I ended up using dried cranberries instead of cherries and they were cheaper and maybe a little more Christmassy. It really was a day-long process, with several steps in-between rises. I started the dough at about 9:30am, and the panettones were finished at 4:30pm. The recipe instructions were very clear and easy to follow, and having step-by-step photos was great when I needed more clarification on what the dough should look like at each stage. I doubled the quantities to make 24 muffin size panettones. We only had one muffin pan with 12 holes so I decided to rise half of the balls of dough in a shallower pan and then transfer for baking. This didn't really work and they squashed down when I transferred them.
These were really worth the time spent in the kitchen and really enjoyable to make, and everybody loved the taste… I might even say they were the perfect Christmas bake.