Not only are these chocolate-covered cherries my family's favorite festive dessert, but they make a delicious holiday present too. Best of all, you can (and should) prepare these ahead. The candy gets better as it's stored, with the centers becoming even juicier. —Linda Hammerich, Bonanza, Oregon
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2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 jars (8 ounces each) maraschino cherries with stems, well drained
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
In a small bowl, combine sugar, butter, milk and extract. Knead until smooth and pliable. Shape into 1-in. balls and flatten each into a 2-in. circle.
Wrap 1 circle around each cherry and lightly roll in hands. Place with stems up on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
In a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Holding on to the stems, dip cherries into chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper until set. Store in a covered container. Refrigerate 1-2 weeks before serving.
Chocolate-Covered Cherries Tips
Can you use different kinds of cherries?
For chocolate-covered cherries, you can use use other varieties of jarred cherries, such as Luxardo cherries or dark Morello cherries. Be aware that what type of jarred cherries you choose might change the taste! To use up any leftover cherries, check out these other cherry dessert recipes.
How can you make chocolate-covered cherries your own?
Make chocolate-covered cherries your own by drizzling white or dark chocolate over the tops, or sprinkling them with nonpareils or mini chocolate chips. Or add other flavors, similar to these coconut chocolate-covered cherries.
How long will chocolate-covered cherries last?
Chocolate-covered cherries will last up to 1 month in an airtight container in the refrigerator.