Chocolate Covered Cherries

Makes 25


  • 25 maraschino cherries with stems
  • 1-2 cups liqueur of choice (amaretto, rum, brandy, etc)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 lbs confectioners sugar
  • 4 cups dark chocolate chips, tempered (or use dipping chocolate)

Special Equipment

  • electric mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer
  • plastic wrap
  • candy thermometer


  1. Drain the maraschino cherries from jarred liquid and put them in a container that has room for 1-2 cups of liqueur.  Pour the liqueur over the cherries and let them soak in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours (but this can sit for up to 1 year)
  2. To make the fondant, in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, place melted butter in bowl. Add the sweetened condensed milk and ¼ tsp cream of tartar. Beat until combined
  3. Slowly work in 2 lbs of confectioners sugar.  You will end up with a fondant that is pliable, but not super sticky; it should be Play-Doh consistency.  If it is too wet, add a bit more confectioners sugar
  4. Gather in a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 24 hours
  5. Drain the cherries (do not throw away the liqueur). Pat dry excess liquid from cherries with a paper towel
  6. Break off a piece of fondant about the size of your fist, place in a double boiler over low heat.  Melt the fondant slowly and add 2-3 tbsp of the drained, reserved liqueur for added color and flavor
  7. When the fondant is smooth enough to dip the cherries, hold the cherries by the stem, and dip almost completely, but without dipping to the stem.  You should be able to see the cherries through the coating. If you dip to the stem, you will not be able to seal the cherry to keep the juice from leaking out
  8. Cool fondant-dipped cherries in refrigerator 20 minutes to set the coating
  9. Set up another double boiler over simmering water to melt your chocolate. Temper the chocolate* if needed (or use dipping chocolate), and gently melt it until it is smooth and shiny
  10. Remove cherries from refrigerator and dab off any moisture on the cherry or stem before you dip, if needed. Hold the cherry by the stem and completely submerge in the chocolate.  Dip to at least half-way up the stem to assure that it doesn't leak
  11. When you have finished dipping, let the cherries sit at room temperature for at least 24 hours or up to a week.  The longer they rest, the more liquified the centers will turn!

How to Temper Chocolate

  1. Fully melt the chocolate
  2. Pour about ¾ of the chocolate onto a marble slab and repeatedly fold the chocolate onto itself until a candy thermometer reads 82° (28°C)
  3. Return this to the melted chocolate and stir to incorporate and bring the temperature back up to 88-90°F (31-32°C) until smooth and shiny