Welcome to this month's installment of the Secret Recipe Club! I have been assigned Angels Homestead, hosted by April, the SRC founder herself!
April is the proud mother of 5, born and raised in Southern Indiana. She acquired all her kitchen skills from her mother, then from cooking for her own family later on. She has oodles of frugal and healthy recipes, many of them gluten-free, from which I had the pleasure of choosing.
So of course I went straight for the candy. Lemme 'splain.
Every November and December I drop everything and make tons of candy for theHubby to give to many of his clients, and every year I add something new to the mix. So I quickly scanned April's recipe index and eyed her delicious-looking Creme Filled Chocolates. I happen to like vanilla a lot, but noticed that the candies were displayed in pink foil cups. And I happened to have a tiny bottle of cherry liquor that had been begging me to use since the 2012 kosher food blogger's conference. Which gave me an idea: replace the vanilla extract with cherry liquor. *Voila* Cherry-creme!
|Cherry creme (in center) with a few of its friends.|
Despite the grown-up additive, one-quarter cup of 24% (by volume) liqueur divided into 72 candy cordials equals ... very little alcoholic consumption. But if you prefer, feel free to substitute an equal amount of maraschino cherry syrup. Or go back to the original and use a teaspoon of vanilla.
TIP ALERT! For easier handling of the melted chocolate, use a piping bag, or a small freezer bag (use scissors to cut off the corner, a tiny bit smaller than you think you need) to partially fill and top off the candies.
My worrying turned out to be totally unnecessary. These candies turned out to be the clients' favorite! Thank you, April, for the idea!
*UPDATE* I made and photographed the candies almost 2 months ago, and finished up the post in December soon after Chanukah (we received our January SRC assignments very early this year ... around Thanksgiving). Just a couple days ago, I received an email from April to all the SRC members not to make major changes to another member's recipe, among other things.
I hope April is not too upset with the flavor change. Or that I didn't have the time to adjust the candy name on the photos.
Cherry Creme-Filled Chocolate Candy
Adapted from Angels Homestead
Yield: approximately 72 candies
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 stick (4 Tbl.) unsalted butter, softened
1/8 tsp. table salt
1 lb. pkg. confectioner' (powdered) sugar, unsifted
1/4 cup cherry liquor (or syrup from a jar of maraschino cherries)
3-4 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 (24 oz.) bags semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
4 Tbl. vegetable shortening, divided
Using an electric mixer, beat sweetened condensed milk, butter and salt at medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and beat on low until sugar is incorporated. Add cherry liquor (or syrup); increase speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Add 3 drops red food coloring, if desired and continue to beat for an additional 30 seconds, or until color is uniform. Add additional drop only if necessary ... food coloring is highly concentrated and you only want a pink that is light, not shocking. Set aside.
Pour 1/2 bag of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon shortening in a heat-safe 1-quart bowl. Microwave at full power for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave at full power for 30 seconds; repeating until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Line a mini-muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
Spoon (or pipe) barely a tablespoon of melted chocolate mixture into each liner.
Spoon (or pipe) about 1/2 tsp. of creme filling into the center of the chocolate. Gently press filling with back of spoon to flatten slightly, but not so much that filling spreads to the edges.
Spoon (or pipe) about a teaspoon of chocolate on top to completely cover filling. As your batch chocolate mixture get low, repeat with remaining chocolate and shortening in same bowl, adding 1/2 bag and 1 tablespoon shortening at a time.
|Pretty in Pink|
Refrigerate for an hour, or until tops are solid, then remove cordials and place in a tightly covered container, in layers divided by wax paper. Refrigerate up to a month. Remove from fridge at least 30 minutes (up to 8 hours) before serving.