My Mother's Chocolate Covered Cherries
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.
Review states that this product will make dipping candies easier.
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.
Prep Time: 1+ hours
Total Time: Several hours with chilling time
Serves: 46-50 (1 covered cherry per serving)
- 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)
- Drain the cherries in a strainer or on a paper towel.
- 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).
- Mix butter, syrup, salt and almond flavoring with sugar. This is called "fondant".
- Pinch a 1 inch sized ball of the fondant, flatten or depress with your thumb. (see the pictures below)
- Place cherry in the middle and gently press the fondant up around it leaving the stem at the top.
- Place the covered cherries on a pan and put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- 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.)
- Set the covered cherries on waxed or parchment paper to harden.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or a cool room.
- Remember, you can print this 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 theClick 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!
SIX 14 oz. bottles of natural cherries with stems.
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.
All purpose and kind of "green".
These mini cups would be wonderful for Valentine's Day!
Green for Christmas!
Blue for Hanukkah candy giving!
"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.