Bing Balls

Valentine cherry cake pops Why not give your sweetie one of these little delights on a stick – “Bing Balls”!

They start out with a sweet cherry pink candy center and then you dip them twice into melted chocolate and then roll them in coarsely chopped cocktail peanuts! They are like a Bing Cherry Bar only on a stick! Seems like we are putting everything on a stick these days, why leave out the Bing Cherry Bar?  Yum Yum…   :)

And if you don’t  care for peanuts or are allergic, skip the nuts and go for the gusto! -  dip them three times into the chocolate! Seriously, is there anything as too much chocolate??

pink cake balls for Valentine's day Bing Balls

Melt in a medium-sized saucepan:

      1/4 c salted butter

Then add:

      1 cup granulated sugar

      1/3 cup evaporated milk ( NOT sweetened condensed milk)

      1/8 teas salt

      6 large marshmallows

Stir and bring to a boil. GENTLY boil for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add:

      2 teas cherry extract

      1 cup red candy coating wafers

Stir occasionally until the wafers have completely melted. Pour the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool down. When the mixture has cooled and has started to “set up”,  start kneading it and begin forming it into little balls ( about 3/4 inch). Place the balls on a cookie sheet that has been covered with waxed or parchment paper. Place the balls into the refrigerator until they are firm.

Meanwhile, melt:

      1 Tablespoon red candy coating wafers

Dip a skewer into the melted wafers and then insert the skewer into one of the balls ( stick the skewer in only about halfway. Be careful not to push it clear through the ball) Place the skewered balls back into the refrigerator. Meanwhile, in a small heavy saucepan, melt over low heat:

      1 cup or so semi-sweet chocolate chips

      1/3 cup peanut butter

This amount may vary depending on how many times you are going to dip the balls. You can always melt more if needed…  Dip the skewered balls into the chocolate mixture so that the chocolate is covering not only the balls but a little of the skewer as well….

Stick the skewered dipped balls into a chunk of plasticwrap-covered styrofoam to firm up. Place them back into the refrigerator until chocolate has firmed up and then dip them again. Then roll them in:

      1 cup or so coarsely chopped cocktail peanuts

When the chocolate has firmed up, it is time to take a bite…or two… :)  

valentine candy bouquets

 

 

 

 

Cherry Walnut Popcorn

walnuts

Oh, this is soooooo good, almost too good, it’s hard to stop with just a few pieces! Cherry Walnut Popcorn is filled with toasted walnuts, dried cherries, a buttery cherry-flavored caramel…

cherry caramel

And chunks of red chocolate-covered dried cherries!…

chocolate covered dried cherriescherry popcornCherry Walnut Popcorn

Into a very large bowl put:

      6 cups air-popped popcorn

      1/2 c dried cherries, sliced into thin strips ( using a clean scissors works best)

      1 c toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Toss. Meanwhile, into a heavy medium-sized saucepan put:

       1/2 c butter

       1/2 c granulated sugar

       1/2 teas salt

       1/4 c light corn syrup

Gently boil for 5 minutes. Turn down heat to low and then add:

       1 teas cherry extract

Stir and add:

       1/2 teas baking soda

Stir well. Pour the mixture over the popcorn, cherries and walnuts. Mix just until combined. Then sprinkle over the top:

      1 Tablespoon powdered butter sprinkles ( optional, but it adds a little extra buttery salty flavor! :)   )

Mix, then gently stir in:

      1 c coarsely chopped red chocolate-covered dried cherries

Don’t overstir or the chocolate will completely melt off the cherries. Spread the popcorn out over a cookie sheet and let it completely cool and firm up.  Enjoy!