There is still time! In the next ten minutes you can craft a marvelous batch of homemade chocolates that say “I love you” better than any cards or flowers. This treat will absolutely not celebrate the commercialism that has become Valentine’s Day but instead your own creativity and the delightful idea of giving something you made to people you love. That might sound daunting, but when you see that a couple of minutes in the microwave can yield Dark Chocolate and Cherry Fudge with Pistachios, you will literally go nuts! There are sure to be people who are cooking a fancy five course dinner- planned well in advance – and pouring champagne while wearing a stunning red ensemble, but for the rest of us, baby steps will do, and these chocolates fit the bill nicely.
The basic recipe is tried and true, which means it is really impossible mess up. You only get one bowl and a spoon dirty so that’s a plus, and this fudge can be made ahead and kept for days in the fridge or at room temperature. The recipe makes enough to share with family and friends, and even enough to hide a few pieces away to enjoy for a well-deserved treat. Best of all, the microwave does the work, you just take the credit. The ingredients can be altered for personal taste or to accommodate what is already in the pantry. The main ingredients are semi-sweet dark chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Personally, I would not mess with that stuff that says fat free, what’s the point? You will also need a tablespoon of butter and a teaspoon of vanilla. Melt the chocolate chips and condensed milk together in a microwave safe bowl. Increments of 30 seconds work well, with a stir in between. One and a half to two minutes will do the trick. Stir in butter and vanilla to combine and then add cherries and nuts. Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil, spoon in the fudge and cool in the fridge until nice and firm. A secret touch is a sprinkle of good sea salt on top. There you go – Fudge in a flash.
Creative packaging like my pups Cupcake and Chili Dog provided for their humans is charming, but in truth, you can simply put this on a plate and watch it disappear.
Enjoy falling in love with this delicious fudge. That’s a recipe for a Happy Valentine’s Day !
3 cups dark chocolate chips
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup dried cherries, lightly chopped (may use another fruit)
1/3 cup shelled pistachios, lightly chopped (almonds, walnuts, and cashews are also good)
Optional: ½ tsp sea salt
Line an 8 x 8 baking dish with aluminum foil.
Combine chocolate chips with condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl.
Melt chocolate mixture in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. This should take 1 ½ to 2 minutes. (This can also be done in a double boiler.)
Stir in butter and vanilla, add cherries and nuts.
Spoon into prepared pan (mixture is thick) and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Sprinkle with sea salt if desired, cut into pieces and share with someone deserving!