When I was young, I somehow ended up at lots of banquet-y type things. Wedding receptions, award ceremonies and holiday celebrations… and there was a restaurant near our house that we went to occasionally that was a banquet-y type of place. When the adults were having drinks with dinner, what was my beverage of choice? A Shirley Temple.
For anyone who hasn’t had the (sickly-sweet) pleasure, a Shirley Temple is made from ginger ale, grenadine syrup and a maraschino cherry, served in a fancy glass. I wonder how much red food dye I ingested as a child?
Maraschino cherries also appeared in jello salads, cakes, and my favorite – chocolate covered cherries. I was so happy to get those little boxes of bright red cherries drowned in sugary filling and chocolate. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had one of those, but I received a little bottle of these guys in one of my Vegan Cuts snack boxes a while back and my first thought was to make my old favorites with them!
The recipe itself isn’t very complicated, but it does take a few steps and a little waiting to get them to come together in the right way. But believe me, it’s worth it!
Vegan Chocolate Covered Cherries
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Chocolate Coating *
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon agave
Natural maraschino cherries, drained, but reserving the liquid
1. Make the cream filling first ~ blend together the cashews and water to make a thick cream. Blend in the powdered sugar and coconut oil. Place in a small bowl and set aside while you make the chocolate.
2. Melt the remaining coconut oil and whisk or blend in the cacao/cocoa powder and agave.
3. Put a small amount of the chocolate mixture in the bottom each candy mold. Using a small brush (or your finger would also probably work fine), brush some of the chocolate around the edges of each mold. Since this is a fairly thin mixture, I put one layer into the molds then put them into the freezer for a couple of minutes. This made the first layer tacky enough for another layer to adhere to it, making a thicker coating. You can also chill the mixture for a few minutes first to thicken it up before putting it into the molds. Repeat as many times as needed to get the desired thickness. Put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up the chocolate.
4. Put a small amount of the cream filling into the bottom of each mold. Place a cherry into it, along with a tiny bit of the cherry liquid, and add more filling to surround the cherry. Place back into the freezer for a few minutes to firm up the filling.
5. Top off the mold with more chocolate (reheat the chocolate mixture if it’s gotten too thick by now), covering the filling and making the bottom of the candy. Place in the freezer to chill it all together.
When I made these, it was really hot, so I kept them as frozen chocolate covered cherries so they didn’t melt all over the place, but if you are at a more neutral temperature, you can let them warm up a bit so the filling is more gooey.
Pop out of the molds and enjoy!
Makes 12-15 chocolates, depending on the size of your molds.
* Note: the coconut-based chocolate mixture does give the candy a coconut taste. If you want a more traditional flavor of just chocolate and sweetness, you can also melt vegan chocolate chips and use those for the coating. That would also give a thicker coating, where the coconut-chocolate is thinner.