Paleo Dark Chocolate Cherry Bites

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Mine was full of family, food and festivities. Okay I just threw in that last one to keep with the trend. It really should be family, food and naps. I don’t know why but whenever my family gets together 2PM becomes nap time. I’m not even a big napper but after a filling lunch, I just passed out. 
While I have been home, my family has been cooking our way through Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo’s new cookbook “Food 4 Humans.” I’ll share some of the things we made later, but I just have to say that everything so far has been absolutely amazing! 
This dessert came to me when I wanted to recreate a dessert I loved as a chid, cherry mash candies. Now these don’t taste like the powder frosting, maraschino cherry filled treats, but I have to say I like them better! As I get older, I just can’t handle the level of sweetness I used to love. These candies are a little tart wrapped in delicious dark chocolate. My dad who isn’t much on sweets ate a couple! 
1 14oz can coconut cream
1/3 cup honey
2 cups finely shredded coconut 
10 oz bag of frozen cherries
1 bag enjoy life chocolate chips
In a small sauce pot over medium heat, cook coconut cream until boiling. Add honey and stir until completely dissolved. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes stirring occasionally. The mixture should reduce to slightly more than one cup.
While coconut cream in cooking, defrost frozen cherries in the microwave. You can also do this on the stove in a small sauce pot. The cherries will release a lot of juice. 
Mix together shredded coconut, coconut cream and defrosted cherries with their juice. Use a small ice cream scoop, about a tablespoon, and scoop mixture onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. It will make about 25. Pop into the freezer for 2-3 hours, preferably overnight. 
Once the candies are set, heat 2 inches of water to a simmer in a medium sauce pot. Place 1 cup of chocolate chips in a double boiler over the simmer. Stir occasionally until chocolate melts. Use a candy thermometer and remove the chocolate from heat when it reaches 115 degrees. Keep stirring for another minute and then add the remaining chocolate chips. Stir until melted. 
Remove cherry candies two at a time from the freezer. Dip into the chocolate and flip until completely covered. Place onto another parchment-lined baking sheet. Once you have coated all the candies, return to freezer for an hour then store in fridge. 

x vanessa 

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