My all time favorite Christmas treat is a chocolate covered cherry cordial. Each year, this is something that my husband buys me for my stocking, and he knows that I’ll be thanking “Santa” for these bonbons.
January 3 is celebrated each year as National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day. Let’s find out how to make them at home!
Home made chocolate covered cherries are a pop of delicious fruity, sweet flavor in your mouth and an extra special treat at the holidays! I Trying to find them in stores outside of the Christmas season is a challenge.
I love that I can make them anytime I want to at home!
More Holiday Candy Recipes
During the year, I normally try to watch my sugar intake, but when the holidays roll around, all that goes out the window. I enjoy making all sorts of desserts for special occasions.
A few of my favorite holiday desserts are:
- Peppermint Rice Krispie Balls
- White Chocolate Mosaic Fudge
- Microwave peanut brittle
- Peanut butter cup fudge
Differences between truffles, bonbons and cherry cordials
When looking at a round ball of chocolate, it is easy to be general and try to find one term for them all. But each of the three confectionery items have differences.
If you combine fine chocolate and cream with a ganache filling, you have a truffle. Normally, truffles are round and then dusted with cocoa powder when they are finished.
The look is supposed to resemble a mushroom-like fungus, also called a truffle. The main ingredient in sweet truffles are chocolate and heavy cream.
Modern cooks and online food bloggers have taken all sorts of liberties with the term so that now truffles can have different flavors and be sprinkled with nuts instead of cocoa powder and decorated in festive ways.
In spite of modern liberties, once you start adding other flavors to the center, whether it be coconut, caramel, cherries, or other flavors, the item technically becomes a bon bon, not a truffle.
Bonbon (also called bon bon and bon-bon)
The French word “bon’ means good. Doubling up the word to make the term bonbon refers to a confectionery item made of tempered chocolate with a flavored filling.
In actual fact, in France the term is used to refer to any type of candy. Bonbons some in different sizes and shapes and are filled with lots of different centers.
From fruit centers to rich and decadent dark chocolate – all can be called bonbons.
Basically, bonbons are made by crafting the center of the sweet treat and then dipping it in chocolate. And cocoa powder on the outside is not something associated with bonbons. That is a truffle thing!
Shapes for bonbons can be oval, rectangular, round and even other fun shapes.
When you use a fruit filling inside a chocolate shell, you are making a cordial. One popular seasonal cordial is the chocolate cherry cordial, which we will be making today.
Chocolate cherry cordials are technically bonbons but are normally referred to by their cordial name to indicate the fruit center.
Traditionally, making a cherry cordial means crushing whole cherries (including the pits) and steeping them in a sugar syrup infused with some alcohol. Once the mixture is strained, you are left with a sweet thick alcohol with a cherry flavor.
Since most home cooks might not be up to the whole cherry crushing experience, we’ll be taking a few liberties to make our chocolate covered cherry cordials.
Making this Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordial Recipe
There is nothing quite like biting into a chocolate covered cherry cordial. The ooey gooey center is so rich and pairs beautifully with the chocolate coating.
This recipe is quite easy to make, so you can have these sweet treats during the year as well as during the holiday season. Be prepared to spend a little time, though. Forming those centers gets easier as you do it, but it does take practice!
Making chocolate cherry cordials the traditional way is a process that requires several steps to make the liquefied alcoholic cherry centers.
We’ll be taking some shortcuts today. Instead of the crushed cherries and alcohol, we’ll be using maraschino cherries for the centers.
Both confectioner’s sugar and sweetened condensed milk will add richness and sweetness to the first layer of coating before you add the outer chocolate coating.
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To make these chocolate cherry cordials, you will need to make a dough out of sweetened condensed milk, butter and confectioner’s sugar. This will act as a casing for the maraschino cherries.
Milk or dark chocolate will then be used as a coating for these traditional holiday treats.
Directions for making these sweet treats.
The butter and milk is combined in a large bowl and then the confectioner’s sugar gets beaten into it until a smooth dough forms. Be sure to use a large bowl. 3 pounds of powdered sugar is a LOT.
The dough will be smooth and easily able to be formed into balls without being too sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge.
Making the Chocolate Cherry Cordials
Form about 53 balls 1 inch in size with the dough and then flatten the balls into 2 inch circles. Wrap the circle around a maraschino cherry and reform into a ball.
I found the easiest way to make the centers was to use a measuring cup to flatten the ball and then to pinch it around the cherry and then pinch the two sides in and roll it again.
You may get some liquid on the outside when you form the ball round the cherry but don’t worry, it’ll get covered with chocolate and will make the center more liquefied.
Dip the balls into the milk chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off. Chill till firm.
Store the cherry cordials in an airtight container in the fridge for best results.
Want these cherry cordials to be boozy?
This holiday confectionery items doesn’t have alcohol in it, but if you would like that flavor, you could soak the cherries overnight in Grand Marnier or brandy to add some extra richness.
I made a double batch of this dough and used half of it to make my chocolate cherry cordials, and the other half to make some Oreo cookie bonbons – another fun holiday treat.
You can find the Oreo bonbons recipe here.
What are your favorite holiday treats? Are you fond of chocolate covered cherries as I am?
For more great holiday treat ideas, be sure to visit my Pinterest Christmas board.
Tools for Making Dipping easier
If you plan to do much candy making, do yourself a favor and get a candy dipping tool set. (Affiliate link)
Yes, you can use a fork and tap it on the edge of the bowl of chocolate, or roll it with a spoon and let the excess drip off. But candy dipping tools have forks with long tines and small scoops that are the perfect size for dipping a single bonbon or truffle.
For the price that you pay, you will find that you will use the tools over and over again if you are a home candy maker!
Tasting these chocolate covered cherries
You will be surprised how similar the flavor of these sweet treats is to the retail chocolate cherry. The maraschino cherry makes the sugar surrounding it get softer when it is dipped in the melted chocolate.
This gives it a slightly liquid center similar to the store bought treat. The more you “pinch’ the dough around the cherry when forming it, the more pronounced this trait is.
Pin this chocolate cherry cordial recipe for later
Would you like a reminder of this post for homemade chocolate covered cherries? Pin this image to one of your candy boards on Pinterest.
Admin note: This post first appeared on the blog in December of 2012. I have updated the post to add all new images, a printable recipe card and a video for you to enjoy.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
- 20 ounces maraschino cherries,, patted dry
- 1 pound milk chocolate candy coating, melted (dark chocolate is fine too)
- In a large bowl, combine butter and milk. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until a smooth dough is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and chill.
- Shape the dough into 1-in. balls; flatten to 2-in. circles. Wrap each circle around a cherry and gently reshape into a ball. Dip into milk chocolate coating; allow excess to drip off.
- Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm. Store in an airtight container.
If you prefer an alcoholic cherry cordial soak the maraschino cherries overnight in brandy, Grand Marnier, or a cherry liqueur.
Serving Size:1 bon bon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 4.5gSaturated Fat: 3.5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0.6gCholesterol: 6.3mgSodium: 15.2mgCarbohydrates: 23.3gFiber: 0.2gSugar: 22.9gProtein: 0.5g
Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.