Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler

By |2018-08-04T23:36:29-04:00February 22nd, 2017|Desserts, Pies, Tarts & Fruit|18 Comments


Sugar Cookie Cherry CobblerSugar Cookie Cherry CobblerSugar Cookie Cherry CobblerSugar Cookie Cherry CobblerSugar Cookie Cherry CobblerSugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler

Even though President’s Day was celebrated this past Monday, George Washington’s actual birthday was today, February 22nd.

And as you know, there is the legend of the cherry tree that has endured since 1806. So, in honor of George Washington and that ole’ cherry tree, I present to you, Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

I cannot tell a lie…cobblers are one of my favorite desserts. Anything that’s warm and sweet and welcomes a scoop of ice cream is right up my alley.

I’m generally a fan of biscuit based desserts like Georgia Peach Cobbler and Strawberry Shortcake. I happen to like the balance of the sweet fruit with the just lightly sweetened biscuit.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

But I have been obsessed with the idea of a cookie cobbler for quite awhile now. Really, why can’t cookies also work as cobblers? I’ll admit that I’ve also been obsessed with the name, “Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler.”

I love saying it. In my head, I’m five again and running around saying, “rubber baby buggy bumpers.” That was a fun tongue twister from my childhood.

It’s still winter, though it felt like spring here in the northeast this weekend. We drank up every single bit of it. It was so nice to get out and feel the warm sunshine on our faces.

I love the surprise of an unseasonably warm day. I love it even more in the evenings, because there are no mosquitoes or other bugs that want to intrude on my enjoyment.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

We walked some gorgeous gardens on Sunday and were surrounded by the perfume of more orchids than I’ve ever seen at one time in my life.

It was a lovely day, and the gardens were simply the perfect place to enjoy the warm weather, surrounded by beauty, while getting lots of walking in.

Warm though it may be, it’s not cherry season, so I opted for a large bag of organic frozen cherries for this recipe. I have no issues with using frozen fruit.

We keep our freezer stocked all year for smoothies. Frozen fruit is perfect for that use as well as for things like cobbler. For one, you don’t have to worry about fruit going bad while it’s waiting for you to use it.

Secondly, my frozen cherries had no pits. That’s one less lengthy prep step. Not everyone likes the job of pitting cherries. >>>me

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

Now, you can just toss those cherries with some sugar and throw them in the baking pan, but I like a little more control over my filling.

I wasn’t sure how much juice the cherries would render and I didn’t want to go overboard on thickening agents. I wanted a juicy filling that wasn’t too wet, but also was not gelatinous. So, I cooked them first.

I let them thaw in a large pot over medium heat until they released their liquid. Then, I let that liquid reduce just a bit and tasted them for sweetness.

I added some sugar and a generous squeeze of lemon and let it continue to simmer. Then, I removed some of the liquid to a small bowl, mixed it with one tablespoon of cornstarch and then added it back to the fruit. I let it thicken to a syrup. I decided that was thick enough for me and poured it into a shallow baking dish.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

You can use any kind of baking dish that you wish, as long as the fruit fits with room to bubble up without bubbling over.

If you want a thicker fruit to topping ratio, use a smaller and deeper dish. You’ll have some cookie dough left over, but you can bake off the extra dough as regular sugar cookies and have them as a separate treat for another time.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

I chose a 13 x 9″ dish and used up every bit of cookie dough. As far as the cookie dough, you have choices. I chose to roll it out and cut a bunch of different sized shapes to top my cobbler.

I wasn’t sure my topping design would hold up after baking on top of juicy fruit for an extended time, but I was pleased with the result. The cookies generally kept their shape.

It didn’t bother me that the fruit juices bubbled up and left purple stains on some of the crust. That’s what cobblers do when you cover them with lots of little cookie shapes.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

If you, however, have no desire to roll and cut shapes, you can just scoop out spoonfuls of cookie dough, flatten them between your hands, and layer little “slabs” of the flattened dough over your fruit filling.

Those slabs will bake up looking like a cobblestone street, as you might normally see with a traditional cobbler. So, there’s no pressure to make a pretty topping. It’s all going to taste the same. Go pretty or go rustic.

After I got my design into place, I sprinkled turbinado sugar liberally over the top of the cookie dough. This will add sweetness along with a nice crunchy texture on the top of your cobbler.

Now you’re just going to bake it until the cookies are golden and your filling is bubbly.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

A word about sweetness…I have started to like less sweet desserts, and while I enjoyed this dessert, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it could have been just a tiny bit less sweet for me.

