Cherry Vodka Balls

I had made some bourbon balls at Christmas and shared them with my Mom, and she has been raving about them ever since.  She asked me when I was going to make them again, since she enjoyed them so much and wanted to share some with her friends.  I agreed to make them on one condition...they would be totally different from the first batch but just as good!  Because I happened to be out of bourbon at the time, and didn't have any pecans, which were a main ingredient in the first batch.  I did however have vodka, and cherries which she loves, and I thought they would go perfectly with a vanilla cookie as a base.  I added a bit of lemon zest, and blended the mix together.  I dipped the balls in dark chocolate, and then as an afterthought, I saw my beautiful pink Himalayan sea salt on the counter and decided to sprinkle a little on top of each one because it pairs so well with chocolate. 

They were awesome!  Cherry booze balls, we were calling them, because they were a little boozy, as "bourbon" balls or vodka balls should be, but they were delicious!  The tart sweet cherries were delicious with the vodka which almost gave a cooling affect.  The sea salt on the dark chocolate was the perfect thing to balance out the sweet confection!  My Mom loved them just as much as the bourbon balls, thank goodness!  These are delicious, and I should have made them for Valentine's Day, because of the deep red color they have on the inside, had I thought of it.  But since it is past, I would say these need no occasion, just make them to enjoy them!  Here is the recipe if you would like some! 

Cherry Vodka Balls
Makes about 20

2 1/2 cups vanilla cookie crumbs, packed

1 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp vodka

8 oz vegan chocolate

pink sea salt

In a food processor, combine cookie crumbs, cherries, agave nectar, vanilla extract, lemon zest, sea salt, and vodka, and process until smooth.  Place in the fridge to firm up, about an hour until firm enough to shape into balls.  When cold, shape into small 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a foil lined sheet pan.  Place in the freezer and freeze until somewhat hard, a few hours.  When chilled, heat chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth.  Dip each ball in chocolate, and place on the sheet pan.  Sprikle with a few grains sea salt, repeat with other balls, and let chocolate set (if you put them in the freezer it goes faster). 

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