Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful Valentine so he deserves special treats. Made with love. Awwwwwwwwww. . . . .These are pretty easy to make but they take a little time. It may be too late to make these for your valentine and for that I am sorry. But if I had posted these 2 weeks ago when I made them it would have ruined the surprise for Tim!
This is a stick-in-the-back-of-your-mind-to-make-for-a-future-event sort of thing.
You need a couple of weeks for the flavors to meld together and the sugary cream to start to soften and get runny. That said, if you truly want them runny and cordial-like you will need a special ingredient called invertase. It is an enzyme that breaks down sugar. When added to the fondant type cream around the cherries it will turn the centers to liquid over time. I could not be bothered to order any but I am sure you can find it on Amazon. I am perfectly happy with the creamy centers.
I found it easiest to make the fondant, scoop it into small balls the size of a cherry, chill them briefly, flatten them and form around the cherry, chill again for an hour, melt chocolate, dip, chill, age 2 weeks. Got it?
It really is simple but give yourself time for the chilling and of course, time for the aging! You could eat them right away but I thought they were noticeably better after 2 weeks than they were when I first made them. (I sampled both ways, of course!)
Feel free to use whatever booze you like. I chose Captain Morgan Black because I know my man, but I am sure bourbon would be awesome and so would brandy (which I love). Or if you want to skip the booze (shame on you) you could just swap the booze for some of the maraschino cherry juice. (I have a friend who says I am a foodie, but she is a boozie. . .she would NEVER skip the booze in these cherries!)
I also felt compelled to make these because I didn’t get my fix at Christmas. My friend, R, who normally makes a similar candy, did not this year. I was so sad. I mean she had a baby and what not and I guess her time was at a minimum. . blah, blah, blah. All I know is I never got any cherries. I guess I can forgive it but only because she is awesome. As far as my lovely husband goes. . . Happy Valentine’s Day, baby! You are so loved and appreciated. I’m lucky to have a guy who still thinks I’m as awesome today as he did on our first date. I feel the same way about you, sweets! XOXO!
Boozie Chocolate Covered Cherries
1 10 oz jar Maraschino cherries, with stems, drained well
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp butter, room temp
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp booze (I used spiced rum)
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)
1 Tbsp shortening
Drain and pat dry the cherries. Set aside.
Mix sugar, extract, butter, corn syrup, salt and booze in a medium-sized mixing bowl until it comes together as a thick dough. I used an electric hand mixer. You may have to add a little more powdered sugar a little at a time if your dough is not thick.
Form dough into small balls about the size of one of the cherries. I made mine just slightly bigger. Chill the fondant balls for about 20 minutes in the frig. Once chilled take them out of the fridge and one at a time flatten the ball into a disk in your palm, set a cherry in the center and wrap the dough up around it to the stem. Set on a parchment lined tray.
Once all your cherries are wrapped with fondant dough, refrigerate for 1 hour. When the hour is up, slowly melt your chocolate and shortening in a double boiler over low heat. Dip cherries one at a time and set back on the parchment. The chocolate should set rather fast since the cherries are cold. Once they are all dipped, refrigerate again for a little while until completely set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks before serving. (Or, if you live in the cold, cold north and are trying to hide them from your husband, store them in the cold garage for 2 weeks before serving!)