I repeat… that less sweet opinion was solely mine. I think it’s because I’m such a biscuit cobbler girl. My family begged to differ.

They thought it was absolutely perfect as is. My husband said that the sweet tartness of the cherries still came through and that he wouldn’t change a thing.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

So here’s my advice to you…you know how sweet a sugar cookie is. You have an opportunity to taste your cherry filling to decide how sweet you’d like that. I used sweet cherries. You might have sour cherries.

That said, I think the recipe, as written, works very well and I think the majority of people will like the sweetness level as is. I only used 1/2 cup of sugar.

Some fruit filling recipes call for a full cup or a cup and a half. I’m sure there are some who might like it much sweeter. For those that want it sweeter, just add more sugar to your filling.

For those who might want less sweetness, reduce how sweet your cherry filling is, knowing that your cookie topping will add more sweetness later.

You can also either reduce or eliminate the sugar topping. Next time, I would probably try 1/4 cup of sugar with the cherries and less sugar topping and see if my family notices the drop in sweetness.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

That’s the beauty of cooking your cherry filling first. You can taste and adjust before you bake. Did I tell you I like control? ;) Well, cooking your filling first gives you control over both taste and texture. Works for me.

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler was a fun treat this President’s Day weekend. Sweet juicy cherries bake beneath a tender yet crisp cookie crust.

Vanilla ice cream is mandatory here and melts over that warm sweet cobbler. You know my perfect bite has to have fruit, crust and melty ice cream…

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.

Yep…Twist your tongue around that :)

 

Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler. Sweet, juicy cherries bake beneath a tender, yet crispy crust of buttery sugar cookies. A fun twist on traditional cobbler.
5 from 1 vote
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Sugar Cookie Cherry Cobbler

Servings 8 -10 servings

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 3 pounds frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup sugar or to taste, see notes
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • generous squeeze of lemon or lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract optional

For the cookie:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse sugar for sprinkling on top if desired (I use Sugar in the Raw)

Instructions

  1. Make the cherry filling. Place frozen cherries into a large sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until cherries have thawed and released their juices. Stir occasionally. This will take about 15 minutes.
  2. Allow cherries to simmer for another five minutes to allow juices to reduce slightly.
  3. Taste cherries and add sugar to taste. See recipe notes.
  4. In a small bowl whisk cornstarch with enough cherry juice from the pan to dissolve it.
  5. Add the cornstarch mixture back to the pan and stir. Continue to simmer over medium low heat until thickened into a syrup. Stir in almond extract, if desired.
  6. Pour cherry filling into a 13 x 9" baking dish. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  7. Make the cookie dough. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  8. Beat softened butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add almond extract, vanilla extract and egg and continue beating until fully combined.
  10. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined.
  11. Roll cookie dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment to a little thicker than 1/4". Store in refrigerator while filling cools and to help the cookie dough firm up.
  12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  13. Once the filling is cool, remove dough from the refrigerator and cut desired shapes, gathering scraps and re-rolling as necessary. Place them as desired over the filling. You should have enough dough to cover most of the filling. If you don't want to roll and cut, see notes for alternate option.
  14. Sprinkle raw sugar evenly over the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and top is golden.
  15. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Notes

*You can adjust sweetness with your cherry filling. I used 1/2 cup in this recipe, but you can start with 1/4 cup and then add as necessary. Cherries will vary in sweetness, so always taste first. You can also either eliminate or reduce the sugar topping. I like the texture it adds, but I might use a little less next time.

*If you want a thicker filling, add more cornstarch when cooking the cherries. One Tablespoon worked perfectly for me. That amount resulted in just a little extra syrup in the pan to help top the ice cream :)

*I didn't measure how much 3 pounds of cherries was...I would estimate it was about 8 cups. You don't have to have that exact amount. Use what fills your baking dish and sweeten and thicken to taste.

*Yes, you can absolutely use fresh cherries. Since you're cooking them first, you can still adjust sweetness and thickening as desired.

*If you don't like the taste of almonds, you can eliminate the almond extract from the cherries and use only vanilla extract in your cookies.

*If you don't want to spend the time rolling and cutting your dough into shapes, simply take spoonfuls of dough and flatten between your hands before placing on top of the filling. You can layer them however you choose. No fancy design necessary :)

*If you want a bigger ratio of fruit to topping, bake in a smaller but deeper baking dish. You may have cookie dough left over. You can bake that off as regular sugar cookies separately.

*Love sugar cookies, but crave a biscuit topping? Make this cherry filling then use the biscuit topping from Georgia Peach Cobbler :)

*You can store covered at room temperature. I chose to cover mine and store it in the refrigerator, reheating individual servings for those who wanted to eat their cobbler warm.

