Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights

You have not tasted an amazing cookie until you've tried these.  I am making three different kinds of chocolate covered cherries for my grandmother's Christmas gift.  CCC are her absolute favorites and somebody always buys her some for Christmas.  This year, I decided I would make her some from scratch.  :)

The first recipe I followed, for true chocolate covered cherries is here.

This recipe is actually for a chocolate cookie, with a cherry in the middle, topped with chocolate-cherry icing.  

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup cocoa powder
3 cups flour, not sifted
2 1/2 10-ounce jars of maraschino cherries (stemless cherries if possible!  but stem-in cherries will work)
2 cups chocolate chips (1 6-ounce bag)
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, with the rack in the middle position.

Melt the butter, and mix in sugar with a stand mixer set to low.

~Let the butter/sugar mixture cool for about 5-10 minutes.

Add eggs and mix thoroughly.

Add baking powder, baking soda. salt, vanilla, and cocoa, and stir after each addition. (Your mixer should still be set to low.)

Add flour and mix well.  You might need to turn up your mixer's speed to mix all of the flour in.  This mixture will feel stiff, dry, and bit crumbly.  

Drain cherries, reserve the juice, and pull of & throw away the stems.  Set these off to the side.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls.  
I was not exactly sure how big a walnut was, so I investigated.  
Walnuts are apparently a little smaller than golf balls. 

So, place your golf ball size dough balls onto a greased cookie sheet.

Press down into the centers of the balls with your thumb to make a deep indention.

Place on cherry in each indention.

Create a double boiler, and combine chocolate chips and the sweetened condensed milk in a sauce pan over simmering water.  Heat on low until all of the chocolate chips are melted.  

Add about 1/8 cup of the reserved cherry juice and stir, creating a thick sauce.  If the sauce is too thick, add some more cherry juice.  Using a spoon, test the sauce to see if it globs off of the spoon.  If it does not, the sauce is too thick and you need to add a little more cherry juice.  Keep in mind...this sauce needs to be thick, so be careful not to go overboard.  

Spoon the sauce over the center of each cookies, covering up the cherries.  Make sure the sauce does not drip down the sides of the cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes.  

Allow the cookies time to cool, and then store them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  These are best if served at room temperature, or even better if you nuke them in the microwave.  :)

These are delicious.  I just can't stop taste-testing them!  Enjoy!  


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