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Bonbons are like delicious pieces of candy you can’t stop eating! It’s way too easy to pop a few at a time, every time you walk by them. The glaze is festive and sweet, and the cherry in the center provides a juicy surprise to unsuspecting cookie eaters.
Bonbons are easy to whip up on short notice—they take just 1 hour to make from start to finish. They don’t last very long once glazed though—and not just because you can’t stop eating them! The glaze starts to droop and sprinkles start to run after a few days. I usually make the cookies ahead of time then glaze them within 24 hours of bringing them somewhere. The glaze is quick and easy, and you can make a half or quarter of the glaze recipe if you need a few cookies to bring somewhere today and won’t need the remaining cookies until another day.
For the cookies:
- 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (use clear vanilla extract if you have it)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Maraschino cherries, Hershey’s bells, nuts or chocolate chips
For the glaze:
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1½ tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use clear vanilla extract if you have it)
- Food coloring (optional—I use these Wilton icing colors)
- Assorted sprinkles, candies, nuts, coconut , etc. for decorating
For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- I always use cherries in the center of my bonbons. If using cherries, it’s easiest to pour them into a strainer placed over a bowl, so the juice strains while you make your dough.
- Mix confectioners sugar, butter and vanilla using an electric mixer.
- Add flour and salt, mixing until the dough holds together. If the dough starts to resemble Dippin’ Dots at this point, use your hands to mix until the dough holds together. If the dough is still very dry add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough holds together but is not sticky.
- Shape 1 tablespoonful of dough into a ball (I use a small cookie scoop to portion the dough), then flatten it in your hand. Place 1 cherry in the center of the circle, then bring the edges of the dough around the cherry and use your fingers to work the dough to seal any seams or cracks. Gently roll into a ball in your hands, being careful not to crack the dough.
- Place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 12-15 minutes until cookies are set and bottoms are light golden brown.
- Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
For the glaze:
- Using a fork, mix confectioners sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add more milk if necessary to reach the desired consistency.
- Separate into smaller bowls and add food coloring as desired.
- Dip tops of cooled cookies into glaze. Place glazed cookies on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (to catch any glaze drippings).
- Immediately decorate as desired with sprinkles, candies, nuts, coconut, etc.
You can leave the cookies plain if you don’t want any surprises in the center. The dough is sweet and yummy, and so is the glaze!
I prefer cherries in the center of bonbons, but I also tried it using Hershey’s kisses. The Hershey’s kisses were a little too hard for me once the cookies cooled. Hershey’s Bells might work nicely, since they are creamier than Hershey’s kisses. Nuts work too, except it’s harder to work the dough around the nuts without cracking the dough.
Bonbons don’t freeze well if you put cherries in the center. They would probably freeze ok (before glazing) with something dry like nuts in the center (or with nothing in the center).
I got this recipe from my dad. I’m not sure where he got it, although I think originally it is a Betty Crocker recipe.