Have a Very Cherry Christmas!

Today Candice from The Grown-Up YA is here today to talk about one of her favorite holiday treats! Try to have a snack handy because your tummy will be rumbling after reading this post!

For as long as I can remember, giving my dad chocolate covered cherries has been a NECESSITY for Christmas. I would hate to see what would happen if we didn’t give him any for Christmas; I imagine it would be similar to the events described in the Book of Revelations.

My dad is also an expert at “guessing” what’s in his gifts. Which is annoying, especially when we go to great lengths to try to trick him. You know, wrapping a DVD in a giant box. We’ve event tried it with his chocolate covered cherries, but I truly believe he’s like Toucan Sam. He can smell those things a mile away and just follows his nose to them.

After Christmas, those cherries become high cotton in our house. He may offer you one on Christmas morning, ‘tis the season and all. But after that they are OFF LIMITS. Seriously. He puts them in the freezer – they last longer that way you know – and I actually think he takes inventory of those things.

Luckily, I’ve never developed a fancy towards them, so I’ve never wanted them. I don’t think any of us really like them. Thank goodness for Daddy, right?!

Several years ago I discovered how to make homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries and my dad LOOOOVVVEEEEDDD them. I try to make an effort to make him some every year for Christmas, in addition to the store bought ones. Of course, it’s even more of an effort not to eat half of them BEFORE Christmas!


Chocolate Covered Cherries

Maraschino Cherries (approx. 50-60), with stems or without

Dipping Chocolate

2 C Powdered Sugar

1/4 to 1/2 C Sweetened Condensed Milk

¼ C Margarine or Butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (almond adds a great flavor)

Dash of Salt

Drain and rinse cherries; freeze.

Mix powdered sugar, ¼ C sweetened condensed milk, margarine or butter, extract and salt until it makes a dense paste ball. You can add more condensed milk as needed.


Roll paste into 1” ball.


Flatten into disk and wrap around cherry until completely covered. You can roll the paste covered cherry in your hands to help shape it into a ball. Repeat for all cherries.

Melt chocolate. Dip cherries into chocolate, covering completely. If you don’t have cherries with stems, use a fork to help. Shake off excess chocolate and place onto wax paper.


Sometimes cherries can juice out of any cracks or weak spots in the chocolate. Use a toothpick or tine of a fork to cover with extra melted chocolate.

The cherries will “ripen” after you cover them in the fondant and chocolate, meaning the sugar in the fondant will cause the cherries to juice, creating a sweet liquid between the chocolate and the cherry, kind of like the store bought ones. The longer you let them sit, the more they “ripen.”

But good luck making them last that long!



These sound delicious, Candice! I have never been fond of chocolate covered cherries myself but my mouth was surely watering after looking at these pictures! Your dad is one lucky man! 

How about you, friends? Any special holiday treats you make or receive every year?

Fortnight of Fright: Halloween Treats

Welcome to A Fortnight of Fright over here on Books Take You Places! Fortnight of Fright is an event hosted over two weeks, by myself and Brittany from The Book Addicts Guide, we will be featuring some fabulous posts on all things Halloween!

Another delicious autumn related treat over here on the blog today! I have heard these called a few different things but I like the name Hocus Pocus Rolls the best because first, Hocus Pocus is awesome and second, once you bake these delicious treats the marshmallows disappear..LIKE MAGIC!

After taking a peek around here, make sure you head over to Brittany’s blog to enjoy some other Halloween related fun! 

For this recipe you will need:
  • One can of crescent roll dough
  • Enough large marshmallows to go inside every crescent roll
  • Melted butter
  • Cinnamon and sugar

Unfortunately I only have pictures of the finished product – I didn’t anticipate featuring this one on the blog at the time! Nonetheless they are still extremely easy and delicious, so go make them!

Not the best picture but you get the idea!

1. Preheat your over to the temperature specified on the back of the crescent roll container.

2. Unroll the crescent rolls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

3. Roll the marshmallows in the melted butter.

4. Roll the marshmallows in the cinnamon sugar – I tend to use LOTS

5. Wrap the marshmallow in the open crescent rolls; do your best to close the sides around the marshmallows.

6. Put the rolls in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.

7. Remove the crescent rolls from the oven and allow them to cool enough to handle. When they aren’t hot enough to burn off your fingers, break them open and enjoy the MAGIC!


Review: The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook by Jennifer Appel

Title: The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

Author: Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey

Publishing Information: November 3, 1999 by Simon & Schuster

Genre: Cookbook

Format: Hardcover, 128 pages

Source: Borrowed from my local library

Recommended For:  Anyone who enjoys baking or eating delicious treats!


Sometimes, I do things besides read and blog, like bake! Though sometimes that baking experience is so delicious and amazingly enough can be rerouted back again to blogging so here we are. 

A few weeks ago, I checked out The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook from my local library. I don’t know if any of you have ever been to Magnolia Bakery in NYC (or heard about it on Sex and the City), but let me tell you, the treats there are DELICIOUS. The best part (for lazy Alyssa) is the fact that they are now also located in Grand Central Station! This obviously means that every time I step foot in Grand Central I must buy something (see: cupcakes) and all three days that my aunt and I were in NYC for BEA resulted in A LOT of Magnolia Bakery purchases.

I have to be honest and tell you that although I enjoy baking and have made a plethora of breads and cookies from scratch; I have yet to try cakes or frosting! I was so excited and also quite nervous to try these recipes for the first time, but overall I think they were a success, at least, no one became sick and I heard lots of yummy noises!

My first attempt was the Devil’s Food Cake (except I made cupcakes) with Mocha Buttercream Frosting and let me tell you, they were delicious! I have now made these for multiple parties – including a luau bridal shower – and everyone raves about them. The frosting is especially a hit for both lovers and non-lovers of coffee (or espresso) and I’ll tell you a secret – I’ve even plastered it on top of a cake made from a box recipe, blasphemous, I KNOW, but it even enhances the most boring cupcake recipe.

I checked this book out before purchasing it because some of the reviews made me wary. I am thrilled to say that I will definitely be purchasing this cookbook very soon and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn some secrets of the perfection that is Magnolia Bakery. Yum!