Saturday, December 18, 2010
Christmas time is the perfect time to make treats like these. Last night was the swim team's Christmas party and as always we all were required to bring something..Let me just say, potlucks are the best partys! There's so much variety and you get to discover new ways of doing things. Usually at these kind of parties I always bring dessert. Or something along that way...One time I made jello shots...what, it's kinda like dessert!
Anyway, for this party I had a recipe picked out, some kind of brownies, but one night last week I was going through a special edition of "taste of home" featuring cookies and candies only, looking for something cute to bring to my brother on Christmas Eve, and I came accross these little babies. Oh My...I was instantly intrigued. Seemed relatively easy to make, with only a few simple ingredients, so I decided to make these for the swim party too. And I'm glad I did! They were a hit and (like the jello shots) I think they will be remembered...
Here's the recipe, as written in "Taste of Home; Best cookies and candies":
For about 4-5 dozen little balls, you'll need:
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup cherry brandy (may be a little hard to find, but it's worth it, and btw that brandy is amazing in Sangrias!!)
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 cup icing sugar (yes, it's a lot of sugar...)
6-8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 TBSP shortening
White cookie icing (optional but pretty!!)
First step, the night before, soak the cherries in the brandy, cover and refrigerate overnight. I'm sure if you're pressed for time 2 hours would be enough, but the longer it soaks the softer the cherries will be, and soft is what we want here!
The next day:
In a bowl cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar in batches and mix, at first with the mixer but after a while you'll have to let go and put some effort into it, with a good ol' spatula and some elbow grease. It will seem like a lot of sugar, but in the end what you're looking for is a crumbly mixture like this:
Drain the cherries (keep the liquid!! that precious brandy...), add to the sugar mix, along with 2-3 teaspoons of the soaking liquid. Mix until it come together. If you feel like you need more sugar, add more sugar; or if it's too dry more brandy ...
It will look like this:
Then it's time to make the little balls, about teaspoon fulls, roll them nicely and place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
After one hour, melt the chocolate and shortening until smooth, and cool a bit.
Roll the balls in chocolate, covering them all around and return to the sheet. I found the best way to do this was with a spoon and a toothpick.
Finally, drizzle the white icing in a disordely fashion, and send it to fridge again, uncovered. Chill until you're ready to go.
Plate, cover, and when you get to that party make sure they stay in the fridge until ready to serve!