Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The long of it: Chocolate

This is me taking notes for the next time I make goodies for the holidays. Neal made more toffee and then tried his hand at making peanut brittle but the recipe was copied wrong and he ended up with a dark mass of gross peanuts that were rejected and shoved outdoors and was slowly devoured by local squirrels. I also made buckeye balls but they didn't make my top three list this year. So here they are:

My brother and sil gave us a bucket full of gourmet chocolate goodies. Our favorite was the chocolate and caramel covered marshmallows (would you call it a chococarmallow?) on a stick. It seems they took two big mallows and put it on a thick lolly or cookie stick and dipped it in some very good caramel and then some very good chocolate. Simple but fun and probably too good to be good for me!

I finally did it! Cherry cordials will either make people shout for joy or gag in disgust, there is no middle ground when it comes to these treats. At least that has been my experience with everyone I've encountered. I used to HATE cherry cordials until I tried some homemade ones. And I've been dreaming about making them ever since but never got up the nerve to do so. I've seen many recipes but this one looked to be the easiest with the least potential to be a gooey mess when eating (probably one reason I didn't like store bought ones). I thought they were delicious but could definitely be improved if I were to find some good dipping chocolate around here (any suggestions anyone?).

How does one make them? My piece of advice to you is to freeze the drained maraschino cherries (without stems) individually to make wrapping the cream fondant around them a breeze. Wrap the fondant and dip and let them set. That's it! Stick them in the freezer and you'll have some for much later. I'm thinking we'll have some for Valentines Day too. Recipe at bottom of post.

The same bro and sil who gave us the chococarmallows made a ton of cookies to share on Christmas Day. Among them were chocolate cookies with Hershey Kisses inside, Mexican Wedding Balls, and huge sugar cookies.  Mmmmmmmmmmmm

Cherry Cordials
modified from Old-Fashioned Candy Recipes by Bear Wallow Books

1/2 cup butter
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 Tbs. milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
80 maraschino cherries, drained

Drain and de-stem cherries. Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet, making sure none are touching, and freeze in the freezer.  In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.  Blend in milk and flavorings (I know I mention them a lot, but, Penzey's extracts are amazing here).  Remove a few cherries from the freezer at a time as they defrost quickly.  Shape mixture into half-inch balls and press a frozen cherry into center of each, or mold mixture around each frozen cherry (use extra confectioners sugar to keep from sticking to hands).  Place centers on waxed paper and refrigerate until ready to dip in chocolate. Dip into dipping chocolate and place onto wax paper.  Refrigerate until set.  Can freeze cherry cordials, remove from freezer a few hours before serving.


  1. We found decent dipping chocolate (at a more reasonable price) in St. Louis at Trader Joe's. We got a big hunk of the milk chocolate to make turtles. We also got some in Lincoln Square Mall at art mart- but just enough to finish our batch. It was a pretty penny!

  2. Thanks Rachel, I'll have to remember that for next time! I used some Ghirardelli dipping chocolate with "double chocolate flavor" and it was okay. I thought about Art Mart but like you said, $$$$$$! Thanks for the advice!

  3. Oh yum! I LOVE chocolate cherry cordials! I'm definitely going to have to try this recipe sometime in a month or two!


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