Monday, December 1, 2008

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Well, today being December 1st started the Christmas candy making season. If you are interested in making homemade chocolate covered cherries it is best to start now so that by Christmas the centers have plenty of yummy juice. I can’t say I love making them, but the family sure does love eating them. They are a long process and a little messy. The first year I made them I said I would never do this again, but of course when everyone loved them now I seem to make them every year.

So here is what I do:

(I did four of these recipes and made over 100 cherries)
I used four bottles of Maraschino cherries – took the stems off and drained them on a paper towel so I guess it comes out to about a bottle of cherries per recipe, although I do put a lot of filling per cherry.

First mix the white part for the middles:
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP corn syrup
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Mix all the ingredients until smooth, then put in refrigerator to firm up while you get everything else ready.

Then I take small muffin/cupcake papers/liners and put a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom so when you put the chocolate covered cherry in it has a bottom and nothing can leak out.

Now it is time to make the middles:
You can spray your hands with pam cooking spray to help the white center not stick as bad to your hands.
Take a small amount of the filling and put in your hand, make flat, put cherry in and then roll in ball.
Then put them on a lined waxed paper cookie sheet and continue this process until finished. If your white filling gets sticky you can put it back in the refrigerator to firm up. As you can see from my picture, they are not all pretty, but it gets the job done. You can also repeat the pam cooking spray to help with the stickiness.
Then put in refrigerator about an hour to let them firm upAfter firm you can melt your dipping chocolate, any kind either the disks or the almond bark will work great. Melt until smooth.
Then take one cherry and dip in chocolate try to drain off excess chocolate and then put into your chocolate lined cupcake liners. Make sure you can’t see any white or filling liquid or your juice will flow out in the coming weeks. After your chocolate has firmed go back and look to make sure you can’t see any liquid or white, if so lightly cover with more chocolate. You want them solid so nothing leaks out.
Then put in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks so the centers can become liquefied.


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