Christmas Treasure Cookies

cherry chocolate cookies on a rack with a bowl of browned butter frosting

Christmas Treasure Cookies – Brown Butter Cherry Chocolate Walnut Cookies –  A brown butter cookie studded with cherries, chocolate, walnuts, and topped with a brown butter frosting.

A few years ago my friend Julie organized a food blogger cookie swap. I sent a box of Christmas treats to a few bloggers and was fortunate to receive a few boxes of treats too. In my box, I got Christmas Treasure Cookies from Jenna of Just J.Faye.

At first bite, I became obsessed with these cookies and they have made an appearance every Christmas since. I love them so much. They are a little kitschy. Isn’t anything with a maraschino cherry just a little bit tacky? I automatically think of those “salads” with the marshmallows and the cherries. I love tacky, I’m not judging,

three christmas treasure cookies on a plate with a reindeer mug of cocoa

The flavor of these cookies starts with browned butter. If you have never browned butter before, not to worry. It is really simple, but you do need to babysit the pan. I’ve never in my life seen anything go from perfect to absolutely burnt as fast as browned butter can. Well, maybe cooked sugar. That needs a babysitter too.

When you brown butter, it goes from melted to toasted, and the flavor becomes nutty and deep and it truly is incredible. Not only is it excellent in baking, but also on vegetables, tossed in pasta, it elevates a package of frozen ravioli to an entirely new place. Give it a go.

For this recipe, you will brown the butter once, but divide it into two portions – one for the brown butter cherry chocolate walnut cookies and the other for the browned butter icing.

browned butter cherry chocolate walnut cookies on a wire rack

Tips for Brown Butter Cherry Chocolate Walnut Cookies //

  • Take the time to toast the walnuts. Even though the walnuts will be baked when the cookies are, it makes a huge difference in the overall flavor of the cookie.
  • Make sure to dry your cherries well. The added moisture will not be kind to your cookies. I drain them when I pour them out of the jar and dry them with a paper towel. I also do a good press of paper towel over the chopped cherries.
  • Use a high-quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate chip. I like Guittard or Ghiradelli. Tip – they are always on sale during the holidays, I STOCK UP during the holidays. I have a whole shelf in my pantry of just chips.
  • These cookies are an excellent addition to a cookie box or tray. They add a lot of color and are a nice change from the typical Christmas cookies.
overhead shot of cherry browned butter chocolate walnut cookies on a wire rack with a bowl of browned butter frosting
Christmas Treasure Cookies

Christmas Treasure Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes

Christmas Treasure Cookies – Brown Butter Cherry Chocolate Walnut Cookies –  A brown butter cookie studded with cherries, chocolate, walnuts, and topped with a brown butter frosting.


Brown Butter Cherry Chocolate Walnut Cookies //

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (10-oz) jar maraschino cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups seem-sweet chocolate chips

Brown Butter Frosting //

  • 1/4 cup brown butter (reserved from the cookie quantity)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • Pinch salt


  1. Add walnuts to a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast for 5 to 10 minutes, and remove from heat to cool. Set aside. 
  2. Drain the maraschino cherries and dry on a paper towel, cut into quarters and pat dry. Set aside. 
  3. To brown butter, add butter to a medium saucepan. Melt over medium heat stirring until the butter begins to froth and foam. Brown flecks will form on the bottom on the pan and the butter will smell toasted. Be careful to not walk away, as this burns quickly. 
  4. Reserve 1/4 cup of the butter for the frosting and pour the remaining butter into the bowl on an electric mixer.
  5. Add the sugars to the butter and mix until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until smooth. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until you can no longer see the flour. Fold in cherries, chocolate chips, and walnuts. 
  6. Chill the dough for one hour or overnight. 
  7. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°. Scoop the dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, Let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. To make the frosting, add powdered sugar to the reserved brown butter that is at room temperature. Mix and add vanilla and milk. Mix until the frosting is smooth and spreadable. Add more milk or powdered sugar to get the desired consistency as needed.  


This recipe is from Jenna of Just J. Faye.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 110mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Thank you Jenna for the recipe, I am so glad that you and your mom created this recipe, it has made its way into my holiday traditions.

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Jenna @ Just J. Faye

    Love love love love love

    1. Bree Hester

      Thank you for sharing this with me, I love it so much and have made them many, many times since.

  2. Elisabeth Hahn

    These were an instant hit and came out perfectly! Thanks for sharing such a perfect recipe — looking forward to making these every Christmas!

    1. Bree Hester

      This makes me so happy Elisabeth, I love this recipe so much and make them every year. I am so happy that you will be making them too.

  3. Anna

    Thank you for the recipe, Bree! These walnut cookies are absolutely delicious. I made them at Christmas, and everybody enjoyed them, especially kids. What I like most about these cookies is this tender creamy frosting!
    Well, I hope you will continue sharing your amazing recipes. I will wait for them because I like your blog. Happy New Year, Bree!

    1. Bree Hester

      Thank you so much Anna, I am so glad that you liked these cookies as much as I do, these are one of my favorites.

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