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Christmas Rock Cookies

These easy Christmas Rock Cookies are lightly sweet and studded with plump raisins, crunchy walnuts, and topped with maraschino cherries. They’re the perfect holiday treat!

The holiday baking and cookie-making season is upon us! I kicked things off this past weekend with a batch of these absolutely delicious rock cookies that are so simple you don’t even need a mixer to make them!

Now, don’t let that name fool you. Except for their shape, these cookies are not at all like rocks. They’re the perfect combination of lightly crisp and golden on the bottom and edges while the rest of the cookie is nice and soft!

To be honest, I have no idea why these are called rock cookies. All I know is that my mom made them every single Christmas when I was a kid (and only ever at Christmas), and she always called them rock cookies.

A day or two before Christmas, you could always find her in the kitchen late at night baking up a batch. When we were old enough, she would let me and my sister stay up and help her. What a special time for us!

This recipe is actually half of my mom’s recipe, which originally came from a lady named Julia that worked with my grandma. Even at half, it makes a lot of cookies (I get almost 7 dozen)!

And the cookies always went into what is still, to this day, the biggest Tupperware container/bowl that I have ever seen (it was truly ginormous!), ready to be enjoyed by us and all the family and friends who would visit during the holidays.

I call these Christmas Rock Cookies because we only ever had them at Christmas, and they’ll always be Christmas cookies to me, but they would really be good any time of the year!

christmas rock cookies on a wire cooking rack

Ingredients you need:

  • Raisins
  • All-purpose flour
  • Walnuts
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Margarine
  • Shortening
  • White sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Egg
  • Orange juice
  • Maraschino cherries

Here’s a look at how to make Christmas Rock Cookies:

two images showing the steps to make christmas rock cookies
two images showing the steps to make christmas rock cookies
two images showing the steps to make christmas rock cookies
two images showing how to make christmas rock cookies
two images showing how to make christmas rock cookies
two images showing how to make christmas rock cookies

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Don’t skip the step of soaking the raisins in hot water. They will be much more plump and juicy, which makes for a better cookie.
  • “Cream” is a term used often in baking, but what does it mean? Mix the ingredients together until they are well-combined, light and fluffy. Be sure to start with room-temperature ingredients.
  • These cookies are not super heavy on raisins or walnuts. Add more of either if you’d like.
  • Chop the walnuts as coarse or as fine as you like using a knife or a food processor (I prefer smaller bits). Or you could use chopped walnuts straight from the bag, as is, if you like the size.
  • It may seem like an odd shape, but the taller cylindrical shape of the dough will help keep the cookies from spreading out too much when baking.
  • Be gentle with those cherries on top. You don’t want to flatten the dough, but you need to push them into the dough. If you don’t, they will likely fall off while baking.
  • I highly recommend using light-colored cookie sheets. Dark-colored cookie sheets can make the bottoms of the cookies too dark.
  • Store your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They should last for several days.
  • Yes, you can freeze them! Place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container, putting wax paper or parchment paper between the layers. Remove as much air as possible. For best results, use within 2 to 3 months.
plate of christmas rock cookies with cookies on a cooling rack in the background

I’ve decided to make this week Cookie Week, so I’ll have at least one (and hopefully two) more cookie recipes for you. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out the list below for some of my other favorite cookie recipes and sweet treats.

I hope you give this Christmas Rock Cookies recipe a try and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Christmas Rock Cookies

These easy Christmas Rock Cookies are lightly sweet and studded with plump raisins, crunchy walnuts, and topped with maraschino cherries. They're the perfect holiday treat!
5 from 3 votes
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 82 cookies (approximately; a few shy of 7 dozen)
Estimated Calories: 53

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup raisins
  • cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • pound walnuts, chopped (chop as coarse or as fine as you would like), ½ cup to ¾ cup total when chopped
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup margarine, softened, room temperature
  • ½ cup shortening, such as Crisco, softened, room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • tablespoons orange juice
  • 21 maraschino cherries, quartered (you may need a few less or more depending on how many cookies you get; there will be more than enough cherries in a 15-ounce jar)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Soak the raisins in hot tap water for 5 minutes to soften; drain and pat dry.
  • In a bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour and the chopped walnuts. In a second bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour and the raisins. In a third bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup of flour with the baking powder and baking soda.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, shortening, white sugar, brown sugar, egg, and orange juice.
  • Add half of the flour/walnut mixture to the margarine mixture; stir just until combined and there is no dry flour left. Do the same with half of the flour/raisin mixture and then half of the flour/baking powder/baking soda mixture, stirring after each addition.
  • Repeat with the remaining halves of the 3 flour mixtures.
  • Using a teaspoon of dough for each cookie (I use a measuring spoon and not a teaspoon from the silverware drawer), shape the dough into a cylinder shape about an inch tall. Place, standing upright, onto large light-colored cookie sheets about 1½ inches apart. Note: I don't recommend using dark-colored cookie sheets because the bottoms of the cookies can get too dark.
  • Gently press a piece of maraschino cherry into the top of each piece of dough, being careful not to flatten the dough too much (the taller dough shape helps keep the cookies from spreading out too much during baking). Note: Don't just place the cherry on top. You have to press it in a little or else it will just fall off during baking.
  • One cookie sheet at a time, bake on the middle rack of your oven for 15 to 20 minutes (mine usually take 15 minutes). The tops of the cookies should remain light-colored, and the bottoms should be golden brown. Note: For even cooking, don't put more than one pan in the oven at a time on different racks. Bake in several batches instead (I bake mine in 3 batches). If you need to re-use a cookie sheet, make sure it has cooled down before you place more dough on it.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to wire racks to cool completely.

Notes

  • These cookies are not super heavy on raisins or walnuts. Add more of either if you’d like.
  • Store your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They should last for several days.
  • To freeze: Once cooled, place cookies in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container, putting wax paper or parchment paper between the layers. Remove as much air as possible. For best results, use within 2 to 3 months.
  • Estimated calories are for 1 cookie.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
Recipe Rating




Tina Boyd

Tuesday 6th of December 2022

I grew up knowing this recipe as Boston Fruit Cookies! So glad I found your recipe, because I lost mine!

Michelle

Tuesday 6th of December 2022

Thanks, Tina! I've always wondered about where they might have come from. I hope these are as good as the ones you grew up with!

Rosa

Saturday 30th of January 2021

Thanks very interesting blog!

Michelle

Saturday 30th of January 2021

Thank you!

Herman

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Hey great website! Does running a blog like this require a great deal of work? I have very little knowledge of coding however I was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, should you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I know this is off topic but I just wanted to ask. Thanks a lot!