Easy Cherry Pecan Fudge


Do you love cherry cordial chocolates at Christmas time?

Then this Cherry Pecan Fudge is a good Valentine’s Day treat for you.  I featured the recipe in my Standard-Examiner column this past week.

Years ago I learned how to make a basic shortcut fudge with sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. I loved it because it takes about 10 minutes of prep time, and it’s always rich and creamy, never grainy.  I added chopped maraschino cherries go with the Valentine’s Day theme, and the pecans are optional.

If you want more deep chocolate flavor, use all semi-sweet chips; for a mild chocolate flavor, go with milk chocolate chips. Fudge is always a little sticky in texture, and the cherries add more moisture and stickiness. That’s why the recipe advises draining the chopped cherries on paper towels to soak up some of the cherry liquid before mixing with the fudge. Also, keep the fudge refrigerated, or even frozen, until just as you serve it.

This same recipe makes really good hot fudge ice cream topping, too.

Easy Cherry Pecan Fudge

Needed: a microwave-safe bowl and an 8- or 9-inch pan

1 cup chopped maraschino cherries

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 12-ounce bag (or just under 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup (about 6 ounces) milk chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Spread the chopped cherries between two layers of paper towels, and blot excess moisture from the cherries.

Stir the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir well. If chocolate isn’t fully melted, microwave another 30 seconds.

Remove from the microwave, and beat with a spoon or electric mixer for a few minutes.

Fold in the cherries and pecans.

Spread evenly into a buttered 8- or 9-inch square pan. Chill for about 2 hours or until very firm. Makes about 2 pounds of fudge.