One of the gifts I got Russ is being shipped in from Antarctica or something, so once it arrives I will post a picture on here. Kinda' silly, but fun nonetheless. I also made him a special treat. Russ loves chocolate covered cherries. When we were dating, this bit of information got out, so when we got married, Russ received boxes and boxes of his favorite treat. Fortunately for him, I don't like them, so he didn't have to share. Unfortunately for him, he had so many he about made himself sick on them. Since then, he has eaten them sparingly, but a few weeks ago we had an open house at church for some of our high school graduates and one of the Moms made chocolate covered cherries. According to Russ, they were the best he had ever tasted. So being the good wife I am, I tracked down the recipe and was very graciously given exact instructions on how to make these treats. The credit for this recipe goes to Leah Watson; she gives them away at Christmas and they are a huge hit. They take a little time, but if you know someone who likes them, I have been told they are pretty amazing. This was a true labor of love for me, since I was actually taking the time to dip something in chocolate that I wouldn't actually eat...
Here is the recipe:
3 T butter, softened
3 T Karo syrup
1/4 t salt
2 cups powdered sugar
50 Maraschino cherries, with stems (more on amount later)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T Crisco
Start by draining your cherries on a few paper towels. Leah gets her cherries at Costco, and she makes them in batches of 50. I got mine at Walmart, and two jars yielded me approximately 50 usable cherries. Some of them were squashed and some were missing stems, so Russ just ate those...
Now you make your white mixture. Combine your butter, syrup, and salt until creamy. Gradually mix in 1 cup of the powdered sugar with a fork. Once the first cup is absorbed, add the second cup of powdered sugar. Turn this mix out onto your counter and get in there with your hands.
Knead the mixture like you would a bread dough. It will eventually absorb all of the powdered sugar until it looks like this...
Now you need to wrap each cherry in about 1 t of the white mixture. I used a measuring spoon since this was my first attempt at making these goodies. The recipe says you should have enough white mixture to wrap 50 cherries. I was only able to wrap 41. So I guess I used a little too much on a few of them.
Wrapping can be a bit messy and at times, frustrating, but be patient. Make sure your cherries are dry enough for the dough to stick, but not drained like a vampire had at them or they won't be juicy at all (nice analogy, right?). I would take my 1 t of the white mixture and flatten it between my palms. Then I would wrap the cherry and roll it a little between my palms until it formed a smooth ball. Just when you think it's going to crumble and fall to pieces, it comes together. Something about the warmth from your hands makes it work- just make sure it is completely sealed before moving on to the next step.
Now you dip them in chocolate. Microwave chocolate chips and Crisco until smooth.
These should be refrigerated overnight to set the chocolate. This is where I made my first mistake. I would recommend putting parchment paper on a cookie sheet and sticking this in the fridge. Then you can easily remove the cherries on to your serving platter the next day. I put them on parchment paper on my counter. Then I transferred them to my platter, and they were still sticky, so this made a mess. An the next day when I sat them out to eat, they were stuck to the platter. Thankfully, they are good enough that people didn't seem to mind that they had to work a little to get one. We had 20+ people on Sunday for Father's Day, and the house handled the crowd and flow of traffic better than I had designed, so that was a relief. We also had Grandma Lundvall's famous homemade ice cream. She made original, and I made a batch of cookies 'n' cream. Although I don't have a picture, here is the recipe:
2 1/1 cups of sugar
2 T vanilla
1/2 t salt
1 quart heavy cream
5 cups milk
1/2 package of Oreo cookies, in pieces (optional)
Beat eggs until thick. Gradually add sugar until dissolved. Add vanilla and salt, and then stir in cream. Pout into ice cream maker and add milk to the fill line. Freeze as directed by your machine. If making cookies 'n' cream version, mix in cookie pieces before serving.
Here is Addison on Father's Day...
|Pretty dress from Ms. Olga|
She has really started to get into coloring. Not much will hold her attention for more than 15 minutes or so, but bust out a Praise Baby video or her coloring books and she is captivated...
|Something was obviously funny...|
|Coloring a birthday picture for Aunt "Yinsey"|
We are headed to the Billings Zoo on Saturday, and Addison has never been, so it will hopefully be a successful trip. More pictures to come!