Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries – Success!

It’s been a couple years since I first tried to make my own homemade chocolate covered cherries – and it was a big failure (you can read that original story here:  Failed Chocolate Covered Cherries).

They were a pretty sorry looking mess as you can see in the picture below.

Failed Chocolate Covered Cherries

But if at first we don’t succeed, we need to try, try again . . . .right?

{ Especially if we are craving chocolate covered cherries }

A reader was kind enough to email me her recipe after my first failed attempt with a few helpful pointers and thank goodness she did because this time I was able to get it right!

Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries

The whole process reminded me of one of my favorite cookbooks, The Homemade Pantry Many of the recipes in that book include what to do about the “Tense Moments” in a recipe.  Isn’t that often true?  At certain points in a recipe things have to be coming along at the right temperature, or the right consistency, and if it’s NOT, well then you’ve got a tense moment that might call for a little extra trick up your sleeve.  So I’ve included my tense moments from this recipe and my strategies.

OK, there’s actually only a couple of steps in this recipe – but they were both tense!

What it really comes down to in this recipe is that the sugar fondant mixture around the cherries does the best if it’s somewhat cold, and the melted chocolate needs to stay warm.

And one more thing – it is SO helpful to use the maraschino cherries that have stems. That was such an improvement over the previous recipe I tried because it gives you something to hold on to as you’re working with the cherries.

So here’s the recipe that a reader named Jackie shared with me with just a few changes.  I cut the recipe in half so that I could use a 10 oz jar of maraschino cherries.  Her recipe also called for chocolate chips AND half of an 8 oz milk chocolate candy bar.  I instead used all chocolate chips, but did half semi-sweet chips and half milk chocolate chips so that I would still have some of the milk chocolate flavor.

Here’s how to do it:

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz jar Maraschino Cherries – with Stems
  • 2 tablespoons Butter – softened
  • 1-1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon Shortening
  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips

(I used a 1/2 cup semi-sweet chips and a 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips)

 

Drain cherries and dry on paper towels.  A 10 oz jar should have about 24 cherries.

Homemade chocolate covered cherries

Cream the butter; gradually add the sugar, beating well.  Blend in the milk and the extracts.

Take a small amount of the sugar mixture and flatten it out a bit, and then wrap around each cherry.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.  Chill for 2 hours.

TENSE MOMENT:  The fondant sugar mixture might want to stick to your hands instead of to the cherries.  I put the sugar mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes and that helped.  I also had to rinse and wipe my hands often during the process.  I also went back after they had been in the refrigerator for about an hour and smoothed things out and fixed things up a bit more.  Because they were now cold they didn’t stick to my fingers nearly as much.

Homemade chocolate covered cherries

For the chocolate coating, melt the chocolate chips and the shortening in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Dip each cherry by the stem until covered with chocolate.  You may need to use a knife or spoon to get some of the chocolate on the tops of the cherries too.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to cool.

Homemade chocolate covered cherries

I used the homemade double boiler method of setting a glass bowl over a pan of shallow water and heating it on the stove because of the tense moment below.

TENSE MOMENT:  Your melted chocolate needs to stay warm and melty during this step.  If it starts to cool, it will also start to harden and then you can’t successfully dip your cherries.  If you use the homemade double boiler method, you can just keep the bowl of melted chocolate over the pan of hot water as you dip the cherries.  This keeps the melted chocolate warm during this step and you are able to get all your cherries dipped with no problem.

 Homemade chocolate covered cherries

And if all has gone well up to this point, then you have successfully figured out how to make your own chocolate covered cherries!

{{ even if you had a few tense moments }}

Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries

When Jackie shared her recipe she also commented that after these cherries have set for a few days, the center gets more liquid too which makes these little treats even more like the store bought versions.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. I was so glad to see you had success with the recipe. I don’t know if I told you originally, but the recipe came from my oldest daughter’s home economics class back in the 1980’s. I was glad to see you didn’t have to use the chocolate bar. I’m going to do it your way next Christmas. Thanks again for trying her recipe!
    Jackie

    1. Yes, I finally had a chance to try your recipe Jackie and as you can see they turned out great! Thanks so much for passing it along to me 🙂