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Cherry Cordials (Chocolate Covered Cherries)

Ninety percent of the gifts I give are food gifts, so it should come as no surprise that this Valentine’s Day, my hubby will be getting some homemade treats.  He is a huge cherry cordials fanatic, his favorite being Cellas, and I decided to try my hand at making them for him myself.

I made these exactly two weeks to the day before Valentine’s Day, but would have made them a month in advance if I had planned it better.  The centers should liquefy after two weeks of storage, but I would have liked to give them extra time just to make sure.  The picture below was taken after a week of storage and I’m not sure they will liquefy in time but I have to say they are just as good, if not better, than store-bought in their current state.

Cherry Cordials

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 (10-oz) jars maraschino cherries (you’ll need 40-50)
¼ cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons reserved cherry juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 (12-oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cake paraffin wax, shredded OR 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

Reserve two tablespoons of juice from one of the jars of cherries, then empty them into a colander set over the sink and allow them to drain while you prepare the fondant.

Cream the butter with 1 cup of the powdered sugar, then add 1 tablespoon of the reserved cherry juice, the extracts and beat until mixed.  Add the remaining sugar and, using your hands, knead it into the butter mixture until a smooth, soft dough forms.  If your dough is too firm, add additional cherry juice (or milk if you don’t want the mixture too pink) and knead it in until it’s a soft dough.  Place inside a Ziploc bag to keep it from drying out.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Take small pieces of fondant, about 1 or 2 teaspoons, and press them flat on your palm. Wrap around the cherries, pinching off the excess before rolling them smooth and placing on the wax paper. Repeat until all the fondant is used up.  Set fondant-covered cherries in the freezer until well chilled, at least one hour and up to overnight.

Melt the chocolate chips and shredded paraffin or shortening until smooth. Dip each cherry in the chocolate using a fork, drawing fork across rim of pan to remove excess coating. Drop coated cherry upside down onto waxed paper, swirling a thread of coating from fork across top for a decorative touch (after a while, I used my finger instead to swirl the chocolate on top).  Once all are coated, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set; check bottoms and reseal with additional melted coating, if necessary. You want every part of the center covered or it will start to leak out as it liquefies.  Store in a cool place (do not refrigerate) for 2 weeks to form cordial.

Notes: Using the cherry juice makes a pink center.  If you want it to be white, just use milk instead of the juice.  If you like, you can soak the cherries in alcohol, such as rum, brandy, Kirsch, port, cognac, amaretto etc., to give them an extra flavor kick!  Just drain the cherries and soak them overnight , then drain them again before proceeding with the recipe.  I recommend leaving your tray of fondant-covered cherries in the freezer and taking them out one by one to dip them. The longer they are at room temperature, the softer the fondant will become and the more it will stick to your fork.

Recipe source: adapted from cooks.com and this recipe

Posted for All Through The Year Cheer’s Valentine’s Day recipe round-up!  Click the link to find out more–you could win The Seduction Cookbook: Culinary Creations for Lovers!

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

72 responses »

  1. Veronica these look delightful!
    I saw another recipe today for chocolate dipped cherries which are still on the stem – I bet they are tasty too!

    Thanks for sending me the link for your blog.
    I’m looking forward to browsing through.
    Those cake pops are brilliant!

    Mel : )

    (Turbomel)

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    • i AM GOING TO TRY THESE CHERRIES AS SOON AS i CAN GET EVERYTING FOR THEM. i LOVE CHOCOLATE CHERRIES, MY HUSBAND AND i FIGHT OVER THEM. Do you think that freezing the candies made a difference in the outcome or do you think that just the softer fondant was the triger?

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      • No, the freezing is just a necessary step prior to dipping, it was not drying them so well and using a softer fondant that helped.

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      • Linda, I would not freeze any candy after it is made. It may thaw fine or it may be pretty nasty looking (could have a white hue to it). This is a great recipe for the dry center cherries, except if you want the liquid centers, it is making it harder to do than necessary. I you purchase “dry fondant” from a candy making supply house…all you do is mix 10 parts of the fondant to 1 part (ie 10 tbsp fondant to 1 tbsp cherry juice from the jar). They do them the same. The cherry juice breaks down the dry fondant. This mixture will be liquid in a couple of days.. Maybe even quicker if you add a tiny bit more cherry juice.

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  2. My husband also loves Cellas – it’s too late to make them for Valentines Day, but I will definitely hang on to this for another time. Thanks!

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  3. Pingback: Valentine’s Day Round-Up and Winner Announcment «

  4. Congratulations on the win! Those cherry cordials look so yummy :) It’s amazing what goes on inside that chocolate shell, isn’t it? I’d love to see a time-lapse video of the inside turning from solid fondant to a liquid center!

