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Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries

Here is one of those recipes that is so satisfying to make and gift. It certainly has a wow factor that will make people say “You MADE these?!”

This recipe for chocolate-covered cherries does need some time to ripen(this just means the sugar dough liquifies with the help of the cherry liquid to make that red syrup you get when you take a bite of the finished candies(More on this below). My recipe says 14 days, but it’s ok if you make them this week in time for Christmas gifting.

Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries

Maraschino Cherries-2 small jars
1 stick butter
6 Tbsp corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 lbs powdered sugar
12 oz melting chocolate ( use the best you can find, I recommend Ghirardelli)

Mix all ingredients except the cherries and chocolate, into a soft dough
Wrap each cherry in a ball of dough
Freeze cherries for 1 hour
Dip sugar dough wrapped cherries into melted chocolate
Allow cherries to cool without touching on parchment paper
Store cherries for 2 weeks for sugar to liquify with the cherry juice inside.

Chocolate-covered cherries, also known as cherry cordials, have a pretty fascinating history. They date back to at least the 1700s in Europe. Originally, these sweets were made by dipping sour cherries into marzipan (almond sugar paste) and then into chocolate. The idea was to preserve the cherries while also satisfying a sweet tooth.

Over time, as confectionery techniques evolved, the process changed. In the 19th century, confectioners began using fondant and liquor with the cherries, creating the creamy, boozy center that’s often associated with traditional cherry cordials.

When this treat made its way to the United States, it gained massive popularity, especially around holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Today, there are all sorts of variations, including using different types of chocolate and fillings.

One cool bit of trivia is the ‘cherry cordial effect’, a term in the candy-making industry. It refers to the process where enzymes in the fondant slowly break down the sugars, creating a liquid center over time. This process takes a couple of weeks, which is why freshly made chocolate-covered cherries have a firmer center than the ones you might buy pre-packaged.

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