Not only is this my family's favorite festive dessert, but it makes a delicious holiday present, too. Best of all, you can prepare these ahead. The candy just gets better as it's stored, with the centers becoming even juicier. —Linda Hammerich, Bonanza, Oregon
- 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 jars (8 ounces each) maraschino cherries with stems , well drained
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, butter, milk and extract. Knead until smooth and pliable. Shape into 1-in. balls and flatten each into a 2-in. circle.
- Wrap one circle around each cherry and lightly roll in hands. Place with stems up on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
- In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Holding on to the stems, dip cherries into chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper until set. Store in a covered container. Refrigerate 1-2 weeks before serving. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Chocolate Covered Cherries in Country Woman November/December 1995, p38
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