Monday, December 15, 2014

White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Clusters and Fruit and Nut "Fudge"...

To kick-start a series of holiday treats, sharing two of my favourite go-to no-bake delights that are easy to whip up fast with no hot oven involved! :) These are beautiful and perfect to entertain with as an after dinner finger dessert or for gifting in pretty packages for your friends, colleagues and kids' teachers.

I've been making white chocolate clusters year after year. The taste and texture of this three ingredient combination is divine. Easily an inviting treat to bring cheer on your holiday sweets table!

White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Clusters
Makes about two dozen two-bite sized clusters

1/2 lb. (225 g) white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Cook's NOTE: Toasting nuts adds crunch and intensifies their flavour. To toast nuts in the oven, spread on shallow baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. To toast nuts on the stove top, cook nuts in ungreased pan/skillet on medium heat until golden brown, stirring frequently.

Buy chocolate discs at a bulk foods store.

Line a large baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. In top of a double boiler over hot water, melt white chocolate; stir until melted and smooth. TIP: Create a double boiler by filling a sauce pot with two inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel bowl on top of the hot water; the bowl should not touch the water.

Remove bowl from heat. Add cranberries and toasted pecans, stirring with a wooden spoon until cranberries and nuts are completely coated with chocolate. Using a tablespoon, drop spoonfuls onto waxed/parchment paper. Let set until chocolate is cool and hardened. Placing it in the fridge to firm up quicker. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

This is a Kraft Kitchens' recipe. I remember recipe testing this submission by my colleague's mother. It used three of our products and the flavour combo was out of this world! Melted chocolate and marshmallows married harmoniously to create a "fudge-like" texture and the crunchy, fruity and nutty goodness made it the ultimate taste bomb! 

Fruit and Nut "Fudge" (A MUST TRY!)
Makes 32 bite-size pieces

1 package (250 g) Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallows
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 pkg. (225 g) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
20 Honey Maid Graham Wafers, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup halved glacé cherries (use both green and red to make it really festive)
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Microwave marshmallows and butter in large microwaveable bowl on MEDIUM for two minutes or until marshmallows are puffed; stir until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add chocolate; stir until melted. Stir in remaining ingredients. (Mixture will be super thick.)

Spread evenly into greased 9 X 5-inch loaf pan. Refrigerate one hour or until firm before cutting into bite-size pieces. NOTE: Best eaten within two days otherwise the graham wafers will lose it's crispiness.

Photo credit:

A yearly tradition of bringing a sweet tray pairing both recipes for my twins' school one year.

Dolling up jars with treats for the teachers and principal!

If you like chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers, you'll love my S'Mores Cookie Crisps... Join me back here tomorrow as I begin my week long holiday cheer bake-off...

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