Watch chef Andreas Carver recreate his grandmother’s vintage Christmas cookie recipe with his mom

As co-founder of The Aphrodisiac Kitchen, Chef Andreas Carver (@andreasjoshua) understands how food can impact the human experience. In this episode of ITK: Family Style Holiday, Andreas steps into the kitchen with his mom to recreate his late grandmother’s cherry winks Christmas cookie recipe from the 1950s to continue traditions with fond holiday memories.

“Cherry winks are a 1950s recipe,” Chef Andreas says. “Somehow, my grandmother got the recipe – I don’t know where she got it from. Every year, she made them, and they would be in a little Santa Clause cookie jar.”

Even though Chef Andreas thinks cherry winks are “weird and kind of ugly,” he decided to recreate his grandmother’s tradition after her passing. He found her recipe on a handwritten card and has been making the Christmas cookies himself for the past two years.

Here’s how to make cherry winks Christmas cookies.


  • 2 ¼ cups flour

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup shortening

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 1 cup chopped dates

  • ⅓ cup chopped maraschino cherries, plus 5 to 10 more for topping

  • 2 ½ cups crushed cornflakes


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer or whisk to cream the shortening, eggs and sugar together. Add in milk and vanilla extract and stir until combined.

4. Mix the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Once combined, fold in the pecans, dates and cherries.

5. Shape the dough into balls using a level teaspoon, then roll each cookie in cornflakes.

6. Place the cookies on a greased baking sheet and top each with ¼ of a maraschino cherry. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until fluffy and golden.

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