A Dream Dessert Features the Delicate Candy-Like Flavors of Elderberry and Cherry, Inside a Cookie!

Appetizers / November 1, 2021

Here’s another confession for all my crazy and loyal followers: Food is not silent. It has a clear and authentic voice that actually speaks. It is screaming inspiration to you all the time. You’re busy checking with your friends about recipe combinations and culling through cookbooks or blogs for direction. And yet all you need are your taste buds. In the case of this elegantly infused Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar, one need only to close one’s eyes. Press the vinegar thoughtfully between your teeth and tongue. Take it to the back of your mouth and let it coat your tongue. Now pause and breathe. Wow! Intense! Right?

When I tasted this Olive This! Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar, I was transported to a place where soft flowers blend with tart cherries. A place where an herbal hint of berry was almost perfume-like but still sweet like candy with just the right tartness. After I smacked my lips and opened my eyes? Well, all I could think of was making this into a dessert. I could tell that it had qualities like vanilla, but with a depth that was screaming to be featured as a main flavor.

After finding one of my favorite soft sugar cookie recipes, one that I knew would yield a good chew but not crumble, I decided a bit of this balsamic nectar would be just as much at home in the batter as in the lovely icing I was planning to create to sandwich them together. We add other oils to batters like lemon oil, almond oil, and so forth. Surely this elderberry would work as well!

On another note, if you research Elderberry trees you find it has all kinds of health benefits. It has a dark berry fruit that is often used for jam. So right there I knew I was right. My food was blabbering away with genius. If you’re still a little unsure of my logic about adding this to a dessert, remember we add balsamic to strawberries and it’s divine!

So, what makes a balsamic vinegar a balsamic? All of them are derived from a thousand-year-old process developed around the area of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy. Traditional balsamic vinegar is made from “grape must” which is the juice from freshly pressed grapes, aged for a minimum of 12 years in a series of successively smaller wooden barrels, each made from a different type of wood — oak, juniper, mulberry, ash, cherry, and chestnut. Because the wood is porous the vinegar loses moisture over time, and becomes more concentrated, eventually reaching a syrupy consistency. Olive This! balsamics are then infused with plant extracts to produce the lovely flavors you enjoy.

So back to the cookies. Oh, how gorgeous are they? And the icing with the hint of sophisticated cherry, was really more delicious than I expected. I truly can’t wait for you to try them. The perfect dessert to bring to your Thanksgiving Feast. They will freeze beautifully and perhaps, in the end, you too will believe in the voices of your food calling you to greatness!

Elderberry Balsamic ​Sugar Cookie Sandwiches

Makes 12 Sandwich Cookies

This isn’t just a cookie, it’s a full-fledged dessert. It deserves to be placed on a beautiful dish and served with a trio of tender mint leaves. Surprisingly sweet and full of fruit flavor, this will WOW your guests in a very sophisticated and delicious way!


2 T divided, Olive This! Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar
12 Amareno Cherries* (or Luxardo Gourmet Cherries)
2 t of Cherry syrup*
¾ C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (optional)
24 Betty Crocker Soft Sugar Cookies BELOW


2 C powdered sugar
4 T salted butter, softened
2 T Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar
2 t of the cherry syrup
Dash of salt (about 1/8 t)
2 T milk or cream
3-5 drops of red food coloring to keep the frosting a nice color!


Prepare the sugar cookie recipe and add 2 t Elderberry Balsamic to the dough at the point when you add the eggs. Blend as usual and incorporate the balsamic. Finish and form into balls and cook as directed in recipe. Cool. Prepare icing by starting with the liquids and adding the powdered sugar until you have a soft but fairly stiff icing. You want it to stay inside the two cookie halves. Fill with about 2 heaping T of the icing or more if you prefer. Drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate or leave it off and use a dot of icing to keep the cherry in place.

Melt the semi-sweet chips gently in the microwave heating slowly and stirring often. When fully melted and soft, put into a small baggie and cut of a very small tip at the corner. Pipe the soft chocolate onto the cookies, nest in a cherry. Dust with powdered sugar at the end if desired.

This is the recipe showing the ingredients halved as I made it | Makes 24 cookies


C shortening
1 C white sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
Add 1 T of the Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar
Pinch of t salt
3 egg yolks, halved (Add all 3 yolks to a bowl, whisked them together, and used half the mixture)
¾ C + 1/8 C all-purpose flour


Preheat oven to 300° F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Using a stand mixture with the paddle attachment blend the shortening on high for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and blend well for another 30 seconds. Add the baking soda, cream of tarter, egg yolks, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Blend well. Add the flour a little at a time until it comes together. Form into balls. Cook for about 14 minutes being careful not to let them brown on the edges. Remove from oven, let sit for 2 minutes. Place cookies on a cooling rack and when completely cool, follow instructions above to fill with icing, pipe with chocolate, top with cherry, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

*NOTE: You could substitute Maraschino Cherries and their syrup but this will give a more almond flavor. If you do substitute it, I suggest you add about 1/3 C toasted chopped almonds to the sugar batter just to change it up!

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Let's think about food preparation as art, and flavors as adventurous stories. Say ‘goodbye’ to safe sequences, or copycat flavors, and use your senses to curate the perfect meal. My recipes help your kitchen come to life as I share anecdotes about food chemistry, and fun shortcuts that conquer menu-mediocrity. my cooking style is one that combines everyday ingredients into sensuous layers that wake up the bored palate as I reveal easy-to-understand tips, tricks, and hacks so everyone can prepare and serve Bling Cuisine with confidence and joy!


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