Valentine Kisses Cookies

by Carol Kicinski on February 7, 2013

Post image for Valentine Kisses Cookies
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner (sheesh, how did this happen?!?) This year, I am giving the people I love lots of Valentine’s Day kisses – in cookie form.

These gluten free sweet treats are light, tender cookies studded with maraschino cherries and topped with, yep; you guessed it – a chocolate kiss.

While these cookies are simple to make, there are a couple of little tricks that will make your life (or at least your cookie making) a bit easier.

First of all, make sure to dry your cherries well with paper towels, you don’t want to tint your dough too pink nor do you want any extra liquid.

Secondly, make sure that all your chocolate kisses are unwrapped before the cookies are finished baking; you want to top the cookies with the kisses as soon as they come out of the oven. If you let the cookies cool too much, they have a tendency to crumble when you are trying to get that kiss in there. Don’t worry, once the cookies cool, they won’t crumble on you.

I also stagger my starting time for baking the cookies. I get all my cookie dough placed on the cookie sheets, put one sheet in, wait 5 minutes then put in the second sheet. This gives me enough time to get all my cookies topped with kisses without having to worry about them cooling too much.

Once your cookies are topped with the kisses, let them cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling. In fact, you can probably just skip letting them cool on a rack if you want.

Last but certainly not least, make sure your kisses are gluten free! According to Hershey’s, only the regular bite sized plain milk chocolate, filled caramel, and filled cherry cordial kisses are gluten free. This means that the special dark chocolate, milk chocolate with almonds, Hugs and all the other varieties are not gluten free!

Here are some gluten free Valentine Kisses for you! I hope you spend Valentine’s Day with the people you love!

Gluten Free Valentine Kisses Cookies

Gluten Free Valentine Kisses Cookies Recipe


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten free flour (with xanthan gum)
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
4 ounces Solo Almond Paste
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar, divided use
1 large egg white
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
½ cup maraschino cherries, stems removed, dried and coarsely chopped
42 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer (preferably fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the almond paste, butter, and ¼ cup sugar together for 3 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Add the egg white and extracts and beat well. Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture slowly. Mix until combined. With a spatula, stir the chopped cherries into the dough.

Place the remaining ¼ cup of sugar on a plate. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls (a #60 ice cream scoop works well) and roll the dough balls in the sugar. Place on the prepared pans, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes or until the dough looks just set but has not started to brown. While the cookies are baking unwrap all your chocolate kisses.

As soon as the cookies are done, place a kiss on top of each cookie, gently pressing the kiss into the cookie. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then gently move to a wire rack to finish cooling.


A gluten free recipe that makes 42 (3½ dozen) cookies

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanette M C February 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Where do you buy almond paste?


Carol Kicinski February 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm

In the grocery store in the baking aisle. In my store it is where you find the cake fillings and such. Just ask the grocer, they can help you.


Catering Services For Valentine Day February 8, 2013 at 1:30 am

Great dish for kiss day and i love to make this different and interesting recipe. It looks really too yummy.


Carol Kicinski February 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Thank you. I like that you call it kiss day :)


Juli Martin February 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm

As always, a winning recipe with clear instructions and great tips! Love your interesting and informational website… and nice photography too :) Thanks for all of your effort to help make others’ lives more tasty!


Carol Kicinski February 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Aww, thank YOU Juli!


Wild Child February 10, 2013 at 2:17 am

Thank you SO MUCH for the information on gluten free Kisses. I had no idea! I love dark chocolate and would have gravitated towards them. I am definitely making these for Valentine’s Day, and definitely with safe Kisses. <3


daniel February 12, 2013 at 1:39 am

As I always say the way to anyone’s heart is via their stomach. :) These cookies actually reminded me of the gift I’m gonna give to my girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. I’ve made a private booking for one of the courses organized by Zac’s cooking school here in Vancouver – cooking classes for couples and this recipe will most certainly be among the first ones we’ll try together. So it fits in perfectly with my romantic plans. :)


Carol Kicinski February 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

What a good guy you are! I hope your gf loves the cooking class!


Molly February 12, 2013 at 7:56 am

What a lovely way to make the cookies pink without having to break out the food coloring! These would probably be great with the cherry cordial kisses for an extra hit of cherry (though I’m bummed about my favorite variety, the hugs, being off the table).


Carol Kicinski February 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Thanks Molly and I know how you feel. Honestly, I don’t think I would have checked for just myself but I like to make double sure about ingredients for the blog so I am really happy I did check! Who knew?


fayedavis February 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

Carol, these look wonderful! I’ve become very sensitive to certain foods and I’m glad you came up with a fun Valentine’s cookie recipe we all can enjoy.


Carol Kicinski February 19, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Thanks so much. I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day!


Amonda February 9, 2015 at 11:11 am

I cannot have almonds, or any nuts, so what is the substitution for almond paste?


Carol Kicinski April 7, 2015 at 9:07 am

Hi Amonda,

While normally I would say it would be best to choose a different recipe, I did find this substitute for almond paste which you could try if you like. I have never done it so…

If you do try it, let me know how it turns out!


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