Some of my best childhood memories involve my sisters and I playing on a make-shift slip and slide in our backyard to beat the summer heat. We would use leftover pieces of my Dad’s thick black landscaping plastic and lay it down on the grass while one of us held the hose and created a spray type of effect to keep the slide continuously wet. Talk about old school!
It was not uncommon for us to take breaks to play other games. Another one of our favorite backyard activities was to climb our cherry tree and pick ripe beautiful sweet red cherries. The four of us would climb the tree and stuff our mouths with juicy cherries, and then challenge each other to see how far we could spit the pits out. We always laughed at each other’s red stained tongues and mouths. When we were finished, we climbed down just enough to where we could jump off. Cloud gazing and hide and go seek throughout the neighborhood was also typical. Oh how I miss those lazy summer days.
I cannot eat a red cherry without thinking about my childhood. The glory days of my youth is something I still remember quite vividly and fondly.
Today I have a very simple cherry dessert recipe which requires just two ingredients: chocolate and sweet red cherries. Sometimes it is the most simple of culinary concepts which yield the most satisfying and enjoyable bites. Like the spectacular combination of chocolate and bananas, chocolate and cherries are a memorable treat. You see cherries and chocolate used together in many dessert recipes, and even in chocolate bars. Fresh cherries and chocolate, however, are special. Eating them feels indulgent. When I eat around eight or so of them my sweet tooth feels completely satisfied.
Unlike chocolate dipped strawberries, I like the cherries to only be drizzled with chocolate – just enough to complement the natural sweetness of the red cherry. It is surprising how a little bit of chocolate can go a long way when paired with this wonderful fruit.
With fresh cherries so widely available right now, this would make the perfect dessert snack to enjoy on a hot summer day like today. Enjoy!
*To pit cherries, unfold and bend a large paperclip as pictured above. Using the larger half as a hook, poke the large end (at the bend) of the clip at the stem end of the cherry. Wiggle the hook until you feel the pit. Carefully hook the pit and pull the clip out.
**Ratios: I like to use about 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips to 1 cup of cherries per serving size.
Recipe: Chocolate Cherry Poppers
Chocolate cherry poppers are made with fresh sweet red cherries and melted dark chocolate drizzled over them, then refrigerated for 15 minutes before eating.
4 cups fresh pitted red sweet cherries, washed and dried
1/4 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (for gf, make sure to check the bag to avoid gluten)
- Using a toothpick as a skewer, poke two cherries with a toothpick. Repeat as many times as needed until all the cherries are skewered.
- Line the cherries on top of a wax papered covered board or plate in a single layer touching each other.
- Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe container in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time. I find doing this twice works fine.
- Evenly drizzle the chocolate over the cherries until all the chocolate has been used. You many need to use the back of a spoon and touch the cherries to get all the chocolate from the bowl to the fruit.
- Place the plate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes for the chocolate to cool and harden.
- Serve the cherries when the chocolate has hardened.