Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries

I remember it occurring to me once that you could probably make brownies in some other fashion then from a box. That made me start to look at other confections...wow someone makes sponge candy? It did not just fall from the skies? Chocolate covered cherries also fell into this category...until my cousin brought some out this past Christmas season. The ones she created looked prettier then the ones from the box and tasted amazing. 
I decided to give them a try this past week.Being invited to a wine and chocolate party was just the encouragement I needed to call my cousin for the recipe. Give them a try - they were one of the first things to disappear from the serving table.

The recipe was found by my cousin in Better Homes and Gardens. Additionally I found the same details posted on allrecipes.com (you can read many reviews here).

Chocolate Covered Cherries
Ingredients
60 maraschino cherries with stems (I used two jars and it was just a tad less then 60)
3  tablespoons butter, softened
3  tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
2  cups sifted powdered sugar
1  pound melting chocolate.(I did some dark chocolate and some milk chocolate) 
 
Directions: 
**NOTE** These are apparently best when they can sit for a couple weeks and develope a melty middle section. Funny part is that is not revealed to you until the last step of the recipe. That does not bode well for someone who was making these just a few hours before her party started! If you want to eat them right away they are still wonderful...just not too melty in the middle yet. Unfortunately none of these lasted long enough to see what they tasted like 24 hours later - let alone a week or two later.
 
Drain cherries thoroughly on paper towels for several hours. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set baking sheet aside.

 In a small mixing bowl combine butter and corn syrup. Stir in powdered sugar; knead mixture by hand until smooth (chill if mixture is too soft to handle). At this point I counted up the cherries that I had and rolled the powder sugar dough into a log. I then divided the dough up with knife score lines to show where I would tear off a piece. This ensured I had a roughly equal amount for each cherry.

Shape about 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar mixture around each cherry. Place coated cherries, stem sides up, on the prepared baking sheet; chill about 1 hour or until firm (do not chill too long or sugar mixture will begin to dissolve). My 6 year old was able to assist really well on this part.
Melt candy coating. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Holding cherries by stems, dip one at a time into coating; if necessary, spoon coating over cherries to coat. (Be sure to completely seal cherries in coating to prevent juice from leaking.) Let excess coating drip off. Place cherries, stem sides up, on prepared baking sheet. Be sure that no part of the white filling is showing through - it will leak out. I re-dipped some of the bottoms of mine to be sure I did not have a mess on my hands.

Chill until coating is firm. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Let candies ripen in refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks before serving. (Ripening allows powdered sugar mixture around cherries to soften and liquefy.) Makes 60 pieces (sort of).

Before serving I placed each one in a small paper candy cup so that they were easy to transport, display, and eat!