Zac Young shares why his Luxardo Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies can spark romance

Luxardo Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies, photo provided by Zac Young
Luxardo Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies, photo provided by Zac Young /

Whether it is Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or a special occasion, many people look to food to add that spark of romance. Although professional bakers and chefs make that intimate dinner look effortless, it is more about the effort than the perfection on the plate. For anyone looking for the cherry to top a delicious meal, these Luxardo Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies from Zac Young might be the last bite, but they could be the first taste of a long love affair.

Fans of Food Network know Zac Young from his many appearances across the various baking shows. While people countdown to his upcoming appearance on Spring Baking Championship: Easter, the dessert master is sharing a tempting cookie recipe for Valentine’s Day, or anytime when the romance could be on the horizon.

While Zac is skilled with the stand mixer, not everyone rises to the occasion in the kitchen. Still, Zac shared some very poignant advice about Valentine’s Day, or anytime that romance is on the table.

“I think any effort is romantic. That doesn’t mean going all out with diamonds and fireworks. It’s the small, simple, thoughtful things like making (or buying) a favorite snack from childhood, playing THEIR favorite artist when you get in the car, waking up 10 minutes early to go and get their favorite coffee drink, or leaving a list of things you love about them. As much as Valentine’s Day is a couples’ game, it’s really about making the other person feel special.”

Although buying that Valentine’s Day Piecaken might be an over the top gesture, Zac’s advice makes sense. Not every celebration can fit the scene from a Hallmark movie. Sometimes the effort is sweetest gift that anyone can receive.

Ready to bake Luxardo Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies for that special someone?

As many chefs have said, food can be a way to express sentiments when words might be difficult to say. While the dinner table might be the time where people come together, that sweet ending to a meal sums up the experience. Whether a touch tart, a little rich, or perfectly balanced, it leaves an impression and hopefully makes them long for the moment when they gather again.

Zac Young shared his recipe for Luxardo Red Velvet Cookies. While some people might use those cherries in their favorite cocktail, the Luxardo cherries contrasted with the tart cream cheese and rich chocolate can make dessert lovers swoon.

Luxardo Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies by Zac Young
Luxardo Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies, photo provided by Zac Young /

Here’s how to make Zac Young’s Luxardo Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies


  • For the Cherry-Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c luxardo cherries- cut in half
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until softened then add the powered sugar and mix until smooth. Stir in the halved cherries with a spatula or spoon. Place the mixture in the freezer while you make the cookie dough.

For Cookie Dough

  • 3 ounces (6 tbsp. ) butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c juice from luxardo cherries
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. red food coloring
  • 1 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

To Finish

  • ½ cup powdered sugar (optional)

For the dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or with hand mixer, cream the butter sugar until fluffy.
  • Add the cherry juice, egg, and food color and mix until combined. The mixture might look “broken”, it’s fine.
  • Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined but smooth.


  • Preheat then oven to 340°
  • Line a two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Scoop the dough into generous 2 tablespoons balls onto one of the sheets and press flat, making a 2 ½ inch disk. If the dough is sticky, refrigerate or freeze until firm but pliable (about 10 minutes).
  • Once the dough is workable, spoon a generous tablespoon of filling in the center of each disk.
  • Fold the dough to wrap around and fully encase the filling, then roll into a smooth ball.
  • Place the balls on lined baking sheets, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Gently press the balls to flatten slightly, and generously cover the tops in powdered sugar.
  • Bake the cookies 12 to 15 minutes, until the top is nicely crackled but not browned.
  • Serve warm or let cool.

When serving these Luxardo Stuffed Red Velvet Cookies consider a French Press coffee or maybe a simple glass of port. Although the Espresso Martini is still having a moment, the cookies could also pair with a Rob Roy or Manhattan to mimic the cherry flavors. Or, for simplicity, a glass of milk is always a good idea.