Ok, everyone, let's all just take a deep breath. In and out, nice and easy, that's it. Calmer? Hope so. Too many nice, normal, level-headed people I know are experiencing the Turkey Day Panic, a condition that sets in somewhere in mid-November and peaks on that fateful last Thursday of the month, when cooks, ranging from amateurs to professionals, are expected to churn out a multi-course, too-big-for-any-kitchen-kind-of-a-meal, for too many people and often under hostile family conditions. I get it--it's nerve-racking. Or maybe you're not tasked with making the main meal, but have to (gulp) "bring something", another kind of pressure entirely! I know because I have lived through both scenarios many times. But I am here to remind you (and myself, mostly) to remember that it's supposed to be a fun family day and my family will not have fun if I'm stressing out about gravy and cranberry sauce and throwing hissy fits in the kitchen pantry!! After all, and this may seem funny coming from me, it's only food. Which segues nicely (cue the fudge) to this almost-no-work-at-all, festive and decadent confection that can be whipped up in minutes, and makes a great hostess gift or extra little addition to your own Thanksgiving table. No worries, I've got you covered!
I've never been the hugest fan of white chocolate, (to me it always seems overly sweet) but somehow here, paired with the tartness of the dried cranberries and the slight bitterness and crunch of the pecans, it's just right. As in right into my mouth too many times to count, unfortunately. And it takes only moments to prepare.
You start by melting white chocolate chips with a can of sweetened condensed milk and a dash of salt, eventually stirring the dried cranberries and pecans into the mixture, which gets poured into an aluminum foil-lined pan.
Next you let it chill for a couple of hours, remove it from the pan and transfer to a cutting board, where you chop it up into little squares or bite-sized pieces.
It's creamy and sweet with the crunch of pecans and the tart chewiness of the dried cranberries. Just the thing to round out your Thanksgiving table or bring to someone's home. Pure fun! And speaking of Thanksgiving, this is where I sign off. With all of my family coming in and lots of catching up to do, this'll be my last post this week, but of course I'm always around for any Turkey Day or other food related questions. So have a wonderful, scrumptious, happy and calm holiday and I'll be back next week with some terrific new recipes as we hurtle our way into the holiday season!! Have a great one guys and thanks for all your support!
Last Minute White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Fudge
Makes at least 50 bite-sized cubes
Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus a couple of hours to chill and then cut up)
- 3 cups white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
- One 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1. Line an 8x8-inch square pan with aluminum foil so that there's an overhang on 2 of the sides and spray the foil lightly with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Place the chips, condensed milk and salt into a medium saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring frequently until the chips have melted and the mixture is completely smooth. If little bits of chocolate remain, keep stirring and cooking until they dissolve. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, cranberries and pecans. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth the top, cover with a piece of foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or longer, until firm.
3. Grab hold of the foil overhang and remove the "cake" from the pan. Peel off the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the fudge into small bite-sized squares or pieces. Serve immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container for at least a week, but bring to room temperature before serving so that chocolate is creamier.
Note: Recipe adapted from Spoonful of Flavor.