Chocolates Anyone?

Today is my mother’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Mom!  Though we aren’t celebrating her birthday today because she’s been feeling a bit under the weather, I had to at least bring her some of her favorite homemade chocolate-covered cherries.  I also  decided to throw in an extra surprise– chocolate-covered raspberries!

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Both are  super-easy to make.  I just use chocolate chips, always the store brand.It does make  a difference! For the cherries, I use maraschino cherries.  For the raspberries I use fresh raspberries.

Drain the cherries to get all the excess juice out.  I just empty the jar into a colander. While the cherries are  draining, line a baking sheet with wax paper and get your chocolate chips melting.  I have a special melting pot just for chocolates.  (If you don’t have one, I’ve found that melting the chocolate chips in a glass measuring cup and then setting the measuring cup in a pan of hot water works great for keeping the chocolate melted while you work.)

If you are making raspberries and cherries, I recommend starting with the raspberries first because the sugar in the juice from the cherries will gunk up the chocolate after a while.

Just drop a raspberry (or cherry) in the melted chocolate, gently swirl it to cover it with the chocolate.  Scoop it out with a spoon and drop it onto the wax paper. And repeat!  Add  and melt more chocolate chips as needed.  When you are done, put the chocolates in the refrigerator so that the chocolate will firm back up. Then they are ready to gift (or eat)!  If I am gifting them, I line the gift box with wax  paper or put the chocolates in mini baking cups.

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My mother likes my homemade  chocolate-covered cherries better than any other chocolate cherries that she has found. It  has  become a tradition that she gets  them every Christmas, birthday, and Mother’s Day.

This was  the first  time I made the chocolate-covered raspberries, so everyone had to taste-test  them and decide whether the cherries or  raspberries were the favorite.  The raspberries won over the cherries  3 to 2!   But mom still prefers the cherries 🙂

And lastly, don’t  forget  the card!  I save a ton of money each year by making my own greeting cards.  It sounds  cheesy, but I have a couple of greeting card programs for  my computer that I paid less than $10 each for. I make all my greeting cards with this software.  Add to to software  one box of  greeting card envelopes  and  one package of  white card stock and I’ve been good stocked for several  years.    The nice thing about the greeting card software   is that I can totally customize the cards– I can add names, change the wording to be suitable, create  my own wording, add my own pictures, or anything else I might want to do.  In this case, you can see that I decided the card should  say that my mother should enjoy lots of her favorite  chocolates:

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Family have  really come to appreciate  these personalized  cards  because more thought has gone  into them. On the rare occasion that  I  have  “cheated” and purchased a card, they have actually been disappointed.  I really prefer  to make my own cards and love that  I don’t  have to stand in  the card isle trying to find the perfect card and then flip over the card and gape at the ridiculous price printed on the back.

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