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My Mother's Chocolate Covered Cherries

Updated on September 11, 2014

Mom Loved to Make These Traditional Chocolate Covered Cherries!

I remember how my mother used to start her homemade chocolate covered cherry candy a month before she would allow us to eat it. The reason: it takes that long for this handmade candy to "season". Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries will not get nice and juicy until they sit for 7 to 30 days. After that time, these homemade candies become very cordial!

Make this candy a tradition for your Valentine's Day (or any holiday, for that matter). I find that as I make the fluffy fondant for the cherries, wrap it around one of those lovely red fruits and then dip it in melted, velvety chocolate, it brings back fond memories of candy making with my mother. Who cares it it might be old fashioned to make your own candy?

Start making your very own memories with this simple and easy recipe today.

FYI: All images are mine and may not be used without permission and attribution. The plate that my handmade chocolate covered cherry is lounging on is Depression Glass. The pattern is "Adam". It was a gift from my mother-in-law.

Candy Dipping Tools:

I do not own this product, but I will be purchasing one after reading several articles and reviews.

Other tools you might need are waxed paper or parchment paper; a double boiler.

Wilton Candy Dipping Set- Discontinued By Manufacturer
Wilton Candy Dipping Set- Discontinued By Manufacturer

Review states that this product will make dipping candies easier.

 
Chocolate Covered Cherry by Mickie_G
Chocolate Covered Cherry by Mickie_G

While this is not my mother's actual recipe, it was given to me by a friend many years ago. It is probably the same one my mom used. It sure reminds me of her.

Note: you can use a "prepared chocolate candy coating" if you prefer. Melting chocolate can be tricky, but do not be afraid of it. The trick is to not over heat it. If perchance you do, you can add vegetable oil in 1 teaspoon increments to get the chocolate the right. Chocolate chips can still hold their shape even when soft. You just need to stir them up.

There are some great tips in the videos and links I have here on this page if you need them. I wish I could come and help you personally, but I cannot. I told my husband that I felt like Lucy and Ethel while I was making my cherry candy. I was a mess.

Save time: You can print this recipe using the link at the end of the instructions.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 1+ hours

Total Time: Several hours with chilling time

Serves: 46-50 (1 covered cherry per serving)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter - room temperature
  • 1/3 cup white corn syrup (clear Karo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 1 pound package of powdered sugar
  • 2 - ten ounce jars of marachino cherries with stems
  • 1 large package of chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet -- your choice) aprox. 2 cups
  • paraffin or solid shortening (optional or if needed)
  • bourbon (optional)

Instructions

  1. Drain the cherries in a strainer or on a paper towel.
  2. Then pat the cherries DRY. The drier, the better. This is an important step. I did not get all the juice off the cherries I made this year, and the chocolate coating dried out and separated! Ugly and not a tasty happening! One recipe I have seen suggest soaking the drained cherries in bourbon over-night! Don't forget to drain and dry (then drink the bourbon -- lol).
  3. Mix butter, syrup, salt and almond flavoring with sugar. This is called "fondant".
  4. Pinch a 1 inch sized ball of the fondant, flatten or depress with your thumb. (see the pictures below)
  5. Place cherry in the middle and gently press the fondant up around it leaving the stem at the top.
  6. Place the covered cherries on a pan and put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave according to package directions or in the top of a double boiler on the stove. (I set a small pot inside a larger pot that has hot water in it--do not allow the water to boil.)
  8. Set the covered cherries on waxed or parchment paper to harden.
  9. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or a cool room.
  10. Remember, you can print this recipe for chocolate covered cherries!
Cast your vote for A Traditional Recipe for Chocolate Covered Cherries:

How to prepare chocolate for dipping:

Below are some really helpful links for learning how to melt chocolate to use for dipping.

According to How to Make Candy on Taste of Home:

"Melting chocolate can be challenging because it scorches easily. On the stove top, melt chocolate over low heat in a heavy saucepan, or melt it in the top of a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. In the microwave, heat 6 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate or chips on high (100% power) for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to heat and stir at 10- to 15-second intervals until melted and smooth.

When melting white or milk chocolate, white candy coating, or vanilla, butterscotch or milk chocolate chips in the microwave, follow the same method but heat on medium-high (70% power)."

Here is a link to a helpful article I found on eHow: How to Dip Candy in Real Chocolate.

Pictures of my Homemade Chocolate Dipped Cherry Candy that will make your mouth water - I made this candy at Christmas; that is why there are teddy bears on the

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Natural Maraschino Cherries with Stems

If the bright red color of jarred maraschino cherries bothers you, you can order all natuarl cherries from Amazon. Natural cherries might be more expensive, but you loose the worry.

Last year I had a heck of a time trying to find any kind of jarred maraschino cherry that had stems. My advice to you is BUY THEM WHEN YOU SEE THEM!

Tillen Farms - Maraschino Cherries - 14 oz (Pack of 6)
Tillen Farms - Maraschino Cherries - 14 oz (Pack of 6)

SIX 14 oz. bottles of natural cherries with stems.

