Cherry Winks


A throwback sweet we want to enjoy today.

Cherry Winks
Photo: Joy Howard
3 dozen

A true throwback to the 1950s, this cookie gained popularity after it became the winning recipe for a national Pillsbury baking contest. The outside is coated in cornflakes—a popular ingredient during the time, and a unique textural element to an otherwise standard cookie dough. Inside, the cookies have a tender crumb with a combination of fruit (dates and cherries) and nuts (pecans) similar to a fruit cake.

However, it's the maraschino cherries that are the real star here, providing a sweet balance to the crunchy cereal coating and a bit of colorful whimsy to the top of each sweet. Don't skimp on them, or you'll end up with cookies that are surprisingly bland (trust us on this). If your cookies need an extra minute or two in the oven, be sure to keep close watch so the cereal doesn't burn.


  • 2 ⅓ cups flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup maraschino cherries, patted dry and chopped, plus 8 to 10 more quartered for the cookie tops

  • 14 dates, finely chopped

  • ¾ cup toasted pecans, chopped

  • 2 ½ cups lightly crushed cornflakes


  1. Heat the oven to 375°F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  2. In the bowl of stand mixer set at medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the milk, and blend well. Add the eggs, blending between each, then mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, a quarter-cup at a time, until all the flour is well mixed. Stop the mixer. Use a spatula to fold in 1/2 cup chopped cherries, dates, and pecans.

  3. Spoon the dough in tablespoon-sized portions, and roll in the cornflakes. Arrange on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Press a quartered cherry into the top of each cookie.

  4. Bake the cookies until set, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the shaping, rolling, and baking steps with the remaining dough.

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