My fondest memory of this cookie is Christmas' as a child. My mom baked from morning till way into the evening during the holidays. Every time I make these I think of her counter filled with all types of cookies, breads, candy and as I grew up it became our tradition together to bake. She is 80 and is still baking and blessings so many with her goodies.
In large bowl, combine sugar and shortening; beat well. Add milk, vanilla and eggs; mix well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour. baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in pecans, dates and 1/3 cup chopped cherries. If necessary, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes for easier handling.
Heat oven to 375F. Spray cookie sheets with Pam. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into cereal; throughly coat. Shape into balls. Place 2 inches apart on greased sheets. Lightly press maraschino cherry quarter into top of each ball.
Bake 375F for 10 to 15 minutes or until light and golden brown.