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  9. We’ve been having trouble with cherries too. I think a month would be too long. We left ours sit thinking they would get better with more time and we ended up with dried up cherries and we didn’t dry them before we started. Plus it liquefied though not all the way then recrystallized. We could tell by the consistency of the fondant.

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  11. I consider myself to be an above average chef that will try almost anything and while this recipe and process looked easy I would caution the novice canymaker/chef to not get frustrated too fast. The recipe doesn’t list the necessary 1T of milk in it that you will need to get it to cream together and you may need to play with the amount of sugar. Once you have the fondant I found that it wanted to stick to my hands when trying to shape it, quick fix, vinyl uncoated surgical gloves available at any pharmacy/walmart will make it ten times easier. All that aside, the fondant tasted very good, even better with the cherries, will have to wait for them to liquefy to see how that works out but have full confidence that they will be great. I think they would be well worth the effort for anybody that would like to make them, just have patience

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    • Thanks for your input, Bigdog! If you follow the recipe, your fondant will not be sticky to the touch, but it will be harder to mix. I use a stand mixer, then knead it with my hands, which is necessary since it is so thick and dry. Candy making can be frustrating-kudos to you for making it work! I hope they liquefy for you, but even if they don’t, I think you will like the taste.

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  12. Thanks for posting this recipe! I shared it on my facebook page…

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  16. As a chocolatier can I encourage you to seek a candy maker to learn from! You should really learn to work with real chocolate. No wax, no chocolate chips. If you are willing to do the work you put into this recipe, real chocolate it worth the extra step. Next research how real cordials are made. Especiallt by the french. If you love them it is REALLY worth it. I learned to make them from a MOF french pastry chef, we pitt the cherries and soaked them in a cherry liqour for 3 months then turn them into cordials. That is a process of rolling the the cherries in a fondant sugar(dry). Real codial are an amazing thing! I hope you keep on in your candy making journy. Good luck

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  17. I think this recipe is great, and I think the point is for any semi-experienced baker/ candy maker to be able to use this recipe. Making these with real chocolate is great but most people don’t have unlimited time and funds to learn the process, so I love how these are made. Keep posting great things like this for your novice baker/ candy makers like me! Fun should always be the no. 1 ingredient.

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    • LOL, there’s very little danger of me getting all high-class and doing this the right way–I try to do things the easiest and cheapest way possible and am glad there are people like you that appreciate that. :)

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      • Thank you for your insight to being a modern cook and not a high class cook who can’t try anything but the REAL thing..I love chocolate covered cherries and am going to try your recipe and enjoy EVERY bite!

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  18. These look really good… I’ll be saving this recipe back to try it sometime!

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  19. Just wondering if you’ve ever tried these by dipping the chilled cherries wrapped in the fondant in Magic Shell, then rechilling? We’ve done this with strawberries to save the chance of over heating the chocolate and not having to deal with adding what is basically wax.

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  20. what can I use in place of almond extract we’re allergic to it?

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    • It’s only there for flavor so either omit it or replace it with another flavor…maybe vanilla although that will add a brown color. Try clear vanilla or just don’t add any flavoring. FYI, maraschino cherries are flavored with almond.

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  21. Hi! This recipe looks so yummy! I was wondering since they need to sit for two weeks to form the cordial, could they spend those two weeks in transit? I want to send some overseas and I figure a cardboard box is as good as my counter, right?

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  23. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe with everyone! My husband LOVES these!!

    This is a great way to make something that will eventually turn into a liquid, but not until after it is enclosed in chocolate . . . as a “rookie” myself – last Xmas I was looking for a way to get Baileys Irish Cream into my chocolates, but everything I tried failed as the liquid went to the top of the chocolate … Well, I mixed fondant with it and voila . . after just a few days, I had my own little chocolate bottles of Bailey’s to give to my friends!

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  24. Wondering if you could use Splenda or Stevia in place of the sugar. :)

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  25. Love the choclate covered cherries. Thanks to you i can make them at home. Keep up the good work.

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  26. This is just like the receipe I used to make in the 70’s
    The only difference is I used the cherry molds, put chocolate in mold, added cherry and
    fondant cover with chocolate put in frig or frezzer for a few minutes and pop them out when set. Molds can be bought and cake decorating and candy stores.

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    • Anonymous is from Marie mssarge226@hotmail.com

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      • Marie, I about had an orgasm when I read your comment. LOL! I got so excited I was hyperventilating–thank you SO much for the fabulous idea! I already have the perfect sized bonbon molds and never thought to use them. That would be SO MUCH EASIER! I love you!

