Yes, I made a little rhyme with my blog title. I couldn’t help but smile when I wrote it. But then, Cranberry-Pistachio Fudge makes me smile too. Fudge is such a classic holiday candy. Almost every cookie platter or candy dish includes a version of chocolatey deliciousness in the form of fudge. So, why not try something a little different, something unique, something red, green and white – yes a holiday delight! Hahaha, I just couldn’t resist writing it again. Are you smiling too?
The red comes from dried cranberries (yum, I just love dried cranberries so why not put them in fudge?). The green comes from pistachios. I think of my dear father-in-law whenever I eat pistachios. He loved them and I often gave him a big bagful as part of his Christmas gift each year. So, throw some pistachios in the fudge for a little green, a little salt and a little crunch. The white comes from white chocolate instead of your typical semisweet chocolate in most fudge recipes. And, finally, the holiday delight comes from the reaction you will see when your friends and family taste this festive candy. It makes a great gift and a wonderful addition to your holiday cookie and candy array.
Now, candy making can be a little frightening for some. Let me assure you there is nothing to be afraid of when making this recipe. The key is to use a candy thermometer; that way you know you have cooked the sugar syrup mixture to just the right temperature to make creamy, delicious fudge. So, if you don’t own a candy thermometer go out and buy yourself one. You can find them at most department stores with kitchen supplies, kitchen specialty stores and even some grocery stores.
Now, let’s get this delight started. First prepare your 8 or 9-inch square pan by lining with aluminum foil. Extend the foil over the edges so you will be able to lift the foil and fudge right out of the pan once it has cooled. This makes for much easier cutting.
Lightly butter the foil and then set the prepared pan aside.
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan combine the sugar, butter and buttermilk. The heavy pan will help reduce the possibility of scorching or burning the candy. Any good quality saucepan will work.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar is dissolved. This will take about 5 to 7 minutes. It is important to stir constantly so now is not the time to get distracted and busy doing something else.
Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the candy thermometer reaches 234°F. This takes about 6 to 8 minutes.
If you decided to make this recipe without a candy thermometer you can tell the mixture has reached the right temperature by dropping a small amount into ice water. The candy mixture should form a pliable ball. I will honestly tell you, testing the candy mixture this way is more difficult, especially if you have not made much candy before and this is the first time you have used this test. So, I will say it again. Go buy yourself a candy thermometer. Sorry if I sound like I am nagging but it really will be worth it.
Dropping candy mixture into ice water.
Forming a soft, pliable ball.
Now that the candy mixture is at 234°F remove the pan from the heat. This is really important as it stops the cooking process so the candy won’t be too hard – the higher the temperature the more firm or hard the candy. Stir in the white chocolate...
…until it is completely melted.
Next stir in the marshmallow crème until it is mixed in well. Now I know marshmallow crème can be really sticky and hard to measure so here is a little tip. Spray your rubber scrapper with a little no-stick cooking spray before you scoop out the marshmallow crème and it won’t stick. Clever, huh?
Stir in the dried cranberries and pistachios (the red and green).
Spread the candy mixture into the prepared pan.
Refrigerate until completely cooled which will take about 2 hours. Use the foil extending over the edges to lift the firm fudge out of the pan.
Remove the foil. Place the fudge on a cutting board and cut into 1-inch pieces.
There you have it, red, green and white – a holiday delight!
Oh, please store the fudge in the refrigerator so it keeps a nice firm texture. So, if my rhyme made you smile let me know and then take a minute to rate and review Cranberry-Pistachio Fudge once you’ve given it a try.
Check back in a few days when Mallory will share an idea for a quick holiday appetizer.
Becky Wahlund is the Director of the Test Kitchens for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.