George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree, but you can still celebrate his birthday (either Presidents Day or his actual birthday, February 22nd) with something cherry.
Here, we have three options: chocolate cherry cupcakes, chocolate cherry cordials, and cherry liqueur (the last one you can make today, but you need several weeks for it to infuse. It will be ready by Mother’s Day.
The first recipe was developed by Jen of the website Baked By An Introvert. She notes that “This recipe was inspired by my favorite candy, chocolate covered cherries.”
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.
Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.
Before you start baking, make it a point to look at all the wonderful recipes on BakedByAnIntrovert.com.
Ingredients For 20 Cupcakes
 Pretty as a picture: chocolate cherry cupcakes from Baked By An Introvert.  If you want to play against the cherry filling, tint plain buttercream pink or make this pink champagne frosting from Wicked Good Kitchen.
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 cupcakes, 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 or keep them in a plastic snack bag to toss on 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.
TIP FROM JEN: If the frosting becomes too loose or curdled looking, add more powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until the frosting comes together again.
RECIPE #2: CHOCOLATE-COVERED CHERRY CORDIALS
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 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.
RECIPE #3: MAKE CHERRY LIQUEUR
You can’t have it today; it takes 40 days to infuse (photo #5).
But here’s how, from Balkan Lunchbox.
 Make your own chocolate covered cherries (photo courtesy Taste Of Home).
 It’s more than dipping fruit: You create the almond-nuanced syrup inside the chocolate shell, too (photo courtesy Choclatique).
 Finish with homemade cherry liqueur (photo courtesy Balkan Lunch Box).