Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights

I do my grandmother's hair every week.  Frequently, when she comes in, I have baked goodies to share with her.  She lives alone and baking can be a very dangerous sport when you are the only one available for consumption.  For the past few weeks, she has been telling me about a book she was reading.  The main character is a baker and they actually give some of her "world famous" recipes in the book.  Some of them, my grandmother told me, sounded really good.  Then, this past week, she brought me copies she had made of her three favorite cookies in the book.  Subtlety is not my family's strong suit.  What's a good granddaughter to do?  Make the cookies of course.

All the recipes were easy to put together, no mixer required.  All of them were yummy, but this was the most unique of the bunch.  It was also my grandma's favorite so I had to post it first.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights
1 c. melted butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. cocoa powder
3 c. flour
2-10 oz. jars maraschino cherries (I needed more)
2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk

Melt the butter over low heat in a large saucepan.  As soon as it's melted, take it off the heat and
add the sugar.  Let this cool a bit.  You are adding eggs to it and don't want to scramble them.  Don't cool it to room temperature or the sugar will begin to recrystallize and you will have to re-warm it.
Once cool enough, stir in the egg.
Followed by the baking powder, baking soda, salt and vanilla.
Stir in the cocoa and the flour. 
The dough will be very stiff and a little crumbly.  Chill till firm.
While dough is chilling, pour chips and milk in a small saucepan.  You could do this over a double broiler, but I'm lazy so I warm it gently over low heat and stir the whole time.  I used semi-sweet chips and they seized up as they melted so I had to add some cream just to smooth it out. 
As it melts you will add some of the cherry juice to thin it out to a nice consistency.  You want it thick enough to dollop on the tops of the cookies without having it run down the sides, almost like frosting.
Once the dough is chilled, roll it into walnut sized balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Make a deep indent in the center of each cookie with your finger.
Add a cherry to each indent and top each cherry with a dollop of chocolate sauce.  Be sure to cover the cherry but don't let it run down the sides.  I used a small spoon to smooth mine around. 
Now bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack. 
This recipe will make about 5-6 dozen.  These taste just like a chocolate covered cherry. 

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