Christmas Treasure Cookies

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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

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes
Course cookies
Cuisine baking
Servings 3 dozen
Calories 188 kcal


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


  • Add walnuts to a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast for 5 to 10 minutes, and remove from heat to cool. Set aside. 
  • Drain the maraschino cherries and dry on a paper towel, cut into quarters and pat dry. Set aside. 
  • 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. 
  • Reserve 1/4 cup of the butter for the frosting and pour the remaining butter into the bowl on an electric mixer.
  • 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. 
  • Chill the dough for one hour or overnight. 
  • 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.
  • 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.  


Serving: 1gCalories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 110mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15g
Keyword cherry chocolate cookies, cherry chocolate walnut brown butter cookies, christmas cookies, Christmas Treasure Cookies, holiday baking
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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.

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