, drain and pat them dry with a paper towel. Excess moisture can affect the dough’s consistency.
Do not crush the cornflakes too finely. You want them to coat the dough evenly.
The dough should be sticky so that the cornflakes will stick well to the dough balls. To shape the cookies, just drop of a spoonful of dough into crushed cornflakes and gently roll to make a round ball. If you find it challenging to roll the dough, chill it for 30 minutes for easier handling.
While they taste equally good without the cornflakes coating, I highly recommend not skipping it as it adds both crunch and flavor to the cookies and facilitates easier dough rolling.
Do not overbake the cookies. They should turn golden brown, but be careful not to overbake, as this can make them too crispy.
Step by step instructions:
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and keep it aside until use.
Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bow.
Add vanilla and milk to the creamed butter mixture. Mix until well combined.
Add the flour mixture to the sugar butter mixture.
Mix everything together until dough forms.
Add chopped candied cherries, chopped pecans and chopped dates. Gently fold everything until well combined.
The dough should be sticky. If you feel you are not able to shape it, chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Take a spoonful of cookie dough.
Crush cornflakes using your hands or rolling pin. Drop the dough into the crushed cornflakes and gently roll and shape it into a round ball.
Repeat the process with remaining dough.
Arrange them on a lined baking sheet spacing 2 inches apart. Top them with halved cherry and gently press.
Bake them in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes at 190 degrees C.
Once cookies are set and lightly browned around edges, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.
You might love these recipes:
- Peppermint Kiss Cookies
- Red Hot Cinnamon Apples
- Cherry Snowballs
- White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
- Mango Quinoa Salad
- Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts
- Orange Blueberry Muffins
- Santa’s Whiskers Cookies
- Oreo Bark
Recipe adapted from Pillsbury
How to make cherry winks recipe video below:
Cherry Wink Cookies Recipe
- ½ Cup + 1 Tablespoon All Purpose Flour / Plain Flour
- ¼ Teaspoon Baking Powder
- ⅛ Teaspoon Baking Soda
- ⅛ Teaspoon Salt
- 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 2.5 Tablespoons Milk
- ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1.5 Tablespoons Chopped Cherries
- ¼ Cup Chopped Pecans
- ¼ Cup Chopped Dates
- 6 Candied Cherries
- ⅓ Cup Crushed Cornflakes
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and keep it aside until use.
- Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
- Add vanilla and milk to the creamed butter mixture. Mix until well combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the sugar butter mixture.
- Mix everything together until dough forms.
- Add chopped candied cherries, chopped pecans and chopped dates. Gently fold everything until well combined.
- The dough should be sticky. If you feel you are not able to shape it, chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- Take a spoonful of cookie dough. Drop the dough into the crushed cornflakes and gently roll and shape it into a round ball.
- Arrange them on a lined baking sheet spacing 2 inches apart. Top them with halved cherry and gently press.
- Bake them in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes at 190 degrees C.
- Once cookies are set and lightly browned around edges, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.
Nutrition values are estimates only.