The maraschino cherry is simply a cherry grown in the northwestern United States, pitted, and then processed. It has a bright color added to make it appear festive. The common colors are red and green. To keep the fruit longer, it is coated in a fructose slur which gives it a candied covering. This is usually done with a heated sugar mixture that dries and condenses as it cools. When you bake, it is common to use the candied cherries as a sweetener and moisturizer for your cakes and cookies. It also adds a spot of bright color to the wonderful baked goods.