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        • Veronica You can put the chocolate into the mold, swirl it around then dump the excess onto waxed paper. (this way you can use the drippings again after they harden) Put the mold into the frig for a few minutes, until it hardens some, bring out and let sit on counter to come back to room temp (this way there is less chance of cracking the mold if it is cold) Then put a little of your fondant in the bottom, add the cherry and seal up the mold with chocolate again. put into freezer until they harden up enough to come out of the mold when inverted onto a tea towel. When they come back to room temp, put in a paper cup and into whatever you are going to store in. I recommend paper boxes so they don’t sweat.

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  28. I tried this recipe…it was my first try at candy making. The fondant was easy to make and I froze them for about 24 hours like you mentioned. The dipping was a nightmare. I tried using a fork but when I pulled the fork out it left streaks of exposed fondant. Tongs did the same. I re-dipped after refrigerating for about 15 minutes but still couldn’t get all of the fondant covered using a fork. My last resort was using a spoon but now the cherries are sitting in a pool of hardened chocolate. I noticed that I STILL saw some pink streaks so I had to drizzle even more chocolate over the top which just added to the mess.

    So now the cherries are HUGE and chocolate is everywhere and I’m scared the liquid will drip out :( I guess we will see in a couple of weeks. I made these for Christmas present so fingers are crossed!

    I have a second batch in the freezer….any tips? I might try to find some molds but dipping is cheaper :)

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    • Girl, I feel you. I hate dipping things in chocolate. If I didn’t like candy so much I would never do it! It’s so frustrating and I have the same problems as you. When you used a fork, did you dump the cherry upside down instead of scraping it onto the waxed paper? I guess if there was exposed fondant on top I just would have used a spoon to add a little more to cover it before swirling with my finger. I’m so sorry it was such a huge mess for you!

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      • Yes I tried it that way and also sliding the candy off the fork. I have already noticed beads of juice where the fondant was exposed so I was forced to eat those. :) I will keep trying. They may not be pretty but they are delicious!

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        • Bummer! Well at least you can enjoy your mistakes, I guess if you’re going to mess up, that’s the best way to do it, with candy! haha!

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        • you could try sticking your fondant cherries with a toothpick to dip them, then slide the toothpick out and use a spoon to drizzle additional chocolate over the hole left by the toothpick.
          i love making candy but really really dislike the dipping part because i am horrible at it and always make a mess!

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  29. One more question…if I use a mold how to I keep the chocolate from sticking to the mold? Will it just pop out when it is cool?

    Thank you!!!

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    • Yes, once cold it will pop right out-you just have to twist the mold a bit–it’s very cool! You can put it in the freezer for a minute or more to speed the process so you can make them quicker.

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  31. thanks for this recipe! i think that this is what i am making my momma for Christmas this year! i remember her buying so many boxes of them around Christmas time because she loved them!

    as a side note, i found a link to this page that talks about using a product that produce the liquified effect. i think i might look into buying some in the future (too close to Christmas now for me to do so) and see how it works. Of course if my centers liquify on their own, I might not do so!

    http://candy.about.com/od/candyglossary/g/What-Is-Invertase.htm

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  32. How did you store them, if not in a refrigerator?

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  33. Veronica, I bookmarked this post the minute I saw it because chocolate covered cherries are a “tradition” in my family. Over the years, the the store-bought ones have gotten so “waxy” (plus there’s not as many in the box) and I’m going to make these to surprise my folks. I’m glad I waited to try ‘em, though, cuz you followed up with so many helpful hints and ideas in your comment section! :) Thanks and Merry Christmas, xo!

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    • Very cool, I hope it goes well for you and you enjoy them!

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      • SUCCESS!!! Thank you soooo much for this recipe, Veronica! I also checked the links you included, but your “tweaks” (especially the almond extract) added “just the taste I remembered” (it’s been so long since last Christmas & all… lol!) and personally, I don’t care if they liquefy or not (I’m kinda pushin’ the “cure” time with 4 days before we leave for MN!) They turned out WONDERFULLY — posted a photo of them on my FB page, credited to YOU! :) Thanks again and Happy New Year!

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        • I saw the photo, they are picture-perfect! Well done! I don’t have much hope that they’ll be liquified in that short amount of time but do let me know how the insides are, I’m trying to figure out the magic to the liquification. lol

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  34. yum these look great, I haven’t had these in years now I am craving them!!

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  35. these look professional! you should open up a store :)

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  38. thebetterbaker11

    WOW! You sure got a great response for this recipe huh? That’s super! They look perfect to me. You are just a wonder.

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  43. Hi Veronica! I love chocolate covered cherries, I love chocolate anything! Your recipe looks delicious! Here is a wonderful chocolate covered cherry recipe with a twist, found here…
    http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/coconut-chocolate-covered-cherries. I usually make them for Christmas. I chill the coconut filling, before wrapping it around each cherry, for easier handling. But they would be great for Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, National Choclate Day, or any day. :) I find them addicting! I hope you give them a try.

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  44. Pingback: 21 cherry dessert recipes

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