Joanna Gaines's Aunt Mary's Cherry Mashers

Aunt Mary's Cherry Mashers

byJoanna Gaines
Total 2 hours and 45 minutes (includes freezing and chilling times)
Active 45 mins
Makes Makes about 4 dozen
There is an unexpected delight that comes with the blend of cherry and chocolate. My dad’s sister used to make these candies every year around the holidays, and his love for them became my own. I asked my aunt Mary if I could share her recipe in this book and she gladly obliged—and there’s no doubt I’ll be adding it to the lineup of treats I make every holiday season.
TIP: If you can’t find or don’t want to use the powdered frosting mix, omit the mix and decrease the amount of sweetened condensed milk to 3 tablespoons. In this episode, Jo sprinkles the Cherry Mashers with multicolored nonpareils.
Special Equipment
a small (.75-ounce) cookie scoop
Special Equipment
a small (.75-ounce) cookie scoop
  • One 7.2-ounce package Betty Crocker Home Style Fluffy White Frosting Mix (see Cook’s Note)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) margarine, at room temperature
  • One 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • One 20-ounce package chocolate almond bark, broken into smaller pieces
  • One 11.5-ounce bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups dry-roasted salted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the frosting mix, powdered sugar, margarine, maraschino cherries, vanilla, and condensed milk. Starting on low speed, then gradually turning the speed to medium, beat until the mixture has a fluffy consistency, about 4 minutes.
  3. Form the cherry mixture into 1-inch balls using a small (.75-ounce) cookie scoop. Place on the prepared baking sheet and freeze until firm, 1 to 2 hours.
  4. To make the chocolate coating: In a medium saucepan, combine the chocolate bark, chocolate chips, peanuts, and vegetable oil and melt over medium heat, mixing to combine.
  5. Working in batches, remove the cherry balls from the freezer and dunk them one at a time with a fork or spoon into the chocolate mixture. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off over the pan, then return the balls to the parchment paper.
  6. Refrigerate until completely hardened, about 20 minutes.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.