Chocolate Le­bkuchen Cherry Balls

Taste of Home - - Contest -

Here’s my twist on the tra­di­tional Ger­man hol­i­day le­bkuchen— with a sur­prise in­side. Maraschino cher­ries add a sweet and un­ex­pected punch to the hol­i­day spice of the gin­ger­snaps. —Ar­lene Erl­bach, Mor­ton Grove, IL Prep: 45 min. + chill­ing Makes: 5 dozen 40 gin­ger­snap cook­ies

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, soft­ened

11/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, di­vided

11/4 cups sliced al­monds, di­vided 2 Tbsp. chopped can­died or­ange peel

1 tsp. al­mond ex­tract 60 maraschino cher­ries, stems re­moved

1. Process the gin­ger­snaps, cream cheese, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup al­monds, or­ange peel and ex­tract in a food pro­ces­sor un­til com­bined. Re­frig­er­ate un­til firm enough to form into balls. Pat cher­ries dry with pa­per tow­els. Wrap each cherry with a rounded ta­ble­spoon­ful of cream cheese mix­ture; shape into a ball. Freeze un­til firm, about 20 min­utes.

2. Chop re­main­ing sliced al­monds; set aside. In a dou­ble boiler, melt re­main­ing chocolate chips; stir un­til smooth. Dip cherry balls in chocolate; al­low ex­cess to drip off. Sprin­kle balls with al­monds. Place on waxed pa­per. Re­frig­er­ate un­til set, about 1 hour.

1 ball: 76 cal., 4g fat (2g sat. fat), 4mg chol., 37mg sod., 10g carb. (7g sug­ars, 1g fiber), 1g pro.

Chocolate Le­bkuchen Cherry Balls

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