Period Chocolate Covered Drunken Cherries

Eleanor Rose

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I’ve been a fan of chocolate covered cherries since I was a child, but as an adult I’ve found it is fun to kick them up a notch by spiking them with delicious liquors. There are plenty of confectioners that make cherry cordials, but the three most popular are Cella’s, Queen Anne’s and Brach’s. Cella’s is the oldest brand. They began making cherry cordials in 1864.

In 19th century America, the term cordial was used to describe a particular type of strong liqueur with a distinctive flavor made by crushing whole cherries (including the pits) and steeping them in sugar syrup with a touch of alcohol. After the mixture was strained, a sweet, thick, syrupy alcohol with a strong fruity flavor remained. This type of cherry cordial was intense and very sweet and was usually sipped in small amounts as a post-dinner beverage.

Chocolate Covered Drunken Cherries

Ingredients:
1 jar (16 ounces) maraschino cherries with stems
1/2 cup liquor (Cherry vodka or creme de cacao work well. The cherry vodka is higher in alcohol so the cherries soaked in it are a bit stronger, but still very tasty.)
1 cup chocolate chips (dark, milk, or white)
1 teaspoon shortening


Directions:
Begin by soaking maraschino cherries (with stems) in liquor for 4-7 days. Just empty out the red syrup and fill the jar with the liquor of your choice.

Once they have soaked for the specified time, drain off the liquor. You can save this to add to cocktails in place of grenadine. Then, dry the cherries on a paper towel. This will help the chocolate to stick.

Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.

In a double boiler (or the microwave), melt your chocolate chips and shortening. The shortening will prevent the chocolate from getting really hard. Stir until smooth.

Dip the cherries into the chocolate and set on wax paper.


Notes: You can put any leftover melted chocolate in a plastic baggie and cut a very small section of the tip of the bag to pipe lines or designs on the cherries. And yes, rum will work to spike your chocolate covered cherries too! I know some of you love rum! Where are my 151 fans?
 

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