As you may know, I wrote a book about giving sweets the loving touch of a little salt. But if there was just one candy in the entire world that I could bestow this virtue upon it would have to be fudge. Usually fudge is too one note. It’s only sweet. A quick fix for this problem is to add roasted salted nuts and some zingy dried berries. Therefore you will have a symphony of sweet, salt, and tart, and many interesting textures; creamy, crunchy and chewy.
Did I mention this recipe takes only minutes to prepare?
This recipe calls for an 8×8-inch square pan, which most of us have in our bakeware arsenals (a 7×5-inch rectangular dish will work well in its place). I usually spray the dish with cooking spray then line it with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides. The spray helps hold the paper in place as you pour in the hot candy. After a quick chill, the candy can be lifted from easily from the pan by the two overhanging edges of parchment.
I used green pistachios and deep red dried cranberries for their color as well as flavor. It’s a subtle red and green for the holidays, but I think they translate beautifully in semisweet chocolate. If you’re not a fan of either, you may substitute another fruit and nut combination.
Five Minute Cranberry Pistachio Fudge
- 1 can 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk!)
- 2 cups 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped evenly (chips are also fine for this recipe)
- 1 ounce unsweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole roasted salted pistachios
- 3/4 cup whole dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup finely ground pistachios optional
- Grease a baking pan, 8x8x2 inches. Line with parchment or waxed paper so that the paper overhangs two sides of the pan.
- Stir the sweetened condensed milk and semisweet chocolate together in a microwave-safe 2 quart dish. Add the unsweet chocolate and microwave at 100% for 1 minute; stir. Microwave again until chocolate is melted and mixture can be stirred smooth, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Fold in the whole pistachios and cranberries using a large rubber spatula. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top of the candy with the spatula. Sprinkle the top with ground pistachios, if using.
- Refrigerate until firm. Cut into 2-inch squares. Store in a container that seals air-tight.
- Package 6 pieces in small cellophane bags tied with ribbon for gift giving. Give larger amounts in festive Christmas tins or stacked inside lidded Mason jars.