My grandpa loved chocolate covered cherries. As a teenager, I would buy him a box every Christmas (yes, the extremely inexpensive ones), but when I learned to make them at home, that became my go-to gift for him. It might sound daunting, figuring out how to get that liquid center. Here’s the secret: It doesn’t start out as liquid. Mind-blowing, right? Want to make some for yourself (or a loved one)?
- 1 jar maraschino cherries (without stems), about 36 cherries
- 3 Tbsp butter, softened
- 3 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 Tbsp amaretto liqueur
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 12 oz semisweet or dark chocolate chips, whichever you prefer (I prefer dark)
1. Drain the cherries and place them on a dishtowel to dry.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients for the filling until smooth and pretty firm. Pinch off about a teaspoonful and flatten lightly. Place dry cherry in center, and press to completely enclose the cherry in the filling. Place on wax-paper-lined baking sheet. When all the cherries are coated, chill for at least an hour.
3. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler (or a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water) and use a fork to dip cherries to cover. Place back on wax paper. When all my cherries were dipped, I used a fork to drizzle some remaining chocolate over the tops, to make them prettier. Be certain no white filling if showing, since that will turn to liquid and ooze out if there’s a hole. Chill until firm. Store in airtight container for at least 1 week, and preferably two weeks. The white filling will liquefy, making the best cherry cordials ever.
I have to put these in the way back of the garage refrigerator, so that I forget them and no one else knows they’re there, so give them time to liquefy.
Now, if that still seems like way too much work, or perhaps someone (ahem) ate them all before Valentine’s Day, or something, here’s an almost-immediate gratification method my friend Kerri shared a few years ago.
Simply melt some chocolate and dip maraschino cherries with stems in it. It will coat better if you drain the cherries and let them dry a bit, just like the ones above. Once they’re coated, let them chill until hardened, place a few in a champagne flute, and drizzle a few drops of amaretto over the top. Ooh-la-la, fanciness in minutes!
The cherry cordials are wonderful packaged up prettily for a special gift, and the champagne flutes look beautiful on a dessert table. What I’m saying people, is that you really need to make both, since they serve different purposes. Really.