Festive Fudge (White Chocolate Fudge with Cranberries and Pistachios)

White Fudge

Festive white fudge studded with cranberries and pistachio nuts

A baking frenzy took place in my kitchen yesterday. All day–from early morning until evening–I whisked, stirred, melted, rolled, filled, dipped, and baked an assortment of cookies and candies. I made ol’ favs: Walnut Pillows, Pecan Balls, Pecan Tarts, and Macadamia Nut Butter Cookies.

And I tried a few new recipes, such as this Festive Fudge: luscious white chocolate studded with green pistachios and red cranberries. Nutty and fruity. Tart and chewy. Perfect holiday fare.

Ever made fudge? It’s a hit or miss situation with me, kind of like my caramel experiences. But this one worked easily enough: dump a bunch of stuff into a pan, boil for 4 minutes, add to chips, mix in nuts and fruit, and voila–lovely, festive fudge!

Now on to today’s project: packing all these goodies to give away as well as freezing some for Christmas day.

Festive Fudge (White Chocolate Fudge with Cranberries and Pistachios)

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups white chocolate chips
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios (roasting optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. If you want to roast the pistachios, heat oven to 350 degrees F, spread nuts onto a pan, and roast for 5-8 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. Prepare pan by lining with parchment paper. Tip: spraying the pan with a bit of oil helps the parchment paper to stay in place. If you want 2-inch high fudge, use an 8 inch x 8 inch pan. If you want 1-inch high fudge, use a 9 inch x 13 inch pan (I like this option because the pieces feel more bite sized and you get a lot more fudge pieces).
  3. Place white chocolate chips in a large bowl and have electric mixer  or whisk ready. If using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment.
  4. This next step involves boiling, so use a large saucepan (I used my 6 quart Dutch oven): over medium heat, bring the sugar, butter, cream, and salt to a full, rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Once it begins to fully boil, set a timer for 4 minutes, continuously stirring at this point. If you use a candy thermometer, the mixture should reach 230 degrees F.
  5. Pour the hot mixture over the white chocolate chips and whisk on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until chocolate is completely melted.
  6. Add cranberries, pistachios, and vanilla; stir until combined.
  7. Pour the fudge into your parchment-lined pan; use a spatula to evenly spread it. Allow to cool, which will take a couple of hours, then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to cool for a couple more hours before cutting. When ready to cut, use a pizza cutter to make smooth, even, and straight cuts.
  8. The fudge can be stored in an airtight container, on the counter or in the refrigerator, for about a week or two. Or you can wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then place in resealable bag, and freeze for a couple months.

SOURCE: adapted from Chocolate, Chocolate and More

Pumpkin Fudge

This Pumpkin Fudge tastes ultra-sweet with a hint of fall spices and a hint of nuttiness from the roasted pecans. It also tastes a bit like maple…or caramel…because the ingredients include brown sugar that is boiled with butter and other stuff. Let’s just say this isn’t your typical fudge, which to me means chocolate. However, it is loaded with sweetness from two sugars, white chocolate, and marshmallow fluff. Definite sugar high with this dessert.

Pumpkin Fudge

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup chopped nuts, divided (walnut or pecans)
  • 1  1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips (about a 12-oz. pkg.)
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread nuts onto a baking sheet; place in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant. Shake the baking sheet halfway through baking so the nuts will toast evenly. Remove the nuts from oven and set aside to cool completely.
  2. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, letting the foil extend up and hang over the sides of the pan.
  3. In a heavy saucepan, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, pumpkin, butter, and spices. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring and boil for 10-12 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 234-240 degrees F (the soft-ball stage).
  4. Quickly stir in the white chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, 3/4 cup nuts, and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for one minute or until morsels are melted. Immediately pour into prepared pan and top with remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Let stand on wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cooled. Refrigerate tightly covered. To cut, lift from pan, remove foil, and cut into 1-inch pieces (use a pizza cutter to make cutting easier).

SOURCE: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen