1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries (reserving 1/4 cup juice) 1/4 cup butter softened 3 1/2 – 4 cups powdered sugar 16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips 2 teaspoons coconut oil or shortening 4 ounces white chocolate chips (optional) 4 ounces dark chocolate chips (optional)
Lay the cherries out on paper towels. Dab them dry several times with paper towels and let them sit will you start the rest of the recipe. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer combine the butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice. Add the last cup of powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture pulls away from the side and forms a soft ball. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll in a little less than 1 inch balls and flatten with the palms of your hands. Add the cherry to the center pulling up the fondant around the cherry. Roll it into a smooth ball and place on a parchment covered rimmed baking sheet. Continue until all the fondant is rolled up around the cherries placing them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes uncovered. Melt the semisweet chocolate and coconut oil for dipping the cherries according to the instructions on the package of chocolate. Using a fork carefully dip the cherries in the chocolate. Gently sliding them off the fork using a table knife onto a parchment covered sheet. Let them sit until the chocolate sets. If desired melt white chocolate and drizzle over the cherries. For an over the top presentation melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the cherries too.
Thoroughly dry the cherries so the fondant batter sticks to them. You can use stemmed maraschino cherries or maraschino cherries that have the stems removed. I have always found it so much easier to work with the ones without stems as it is so much easier to roll the powdered sugar mixture around them. However that said you can dip the stemmed ones in the melted chocolate using the stem. When rolling the fondant around the cherries lightly dust your hands with powdered sugar. Don’t skip the chilling periods as fondant is so much easier to roll after being chilled and the balls are much easier to dunk in melted chocolate when frozen. Store the cherries in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 8 weeks.
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