Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cherry Bomb Pops in 3 Flavors - Smokin' Hot Cayenne, Cinnamon, and Toasted Coconut


One Jar (approx. 5 ounce size) Maraschino Cherries, drained
Two 8 ounce bars Ghiradelli White Chocolate 
One Bag Rold Gold Pretzel Sticks
One 8 ounce bag Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet Mini Morsels
1/2 cup (approximately) sweetened coconut
One batch Soft, Chewy Caramel
One heaping teaspoon Adams Cayenne Pepper
Two teaspoons cinnamon

Advance Preparation

24 hours in advance

Using three separate small bowls - 

Place 1/3 of drained cherries (about a dozen) in small bowl #1.  Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of Adams Cayenne Pepper. Stir gently to distribute pepper evenly over cherries.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for about 24 hours.

Place 1/3 of drained cherries (about a dozen) in small bowl #2.  Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cinnamon.  Stir gently to distribute cinnamon evenly over cherries.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for about 24 hours.

Place 1/3 of drained cherries (about a dozen) in small bowl #3.  Do not season.  Cover tightly and refrigerate for about 24 hours.

12 hours in advance

Prepare Soft, Chewy Caramel recipe.


Remove all 3 bowls of cherries from refrigerator.  Take off the lids and let them set so they slowly warm to room temperature while you are preparing everything else for the pops.  Set aside.

Melt 8 ounce bar Ghiradelli White Chocolate in microwave according to package directions.  

NOTE:  Do not overdo when melting chocolate.  Just soften it enough so that is creamy, smooth, and lumps are dissolved.
Broken pieces of chocolate in bowl, ready to melt

Dip pretzel sticks into melted white chocolate and allow to cool on wax paper until firm.  You may need to refrigerate the pretzel sticks a little while for the chocolate to be firm enough to handle.  Leave one end of the pretzel stick free of chocolate.  How many pretzel sticks should you dip?  Enough so that you have one for each cherry, plus a few extra in case you break some.  My recipe made 45 pops, and I dipped 50 pretzel sticks.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Cover a small baking dish with Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Aluminum Foil.  Toss a handful of coconut into dish.  You want to have a single layer of coconut covering the bottom of your dish as shown in the before and after photo.  Bake coconut till it turns to a beautiful light brown toast color.  It only takes a few minutes, and it smells absolutely divine.  Remove from oven immediately after toasting and transfer to dish to cool.  

NOTE:  If you don't take it out of the hot baking dish and place it onto a cool surface, the coconut will continue to brown even after it is removed from the oven.

Cut or tear off a small piece of caramel and roll it into a ball in your hands and place on wax paper.  Repeat process until you have one ball of caramel for each cherry, plus a few extras in case of a mishap.  I had 45 cherries to to stuff, so I made 50 balls of caramel.

Cinnamon Cherry Pops:

One at a time, lightly rinse excess cinnamon from cherries and pat dry with paper towels.  You might need to squeeze some of the cherries gently to remove excess moisture.  Place cherries on paper towel so that some of the remaining moisture will be absorbed.  Repeat till all cinnamon cherries are done.

Take one cinnamon cherry in your hand.  Find the opening where you wish to place the caramel, and stuff the cherry.  Be gentle and patient.  If you try to stuff too much caramel into the cherry, it will burst.  Once that happens, it will not make a suitable Cherry Bomb Pop.  Repeat process until all cinnamon cherries are stuffed with caramel.

Caramel stuffed cherry

Next, gently insert the un-dipped end of the pretzel stick into the opening of the cherry where the caramel is stuffed and push to the center of the cherry.  Do not insert deeper than halfway through the cherryAfter each pretzel stick is inserted into a cherry, place on wax paper and repeat process until each cinnamon cherry has a pretzel stick.

Melt about 1/3 pkg. mini chocolate chips in microwave as per package directions.  Toll house morsels are harder to melt and burn quite easily.  (I found out the hard way.  HUBBY said, "It will be easier to dip if the chocolate is runnier.  Just get it hotter."  Why did I listen to him anyway?) The chocolate just needs to be soft enough to be smooth and easily stirred.

Chocolate mini morsels ready to melt.

Cinnamon Cherry Bomb Pop

Gently dip the cherry end of the pretzel stick into the melted chocolate.  You can use a spoon to swirl it around the cherry.  Be careful or the cherry will fall off of the pretzel stick.  When cherry is covered with chocolate, set on wax paper to cool.  Repeat process until all cherries are dipped.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. Set out just before serving so that chocolate warms a bit and is soft enough to eat.  Discard leftover melted chocolate.

Toasted Coconut Cherry Bomb Pops

Repeat the same process for these pops as you did for the Cinnamon Cherry Pops. No need to rinse first because these are the plain maraschino cherries, but you should dry any excess moisture off them with paper towels.  After you are finished dipping them in melted semi sweet chocolate, sprinkle lightly with your toasted coconut before chocolate cools. Discard unused melted chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Set out just before serving to allow chocolate to soften a bit so that it is easier to eat.

Smokin' Hot Cherry Bomb Pop, cut open

Smokin' Hot Cherry Bomb Pops

Repeat the same process for these pops as you did for the Cinnamon Cherry Pops.  Melt the remaining bar of white chocolate and dip them in it instead of Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Set out just before serving to allow chocolate to soften a bit so that it is easier to eat.

NOTE:  It is best to Cherry Bomb Pops are best served as fresh as possible, ideally within 24 hours after they are prepared.

I hope you enjoy Cherry Bomb Pops.  These are original recipes I created in response to the Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain

The requirements for this month's challenge were simple:  Invent a new dessert that contains  pretzel and caramel.  Be sure to check the link below and discover all the April Challenge entries.

This post is also shared at:

The Country Cook: Weekend Potluck #62


Sincerely, Paula: NO RULES Weekend Blog Party #43 


  1. New follower from the No Rules Blog Party!

  2. How fun!! Thanks so much for bringing these to the challenge!!

  3. OMG you so went all out, I love it. The concept of caramel stuffed cherries is amazing. Great creation.

  4. Wow, what an amazing assortment of cherry bomb pops! I'd have to try one of each, then go back for a second of my favorite!

  5. Amazing! A++ for an all-out effort on this dessert challenge.

    Never thought of stuffing maraschino cherries with caramel. And your variations on your creation are like a pretzel lover's dream come true!

    Thank you too for the tips regarding coconut =)

  6. This looks seriously fun and tasty too. I'm visiting from Paula's hop. :)

  7. Hi there! I have ventured over from No Rules hop. Thrilled to be connecting with someone new!

    XOXO, Mandi @ All My Happy Endings

  8. I had to come check these out right away, they sound amazing!! Thanks for linking up at Sweet Treats & Swanky Stuff!

  9. Looks very yummy! I love cherries!

    Now following.

    Thanks for dropping by and visiting Nanny to Mommy! ;)

  10. I love the idea of hot cherry bombs! I bet my man will enjoy them =)

  11. Oh my, those pops look so very delicious!! This recipe looks so delicious!! Following you back from the Aloha Friday Blog Hop!! Thank you for linking up!


    Jean //

  12. Very interesting! I'd like to try them! Thanks for linking to my Pin Me Party!


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