I recently was blessed with a large jar of maraschino cherries. As I was pondering on what to do with them, I decided to make one of my favorite treats, Chocolate Covered Cherries. This candy takes me back to my great-grandma's house which was just up the driveway from my grandparents. My sister and I would walk up to see her when we visited them. On the walk up to her house, we would be filled with the anticipation of seeing her, hearing the stories she'd tell, and the promise of a treat. She always had something for us like milk and cookies or some candy. And, if I asked, she would share a piece from the box Queen Ann's Cordial Cherries she kept in the fridge. She didn't think little girls would like them, so I had to assure her I did before I could have one.
As I was finishing up dipping the cherries, Steve walked in and asked what I was doing. I told him and, of course, he wanted to try one. "I just want to make sure they are edible." (Note: He always says that and if he really likes it, then he pronounces it no good, but he will sacrifice himself and eat it all.) I told him, no, he had to wait.
"I have to wait?" Yes, they are not ready, I replied.
(5 minutes later) "Are you sure I can't have one now. They look good to me." I told him that it would be at least 3 weeks before they would be ready.
(5 minutes later) "Why can't I have one now?" I explained that it takes time for the cherry juice to mix with the fondant and liquify.
(10 minutes later) "Make sure you cover them so they don't get dusty!"
About this time, I felt the Holy Spirit laugh. He said waiting on the Lord is like waiting for the candy to be ready. While we wait for the "magic" to happen and for the candy to be ready, we protect it. As we go about our day, we walk by it and anticipate tasting and enjoying it.
Just like we can't see what is happening inside the chocolate shell, we can't see what the Lord is doing. In the waiting, we are to protect our prayers and dreams with our faith and confessions. We anticipate experiencing the full manifestation of the promise. And we wait. It may be for an hour or a couple of weeks, like for the cherries. Other times, it might be months or even years. But we wait because something is happening where we can't see it. And when it is ready, it will be sweet.
You all have prayers or promises that you are waiting for. You can eat the candy now, but you won't experience the true flavors that develop if you don't wait. God is saying to you, "Wait, it will be worth it.".
What do you do during the waiting time? I'd be delighted to hear how you keep your faith strong, your confession in line with your promise, and your expectations high. Please share your tips and secrets with us in the comments below.
And now for the sweet stuff-
Here is the recipe I used to make these Old Fashioned Cherry Cordials. As noted above, they take some time, but they are worth the wait!
Old Fashioned Cherry Cordials
40-45 Maraschino cherries with stems(16 oz jar)
4 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons salted butter-softened
1/4 cup cherry juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract(optional)
16 oz Chocolate- chocolate chips, melting wafers or chocolate bars
Drain the cherries, reserving 1/4 cup of juice. Place cherries on a paper towel to absorb juice. Cherries need to be somewhat dry before you cover them with fondant.
When cherries are dry, combine 3 cups powdered sugar, butter, cherry juice, and extract. Add remaining powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time until you have a soft dough. Refrigerate dough for 20 minutes.
Roll into 1-inch balls. If the ball is too sticky, you can dust it with powdered sugar
Flatten a ball in the palm of your hand, dusting hands with powdered sugar in necessary. Place a cherry in the middle and wrap fondant around it.
Place covered cherries on wax paper and chill for 30 minutes. Cherries must be dipped in chocolate before they start to liquify (within about two hours)
Melt chocolate in double broiler or microwave. Hold by the stem and dip each cherry into the chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip off then place on wax paper or into candy papers. If using chocolate chips or candy bars, your chocolate maybe too thick. You can thin it with a tablespoon or two of shortening.
Once chocolate has set, place cherries into a covered container and wait. Let the candy sit for at least 3 weeks for the centers to liquify.