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Chocolate Covered Cherries

Ingredients
  • The recipe doesn't call for liqueur, but a few years ago, I was
  • putting the leftover cherries back in the refrigerator for the next
  • year (the nice thing about maraschino cherries is that they keep
  • *forever*), I thought of putting them in rum to soak. So, I refilled
  • the cherry jar with rum, screwed the top back on and let them sit
  • for the next year. I only made a few to give to several friends
  • who had expressed an interest. Well, apparently, they were quite
  • potent... and popular. People who like alcohol, *really* like these.
  • Since then, I've also soaked them in vodka. This year, for the
  • first time, I'm trying creme de menthe. The combination of chocolate,
  • cherry, and mint flavor could be overpowering or reallly yummy.
Instructions

Anyway, the standard recipe follows. 1 (16-ounce) jar plus 1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries with stems 3 T butter, softened 3 T light corn syrup 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 C sifted powdered sugar 1 (12-ounce) semisweet chocolate morsels 1 T shortening Drain about 50 cherries; pat cherries dry on absorbent paper towels, and set aside. Reserve remaining cherries for other uses. (Note: I usually triple the recipe.) Combine butter, syrup, and salt, stirring well; stir in powdered sugar and knead in bowl until smooth. Shape 1/2 teaspoon sugar mixture around each cherry. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; chill about 2 hours or until firm. (NOte: I often put them in the freezer for a while.) Combine chocolate and shortening in top of a double boiler; bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook until chocolate melts. Dip each cherry by the stem into chocolate. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; chill until firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. A couple more notes: as you dip more of the cherries, the chocolate level drops and it can be difficult to dip the entire cherry before the coating melts. This can create lumpy looking cherries (which still taste good). As the level drops, try tilting the pan a bit (be careful not to let the water seep out) and angle the cherries as you dip each. This recipe is easy. Tedious, but easy. If you have repetitive stress problems with your hands, allow extra time for the shaping of the sugar around the cherries. That can actually be kinda painful after the 100th or so cherry. :-)

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