George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree, but you can still celebrate his birthday (either on Presidents Day or his actual birthday, February 22nd) with something cherry.
National Chocolate Cherry Day is January 3rd.
Here, we have three recipes:
The chocolate cupcakes have a “surprise” filling of cherry preserves, and the buttercream also has some cherry preserves for color and flavor. You can use plain buttercream if you prefer, tinted pink.
Before you start baking, make it a point to look at all the wonderful recipes on BakedByAnIntrovert.com.
> The history of cherries.
Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.
Ingredients For 20 Cupcakes
1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F, line 12 muffin cups with paper liners (or 20 muffin cups, if you have two pans). Set aside.
2. BEAT in a large bowl until fluffy the oil, butter, and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. In a separate bowl…
3. WHISK together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add it to the wet ingredients, along with the milk. First, add some of the dry mixture, then some milk, then some dry mixture, repeating as necessary and beating after each addition. The contents should be well blended.
4. SPOON 2 tablespoons of batter into each paper cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (with only a few dry crumbs). Remove the cupcakes from the pan(s), and cool completely on a wire rack. When cool…
5. CUT a small well in the top center of each cupcake, using the point of a sharp knife. Fill but don’t stuff the well with cherry preserves, and replace the top portion of the cupcake. (Nibble on the well pieces you’ve removed, or keep them in a plastic snack bag to toss onto ice cream or yogurt.)
6. MAKE the frosting. Using a hand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar; then beat in the cream until the frosting reaches your desired spreading consistency. Then beat in the preserves or food color to tint pink. Garnish and serve.
 Make your own chocolate covered cherries (photo © Taste Of Home).
RECIPE #2: CHOCOLATE-COVERED CHERRY CORDIALS
Making chocolate-covered cherries is as easy as dipping strawberries or other fruit in chocolate: Melt the chocolate, dip the fruit and let dry.
However, if you want to make cherry cordials—with the cherry floating in syrup, here’s a recipe Taste Of Home (photos #3 and 4).
Prep time is 25 minutes plus chilling.
Ingredients For 36 Pieces
1. COMBINE the sugar, butter, milk, and extract in a small bowl. Knead until smooth and pliable. Shape into 1-inch balls and flatten each into a 2-inch circle.
2. WRAP one circle around each cherry and lightly roll in your hands. Place with stems up on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
3. MELT the chocolate and shortening in the microwave; stirring until smooth (the shortening helps the chocolate adhere to the cherry). Holding onto the stems, dip the cherries into the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off. Place them waxed paper until the chocolate is set. Store in a covered container. Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks before serving, to allow the flavors to meld.
You can’t have it today; it takes 40 days to infuse (photo #5).
But here’s how, from Balkan Lunchbox.
You may need to wait until cherry season to buy the cherries. We haven’t tried it with frozen cherries.
Check out the photos and video. For a quick look at the recipe:
1. DE-STEM the sour cherries. Get rid of damaged ones. Wash the remaining, de-stemmed cherries.
2. LAYER the cherries and sugar in the jar. Start with sour cherries, then generously cover with about 4 tablespoons of sugar. Repeat until you fill the entire jar.
3. POUR in the brandy, as much brandy as the jar can take. This process may take a few minutes. If space allows, add more sugar on top, and fasten the lid.
4. TAKE the jar outside, and leave it in direct sunlight (or in a place with a lot of light) for about 40 days or 6 weeks. Every 4-5 days take a spatula with a long handle and mix the sugar and sour cherries well. You may need to remove a few cherries from the top in order to mix thoroughly. Return the cherries to the jar and fasten the lid. After 40 days…
5. STRAIN the brandy into glass bottles. Serve it with dessert, with coffee, or as an aperitif. Keep the remaining sour cherries to use in a dessert.