A few years ago I decided to add a new dimension of flavor to my favorite fudge and came up with this recipe. I have been making it ever since. It still has the lovely creamy texture that is so desirable in a truly wonderful fudge. But now there is also a bit of chewiness from the dried cherries and a lovely crunch from the walnuts. All together a very satisfying piece of candy.
So next time you want a quick and easy candy to serve for a special occasion (think Christmas) or want to create a beautiful and delicious culinary gift for a loved one, make a batch of this fudge. Just don’t be surprised when your husband or wife questions you about purchasing a whole bottle of cherry liqueur for a recipe that only requires 2 measly tablespoons. Just say what I say to Mr. C. when he looks at me with that “are you out of your mind” look. I tell him in my most sincere way that I consider him worth any price. And that I intend to continue making him (whatever it happens to be) every year because I know how much he enjoys (whatever it is). Then I hand him a piece of (whatever it is). Works every time!
- 2 T. cherry brandy or cherry flavored liqueur (like kirshwasser)
- ¾ c. whole dried cherries
- 3 c. sugar
- ¾ c. (1 ½ sticks) butter
- 1 small can (5-oz.) evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
- 1 ½ c. chocolate chips
- 1 7-oz. jar marshmallow crème
- 1 c. chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Place cherry liqueur and cherries in a small heavy pan. Bring just to a boil and take off the heat. Set aside while you prepare the fudge. Heat sugar, butter, and evaporated milk to a full rolling boil in a heavy saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil on medium heat until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees, stirring constantly to prevent scorching; about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and marshmallow crème until melted. Add reserved brandied cherries, walnuts, and the vanilla. Spread immediately into a lightly buttered 9×9-inch pan. Cool at room temperature for about 4 hours. Cut into small squares and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.