The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2017

By |2018-08-04T23:36:29-04:00February 22nd, 2017|Desserts, Pies, Tarts & Fruit|18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Mary February 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    This looks delicious! My mom always made cobblers – cherry in honor of George’s birthday – for a quick dessert. Thanks for the memory and your version using a sugar cookie dough. Will definitely be making one of these!

    • Ramona February 22, 2017 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      I love cobblers! My first choice will always be a biscuit cobbler, but this was a fun version to experiment with and it was a hit with my family. I love that your mom was a cobbler maker! She sounds like my kind of people :)

  2. Kearin February 22, 2017 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Cherry all the things! Love cherries but my partner hates them – oh well more for me! I love that cobblers are way easier than pies but with a lot of the same reward – this cookie idea feels like the perfect joining of cobbler and pie :)

    • Ramona February 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      It’s funny. I like cherries, but it’s not always my first fruit choice, until I have something with cherries in it, then I’m reminded how much I LOVE cherries!

  3. Jan February 23, 2017 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Hmmm…I wonder how this would turn out with my frozen peaches?!

    • Ramona February 23, 2017 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      I think it would be very tasty! Read all the notes on sweetness levels, but yes…very yummy! Or, you could try my Georgia Peach Cobbler with those peaches! Your choice…cookie topping or biscuit topping :)

  4. Sunshine April 23, 2017 at 1:20 am - Reply

    This looks yummy!!!

  5. Delia M Bottoms July 2, 2017 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Loved, loved, loved it! What a fabulous idea to use sugar cookie dough rather than biscuit or cakey batter! I just read your about your experience and what you did. I immediately went into the kitchen and took out the sour cherries out of the fridge that I had picked from the trees. I make cherry pies so I knew how much sugar to put in and I have my own recipe for sugar cookie dough. I used star shaped cookie cutters since the 4th of July is around the corner. What a great dessert! Loved it! So did my 80+-year-old neighbors! I made one small cobbler for them and they truly enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Ramona July 2, 2017 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      Delia, thanks for the lovely compliment :) It’s fun to get a fellow baker’s feedback. I try to give options so that less experienced readers can feel comfortable enough to play around with the recipe and get used to making changes to suit their own tastes. For an experienced baker, it’s great to simply be inspired and run with that. I bet the stars looked festive. You’ve got some lucky neighbors!

  6. Elaine July 12, 2017 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Did you use sweet or tart cherries

    • Ramona July 13, 2017 at 5:41 am - Reply

      They were sweet, but you could use either and adjust sugar to taste.

  7. Betty September 22, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    This is delicious! I’ve frozen some cooked cherries and when I’m in a hurry, I defrost the cherries and use Pillsbury sugar cookies to top. Not quite as good as the old-fashioned ones, but quite good enough. I add no sugar to the cherries because the sugar cookie topper is so sweet. Mmmmm everyone asks for the recipe.

    • Ramona September 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm - Reply

      Betty, so glad you liked it! And, even though it’s not the same as homemade, we all cheat and use shortcuts sometimes :)

  8. Don April 12, 2018 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    To be REALLY lazy, how would this work out if you used canned cherry pie filling and bought refrigerated cookie dough at the store and simply rolled that out into a sheet?

    • Ramona April 12, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      I think you can take the lazy way out here. I would say that your pie filling is probably going to be thicker than my filling, so it might be a little more like sugar cookie cherry pie. That sounds good to me! Bottom line is this…if you like canned cherry pie filling and you like refrigerated cookie dough, I’m pretty sure you’re going to like them baked together. You’re basically just swapping pie dough for cookie dough, right? I’d go for it!

    • Ramona April 12, 2018 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Don, One more idea…I often find that canned pie filling doesn’t have as much fruit in it as I think it should. You could still go the canned pie filling route but mix in some extra frozen cherries. There’s already sweetener and thickener in the pie filling, just stir in some extra cherries to extend any extra “sauce.” That might also help loosen up the filling a bit and reduce the sweetness since the sugar cookie will already add plenty of sweetness to the dish. Just an idea.

  9. James Cook June 14, 2018 at 3:50 pm - Reply


    Made this today and want to thank you for the recipe.I made the cookie dough a little thick and cut them out with different sized circles.The effect was a biscuit look with a cookie crunch and flavor.I also used honey for sweetener in the filling.A little bit of cinnamon in the filling also.Lot’s of cherries with cookies on top! A keeper.

    • Ramona June 14, 2018 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      James, your variation sounds delish! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it :)

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