To all of the Valentine’s Day procrastinators out there, we see you running around the jewelry section of Macy’s scrambling to find a gift, or desperately scrolling Yelp to make last minute dinner reservations. While the classic flowers-plus-dinner combination is nice, nothing says ”I love you” like homemade sweets.
Thanks to Liz Gutman, Jen King and their “Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook,” you have the chance to not only satisfy your loved one’s sweet tooth, but also impress with a thoughtful gift. Unlike many candy cookbooks on bookstore shelves, “Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook” contains recipes that are simple enough to make with few ingredients but technical enough to look like they were made by a gourmet chef.
What better way to combine everyone’s love of alcohol and chocolate than with Cherry Cordials? This easy recipe is sure to make your loved ones day. Bon appétit!
– 1 batch of brandied cherries or, if you’re feeling fancy, high quality maraschino cherries
– 2 cups of Le Fondant or store-bought Fondant
– 2 cups of chopped dark chocolate, or 2 cups of chopped dark chocolate & 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
– 2 large baking sheets lined with waxing paper
1. Drain the liquid from the cherries. Stack 3 or 4 sheets of paper towel on the counter and place the cherries on them in a single layer; gently pat the tops with another paper towel and allow cherries to dry for about 10 minutes.
2. Place the fondant in a medium-size heatproof bowl, and heat it in the microwave on High in three 10-second intervals. (Alternatively, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat, stirring occasionally, until the fondant is warm and the consistency of pancake batter, 5 to 7 minutes.)
3. Place the cherries in a small bowl, and next to them place the bowl of fondant and then one of the prepared baking sheets.
4. Taking a cherry by the stem, dip it into the fondant so that the fruit is covered completely to the stem. Lift it out of the fondant, hold it for a few seconds to allow any excess fondant to drip off, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the cherries are covered. Set the baking sheet aside in a cool place until the fondant is cool, dry, and firm to the touch. (20 to 30 minutes)
5. In a second medium-size bowl, temper the 2 cups chocolate according to the instructions on page 26, or use the 2 cups chocolate and ½ cup oil to make the *Cheater’s Chocolate Coating. (details on how to make Chocolate coating below)
6. Grabbing a Fondant coated cherry by the stem, dip it in the chocolate so that all of the fondant is covered; hold it above the bowl for a few seconds to allow any excess chocolate to drip off, and then place it on the second prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the cherries have been dipped. Allow them to set up until the chocolate is firm. (15 to 20 minutes)
You can store these delicious cherries for up to 6 weeks so you and your love can enjoy them well after Valentine’s Day. This recipe and many others can be found in “Liddabits Sweets Candy Cookbook”, available in bookstores now.
*Cheaters Chocolate Coating
1. Melt the chocolate: Place it in a medium-size microwave safe bowl and heat it in the microwave on High for 20 seconds. Stir the chocolate with a whisk or heatproof spatula, then continue heating it on High in 20-second increments, stirring after each increment, until the chocolate is completely melted. Alternatively, fill a small (2-quart) saucepan about one third full with hot water, and place it over medium-low heat. When the water simmers, place the chocolate in a slightly larger metal bowl and set it over the simmering water (make sure the bowl is large enough for you to easily grasp it for removal.) Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring it occasionally, until it’s completely liquid and there are no lumps left, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove it from the heat.
2. Slowly stir the oil into the melted chocolate until it is completely incorporated.
3. Keep the coating warm by setting the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until you’re almost ready to use it; then remove it from the heat and allow it to cool until it has the consistency of warm fudge sauce, 15 to 20 minutes.
You can store the chocolate coating in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. Reheat it as many times as you need to.