3 jars Maraschino Cherries with stems, drained, 3-4 TBS juice reserved
3 TBS butter, softened
3 TBS light corn syrup
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 12-oz. bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 oz. white chocolate chips
2 TBS shortening
Directions: For the cherries: Drain cherries but do not pat dry. Place on large plate or cookie sheet and place in freezer for at least one hour and until ready to use.
For the fondant: Combine powdered sugar, butter, corn syrup, almond extract and 3 TBS cherry juice in large bowl with mixer. You will need to use your hands at the end to combine thoroughly, mixture may be sticky, dust with powdered sugar to handle. Roll into 6-inch disk and place between 2 large sheets of wax paper. Flatten with rolling pin to 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Place in freezer until ready for use, at least 30 minutes.
Assembly: Remove both cherries and fondant from freezer. Using a butter knife cut fondant into 1 1/2-inch squares and wrap each square around cherry. This is best accomplished when fondant and cherry are very cold, the heat of your hands will warm fondant making it sticky, you will need to return it to the freezer and do this in batches, or have lots of help! Continue wrapping fondant around the cherries. Place back on plate/cookie sheet and return to freezer.
Melt the semi-sweet chocolate with shortening in medium bowl, stir until smooth and shiny. Quickly dip cherries into chocolate making sure the fondant is completely covered. Place on wax paper lined cookie sheet or platter. The dipping is easiest when the stems remain on the cherries, that ideal is not always realized. I had a handful of cherries without stems, I stuck a toothpick in them to dip. Make sure after dipping that the cherry is completely covered so the fondant and juices do not leak out as the cherries “ripen”. When cherries are all covered with chocolate, melt white chocolate chips and place in small zip-loc baggie. Trim off a very small amount on the corner and drizzle over the cherries as you see fit. Refrigerate for a quick-set or let sit for a few hours. Store in an air-tight container and let rest for 3 days so the cherry juice and fondant can combine and create a nice creamy center. Will keep for 2 weeks if they last that long!