A quintessential summer cookie that is sure to delight! Made with a super soft brown sugar and butter sugar cookie, a sweet from-scratch cherry pie filling and topped with a buttery streusel, these cookies are irresistibly good and deserving of being enjoyed all summer long.
These Cherry Crumble Cookies are exactly what summer is made of! I’d like to think of them as a perfect pool day treat or an ideal picnic dessert. Plump cherries that are sweet, juicy, and tart make the perfect pie filling and the crumbly streusel on top adds an extra layer of texture and sweetness that completes the cookie with every bite. Before I explain this cookie a bit, I want to share a secret with you: I love fresh cherries on their own but cherry desserts are not my favorite at all. When I was growing up, my dad’s favorite ice cream was a cherry vanilla flavor from our local “corner store” (AKA Stewart’s for my New York and tri-state readers). My dad would hide his beloved cherry vanilla ice cream in the back of the freezer as if I thought it was worth devouring and well, when the good stuff (vanilla swirl, chocolate peanut butter or strawberry) ran out, desperate times do call, and I would grab some cherry vanilla ice cream and regretfully as it never sat well with me. My dad also favored cherry pie-the one pie I would pass up each Thanksgiving. The question still stands: did my dad truly love cherry desserts, or did he just figure out they were the only ones I wasn’t going to dive fork-first into? Probably a bit of both if we’re honest here but with that said, these cookies surprised me! These cookies are delicious, even if you’re like me and not such a cherry dessert fan.
Let’s get into it:
These cookies are comprised of three parts: cookie, filling, and streusel.
The cookie: A soft and fluffy, round sugar cookie made of just brown sugar. The brown sugar creates a soft, pillowy cookie that melts in your mouth. This cookie is amazing and well worth baking even if you were to omit the cherry filling and streusel; they are irresistible in their own right. The cookie is uncomplicated, and it really comes down to butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. The cookies have a generous amount of vanilla in them and it really makes this cookie stand out.
The cherry pie filling: I am going to of course recommend using fresh cherries because there’s nothing quite like fresh fruit in a fruity bake. I recently saw this OXO Good Grips Multi Cherry and Olive Pitter in the May/June issue of Bake From Scratch Magazine and would love to get one because what a time saver! If you have some time, hand-pitting them works too.
The streusel: A simple, old school traditional streusel that is completely low effort but makes such an incredible impact and ties the cookie together. Flour, sugar, salt, butter, and boom! Heaven.
Let’s get baking:
CHERRY CRUMBLE COOKIES
For the Cookies:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup granulated sugar, for rolling
For the cherry pie filling:
4 cups fresh cherries, washed and pitted
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the streusel:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
To make the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper, set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, cream butter until smooth. Add brown sugar and cream until mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to stand mixer. Mix on low until cookie dough is fully formed. Transfer cookie dough to plastic wrap or wax paper and chill in refrigerator for up to 30 minutes or even overnight. After chilling, roll cookies into 2.5” sized balls. Roll cookie dough balls in granulated sugar to coat. Place cookies on baking sheets, several inches apart to provide space. Using your hands or the bottom of a glass, slightly flatten cookies. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on cookie sheets (they will seem a little underbaked when first removed from the oven, but they will finish baking on their sheets). When cooled, scoop about 2 tablespoons of cherry pie filling on top of each cookie. Lightly spread filling over each cookie to distribute filling evenly on top. Sprinkle cookies generously with streusel.
To make the cherry pie filling:
Wash, remove stems and pit cherries. Cut cherries in half and set aside. Create a slurry by whisking together the cornstarch and water. Add cherries to a medium sized saucepan and cook for several minutes until cherries soften and become darker. Lower the temperature and stir in sugar, lemon juice, and slurry. Mix well and increase heat to medium-high. Bring cherries to a boil. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Allow cherries to come to room temperature.
To make the streusel:
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, and salt. Melt the butter and pour evenly over streusel mixture. Using a fork, mix together until ingredients form a crumble.