Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cordial Cherries

Happy February!  This might be the first year ever I am ahead of the game and ready to post holiday treats before said holiday actually occurs. 

Ok, actually these are from Christmas, but whatever.

Pretend I'm cool.

These cherries are so pretty but they're kind of a pain in the butt to make.  Just being honest there.

They do make a great Valentine's day present if you have a significant other who loves cordial cherries. My husband for example, could probably live off of them along with sunflower seeds and beef jerky.

That makes the hassle alll worth it, right?

The recipe has multiple parts but can be spread over several days.  Be aware that some of the steps require freezing ingredients for several hours or overnight. The cherries are delicious as soon as you dip them, but it can take up to a week for the centers to liquefy, so if that is important to you, you may want to make them well in advance.

You will need a food-safe paintbrush and a candy mold.  If you want, you can skip that entirely and just dip the cherries by hand using a toothpick, but I love the nice professional look that a candy mold gives.

Cherry Cordials

-3 cups powdered sugar
-1/4 cup butter
-1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
-3 tsp vanilla extract
-pinch salt
-1 jar maraschino cherries, drained, and well-dried
-Lindt chocolate bars, for dipping cherries (I use about 3 bars. Any variety is fine- semisweet, dark, milk)
-Plastic candy mold or two (Hobby Lobby usually has at least a few varieties of these)

Combine the first five ingredients until smooth and no longer sticky. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and spread cherries out on tray.  Freeze for several hours or overnight for best results.
When ready to make the cherry cordials, remove the fondant mixture from the refrigerator.  Work with a few cherries at a time and leave the rest on the tray in the freezer.

Wrap each cherry tightly in 1-2 tsp of fondant and form a tight ball.  Do NOT add too much fondant or your cherries will be too sweet. Place each wrapped cherry back on the parchment-lined tray in the freezer, and repeat process for all cherries. Freeze for at least an hour.
Break chocolate bars into pieces, and microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth.  Do not overheat! Using a food safe paintbrush, paint chocolate into the bottom and sides of each cavity on the candy mold.  Make sure it is fairly thick so the sides of your candy don't break. It's fine to do two or three layers of chocolate, just make sure there is room to put a cherry in there! Move candy mold to freezer for a minute or two to set.

Place a frozen fondant wrapped cherry into each cavity, and paint on additional chocolate to the bottom of each cherry, covering entirely.  Allow candies to set completely before removing from candy mold.  (Refrigerating or freezing the mold will help it to set faster, but it can cause your chocolate to go a little cloudy.)

Repeat for all cherries.

Note- For a liquid center, allow cherries to sit in an airtight container at room temperature for at least 3-5 days before eating. 7 is even better!

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