 

Buy your cherries early for the winter holidays for your candy making!

CherryMan Jumbo Maraschino Cherries With Stems - 12 oz Jar
CherryMan Jumbo Maraschino Cherries With Stems - 12 oz Jar

These cherries look pretty red, but they are farmed in the USA and are kosher.

 
Fondant for covering the cherries
Fondant for covering the cherries

A Candy Making Tip (Literally and figuratively) from this cook:

My Tip: I lay the bowl with the fondant on its side so it is easy to pinch the amount you need to cover the cherry.

If you want to be a "serious candy maker" read this article: Tips for preparing chocolate for dipping. I do not use this method. I am all about "easy".

How to Give Beautiful Candy - Dress up your cherries with these products!

Chocolate covered cherries tend to seep sugary syrup. It is best to put the cherries directly into a mini baking cup right after dipping to keep the other candy from getting sticky. If you do not have any on hand, that is alright; the candy will be OK for about a week or two. Keep your candy stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. Buy some mini cups before you give them away, though.

Wilton Hearts Mini Cupcake Baking Cups, 100 Count
Wilton Hearts Mini Cupcake Baking Cups, 100 Count

These mini cups would be wonderful for Valentine's Day!

 

"History" and Nutrition for the Chocolate Covered Cherry:

Nutrition of a chocolate covered cherry is not to bad! Just eat 1.

History of the Chocolate Covered Cherry according to CuisineNet:

Chocolate covered cherries were created in 1929 by Cella's Confections, according to the Chocolate Timeline published in "CuisineNet's Diner's Digest." Cella Confections manufactured chocolate cherries in New York at their candy factory on West Broadway at Canal Street.

Read more about the chocolate timeline click : Cuisinenet Chocolate Timeline

Nutrition: a milk chocolate covered cherry with a center filled with powdered sugar, skim milk and vanilla has 85 calories per piece (Recipe Source).

Read more: Livestrong.

Guess what? You do not have to feel so guilty when you eat one ccc! Chocolate covered cherries not only taste good, but are also loaded with nutrition. Cherries are packed with vitamins A, B1, B6, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Cherries are low in fat with only 1.1 g of fat per cup. The Good News: Cocoa in chocolate may reduce your risk of heart disease, according to Mayo Clinic Nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky. The flavanols in chocolate have antioxidants that reduce cell damage, help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function. Hooray!

Read more: Nutrition in a Chocolate Covered Cherry at Livestrong.com

How to make a chocolate covered cherry----and the MARTINI to go with it! - Just for the fun of it.

Never heard of a Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini? I hadn't, but now I have. Sharing this YouTube video with you here:

Learn how to make an easy chocolate dipped cherry to go on the cocktail.

All it takes is Baileys, Kahlua, cherry juice and ice--shaken not stirred.

We all have our "secrets". If you have one for making chocolate covered candy, please feel free to share. You can do it anonymously if your family will get upset. Do a good deed for the rest of us cooks out there. Thanks in advance.

Sharing one last memory: My mom used to keep the cherries we made in a cardboard shoe box in the refrigerator; she would line it with waxed paper and would also put it between the layers of candy. I remember sneaking into the kitchen and opening the fridge to get into that shoe box to dig around the waxed paper sheets for that wonderful candy. One would have to be really careful not to make too much noise rustling thru the paper so you wouldn't get caught sneaking a piece of candy. More often than not, the box would only have waxed paper left in it long before Christmas Eve arrived. Santa was just left with cookies.

Keep scrolling down to see the Lucy and Ethel video I referred to earlier and to see a list of my chocolate articles (lenses) here on Squidoo.

Do you have a candy making tip? - Feel free to share it here in this "guestbook":

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    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 3 years ago

      @aredey: Yes, it can be easy to make these candies.

    • profile image

      aredey 3 years ago

      i love this Chocolate Covered Cherrie, looks so nice,it must be teast very good

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 3 years ago

      @ComfortsOfHome: I found some at the big Walmart Supercenter in my area. You keep and eye out for them at other times of the year if you ever want to try making chocolate covered cherries.

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 3 years ago

      These look just phenomenal - I had no idea it was actually "doable" to make these at home. I think I may have a hard time to find cherries with stems in my area, but no doubt can come up with a reasonable alternative. LOVE chocolate-covered cherries!

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 3 years ago

      @Lee Hansen: You are welcome. I had a heck of a time finding cherries with stems this year!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 3 years ago from Vermont

      My alltime favorite, to heck with all the dangerous ingredients! Thanks for the recipe!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      Oh, how I love chocolate covered cherries (and strawberries) but have never tried to make them myself. I think if I do that video might apply to me too!

    • CatCave profile image

      CatCave 4 years ago

      Yum - these look so nice, I'm hungry!x

    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 4 years ago

      Delicious! Cherry and chocolate are my favourite :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I could share several candy-eating tips, but prefer that someone else put in the labor of making the candy.

