Thursday, December 2, 2010

White Chocolate Fudge with Candied Cherries, Dried Apricots and Pistachios

When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to take me to a market by her home. It was a little Mom-and Pop grocery store. It smelled like bananas, sweet rolls and the musty smell of cardboard. I remember the tan, square tiles on the floor were flecked with avocado green and rust. I would amuse myself by not stepping on the cracks between the tiles while grandma gathered items in her cart for the week.

Toward the end of the shop, by the registers, was a great big display of bulk candies. I remember grandma would give me a bag and let me scoop out portions of delicious candies to take back to her house. There were always so many to choose from, and it was hard to narrow down my choices. Grandma was patient while I struggled with the large metal scoop and tipped out two or three candies from each wooden barrel.

They were mostly candies by Brach's. The pink, brown and white of the Neapolitan Coconut Cubes, the Milk Maid Caramels, Royals and my favorite Jelly Nougats.

For those of you who have never had a Jelly Nougat, they are a white, creamy candy, vanilla and very sweet, with slices of Jelly bean mixed throughout. As you chew, every once in a while you get a little taste of fruit with the creamy cube of nougat.

Unfortunately, these candies are next to impossible to find now-a-days. I've looked in many grocery stores and haven't come across them in years.

It's not so much that they are a culinary amazement, but they taste like my childhood. They taste like grandmas house, with her black and white TV and her button box. So in memory of my grandma, I came up with this white, candied fruit studded fudge. It is a delicious fudge recipe, dense and creamy. The bits of candied fruit give it a grown up take on the memory of my childhood. In a way, this fudge is a symbol of how the seasons of life change, and though the sweet memories of our past aren't always as tangible as they once were, we must adapt and make new sweets with the elements of the present.

White Chocolate Fudge with Candied Cherries, Dried Apricots and Pistachios
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5 oz evaporated milk
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • 1 large jar of marshmallow fluff
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 cup candies cherries, diced
  • 1 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1 cup pistachios, shelled and diced
Melt butter in a medium  pan. Stir in sugar and evaporated milk. Cook until it reaches 230 to 235 degrees on a candy thermometer, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and pour in white chocolate chips, mix rapidly until smooth. Using a mixer, beat in marshmallow cream, and almond.







Stir in the candied cherries












apricots












and pistachios.

Pour into a 9x9 glass dish sprayed with cooking spray. Let cool, slice and enjoy.

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