Combine sugar, water and vanilla bean and cook to fairly thick syrup. Cool slightly. Add brandy and mix well. Wash cherries and wipe carefully with cloth dipped in brandy, being careful not to break off stem. Place loosely in sterilized jars, stems up. Cover with syrup, seal. Store away until December.
Remove cherries and drain well. Melt chocolate over hot water. Dip cherries one by one, making sure that each is thoroughly coated and that the chocolate forms a seal around the stem. Put on waxed paper to harden. Store in tins, nesting them gently in strips of tissue paper. Serve at tea time or with after-dinner coffee.
Use delicious cherry brandy remaining in jars over vanilla ice cream.
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