My Mom use to make these for us, at Christmas. She hasn't in a while though, because it's a lot of work, for 1 person. I'm not sure where she got the recipe from. It's just one of those recipes she got from a friend of a friend. Though they are time intensive, they are super impressive. The first few cherries are always the biggest, since you're getting the feel of how much cherry paste to put around the actual cherry.
I had a jar of cocktail cherries in the fridge and I wanted to try making these myself. I did make them over 11 yrs ago, but they didn't turn out so nice, LOL. I really liked using the cocktail cherries; the stem helped out greatly when dipping them into the melted chocolate. Plus I think they look oh so cute! Imagine surprising that special person in your life, with a box of these for Valentine's day!!
Chocolate Covered Cherries
1-2 jars cocktail cherries (with stems)
1/2 C butter, softened
1 tsp almond extract
1 can sweetened condensed milk
6-7 C powdered sugar (enough to make a stiff dough)
5 drops red food coloring (if desired)
1-2 C semi sweet chocolate candy melts
1/2 C pink chocolate candy melts
Drain one jar of cherries, in a fine mesh strainer, until ready to use.
In a bowl, mix the butter, sweetened condensed milk, red food color and almond extract, until smooth. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until a non sticky dough forms. Cover one cherry with a thin layer of dough and place on a parchment liked baking tray. Repeat with remaining cherries, until dough is completely used up (using second jar of cherries, if needed). Place in freezer for at least 4 hrs, to over night.
Melt 1 C of the semi sweet chocolate candy melts in a glass measuring cup; in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds. Holding the stem of each cherry, dip into the melted chocolate. Using a small fork, support the bottom of the cherry, and gently shake off excess chocolate. Return to the parchment lined baking tray and repeat with remaining cherries; melting more chocolate melts as needed. Return chocolate coated cherries to the freezer to set.
While chocolate sets, melt pink candy melts and place into a zip top bag. Cut a very small hole in one end and drizzle the pink chocolate over set chocolate covered cherries. Return to freezer, to set the pink chocolate. Serve at room temperature.
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