      Chocolate covered cherries were a favorite of my mom too. Reading your page and recipe gave me a warm feeling.

    • Gabes Mommi profile image

      Gabes Mommi 4 years ago

      Lucy and Ethel.......my mom loved that episode!!

    • Fran Tollett profile image

      Fran Tollett 4 years ago

      They look yummy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love chocolate covered cherries. I wish I had some right now!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love chocolate covered cherries. I wish I had some right now!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      I can remember making these with my mom for Christmas. Yum! :)

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      These Chocolate Covered Cherries look wonderful, I want to try the recipe.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Don't have a tip except to eat them before someone else does. Couldn't get any this year for Christmas - sold out.

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 4 years ago

      This was an annual tradition for my Grandma; she made the best chocolate-covered cherries and her recipe was very similar to yours. I miss my Grandma, she died in 1984 and her chocolate-covered cherries were so delicious and special that my in-laws still talk about them. Thanks for making this lens; I love the memories it rekindles for me and one of those memories is waiting for the cherries to get "just right" ~angel blessed :)

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 4 years ago

      I have no recipe to share, but I sure do remember my Mother and my Aunt making these for every Valentines and every Christmas. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Donallphin profile image

      Donallphin 4 years ago

      I learned something today! When you break down the steps it doesn't seem so hard to do things like making chocolate cherries. Thanks!

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 4 years ago from Missouri

      Chocolate covered cherries are one of my favorites! Blessed.

    • duceedee profile image

      duceedee 4 years ago

      Those look so yummy and fun to make too actually. My Gramma that was her favorite as well...When we were kids we weren't allowed because Grampa would say we would get drunk AAAHA now I see why Gramma must've put bourbon in them and that's why only the adults ate them all during cards. For the one reader they do make diabetic ones now...

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 4 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      My favorite candy at Christmas time. These look a lot better than the store bought variety!

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      @kimmanleyort: I am late in making my cherries for the holidays. Thanks for liking my Mom's favorite homemade candy.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      This is my Mom's favorite candy. Thanks for the recipe.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 4 years ago

      One of my favorite treats in the world. Love the red theme. Happy holidays to you.

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      @choosehappy: Make her some! Try my recipe.

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      @cal17mom: These cherries make a wonderful homemade gift for family or friends during the holidays. I love to have them on hand for guests, too.

    • cal17mom profile image

      cal17mom 4 years ago

      Awesome lens! I love all the step-by-step photos. I love chocolate covered cherries. I never they needed to sit for a few weeks to become "cordial." Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Looks absolutely yummy. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @Dianne Loomos: They are wonderful, take my word for it.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 5 years ago

      Oh my goodness! Your chocolate covered cherries sound deliciious!

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Oh my gosh but your mom's chocolate covered cherries look absolutely positively delicious. Yum!

    • profile image

      BabyGirl1940 5 years ago

      We used to buy a box of chocolate covered cherries for our mother every Christmas. It became a family tradition. Unfortunately, she is diabetic now, so that tradition ended. Time to make another.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Please send me a dozen or two ... sweet!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Sounds so yummy! I LOVE chocolate covered cherries!! Great article. :)

    • profile image

      MorningShine 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious. I'll have to try this recipe. I've used this lens as my Valentine's Day Quest.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      These look absolutely delicious, great lens!

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I have a sister-in-law who used to make these. I don't have her recipe and I'd like to try my hand at it so I thank you very much for leaving this recipe for us. Blessed by this angel.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      I don't think it's at all old fashioned to make your own candy. It takes a lot of know-how and patience. You have those.

    • profile image

      moonlitta 5 years ago

      Hmm. I didn't know I could make them home (at least I had not thought about it!)-but I love the chocolate cherries we buy from stores (I believe they are made with cognac and not bourbon but they still have this unbelievable taste!)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      Your mom's recipe sounds absolutely divine and definitely worth the calories! I vaguely remember my mother making something similar when we were little. She stopped making her Christmas candy decades ago. I know it was a lot of work, but sure was sweet :)

    • profile image

      GrowWear 5 years ago

      I am very impressed with this recipe! Not much of a cook here, but I might try to make my own chocolate-covered cherries one day. Thank you for an excellent share.

    • profile image

      blanckj 6 years ago

      Love chocolate and cherries. These look so yummy.

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      These chocolate-covered cherries sound unbelievably good, Mickie!

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 6 years ago

      I like the look of these and really clear recipe too :)

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      Great instructions and lens. I don't have any candy making tips, but I am leaving a SquidAngel blessing.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 6 years ago

      I wish I had some tips to share with you! My daughter in law is the creative one. She would have tons of tips. This recipe looks fabulous. Will definitely try this one.

    • Mickie Gee profile image
      Author

      Mickie Goad 6 years ago

      @annieangel1: It was my joyful pleasure to share this treat that my mother used to make.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I love these - thanks for sharing

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