Old Fashiones as Truffles....yumm!
December has always denoted certain sweets from my childhood. My mom has always been a baker of breads, pies, and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies; but this one time of year was reserved for her candy cane cookies, cherry chocolates, peanut butter balls, peanut butter fudge, and her sweet bread Christmas roll.
My favorite holiday treat of hers has always been the cherry chocolates. So as a young adult I started making them. Then I became vegan, and forgot about these treats.
This year on a drunken birthday weekend, some girlfriends and myself made a plan to do a cookie/candy exchange.
I ended up being the only one that actually saw it threw, but oh well. (Tells you something about my personality-if I say yes or I'm doing it, you know I will no matter what else is going on in my life!)
So to fulfill my end of the cookie/candy exchange, I decided to mimic treats from my childhood. I found recipes online and made vegan candy cane cookies as well as cherry chocolates.
Now the cookies are supposed to be made into skinny logs of white and pink dough to twist together to look like candy canes. Makes sense, but they kept breaking. So I decided just to make the logs to bake, but the pink dough just looked like weird shiny penises. I decided not to present them in this form at the cookie exchange, even though we are all adults, but who really wants to bite into a shiny penis:) So instead I rolled them into discs, like the peppermint discs you can get year round. They were awesome, and the chocolates were a huge hit.
After the failed exchange, I brought a plate to Rescue Ranger's house. As we were trying my concoctions and reminiscing, Rescue Ranger commented that our mom's chocolate covered cherries were super sweet, enough to give her a headache. (Now she always used maraschino cherries, and the recipe I found did too. I didn't like to use them, but what was the alternative? Luxardo...they are like 20 bucks for the jar!)
So as I was ruminating over that comment someone suggested using bourbon cherries. This made total sense to me, we are in bourbon country. But like Luxardo they are soooo expensive....(no offense Woodford). So my fBnL suggested that I could use frozen cherries infuse them with bourbon, and make my own. That sounded like an excellent idea, and that is what I did.
So with Bourbon Balls I know that the pecans need a couple weeks to soak up the bourbon, and so I figured cherries would need that amount of time as well. Also I know from my days as an herbalist, that a tincture can be made by infusing alcohol with fruits and herbs for 30+ days.
So my next batch had bourbon infused cherries, and now it is the only way I make them! I made them for another friend, that commented on the fondant, and they wondered if it could be made to taste like orange.....and the old fashions truffle was made.
4 cups of confectionary sugar
3 Tbs coconut oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs soy milk
1/4 tsp orange or amaretto
2-4 drops of aromatic bitters (if you have them)
16 oz. (40+) bourbon infused cherries
24 oz. chocolate nibs/chips
1/2 tsp coconut oil
What to do:
So after infusing my frozen cherries with bourbon for at least 30 days, the cherries are ready to be made into bourbon cherry chocolates (use amaretto)or old fashions (use orange).
Remove the bourbon cherries, lay in between layers of paper towel, and lightly pat to remove some of the excess moisture.
In a bowl, mix together the confectionary sugar, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, orange extract, and bitters.
Then with floured hands, take a small piece of the mixture, push it into a rectangular or oval shape on a floured surface. Add the bourbon cherry, wrap the fondant around the cherry. Cut off extra, put any back with the rest of the mixture. and then roll the fondant covered cherry between hands. Place onto wax paper and then in the fridge.
After chilling for about 10-15 minutes, cover cherries with chocolate mixture. I use two forks and place one fondant covered cherry in the bowl, roll it around until completely covered. Then lift the cherry out of the bowl and let the excess chocolate drain a bit between the slots of the fork.
Once all are covered, re-chill. Let sit an hour or two before serving, even better if you can wait a week or two, but I know that would entail a lot:)
*for bourbon cherry chocolates, replace the orange extract with amaretto, or vanilla.
*next time I want to add grated orange peel