In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Blend in the milk and rum or vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined. Fold in chopped cherries and chopped pecans.
Form the dough into two logs, each 2 inches in diameter. Roll the logs in coconut. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the cookies ¼ inch thick. Place cookie dough on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown.