This may be sacrilege to most people, but I don’t like pumpkin pie very much. No offense intended to all you pumpkin pie lovers out there, but the texture is always a little too…goopy…for my taste. Which is a shame, because I love the flavor of pumpkin pie. So when pie season comes and I’m feeling left out, I turn to other desserts to get my pumpkin fix.
This Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge beats pumpkin pie any day of the week! It’s a smooth, creamy white chocolate and pumpkin fudge, packed with cinnamon, dried cranberries, and cranberry-flavored pecans. (More on those in a bit!) It’s sweetly spiced, with a nice balance of chewy, tart cranberries and crunchy nuts.
You don’t have to be a pumpkin pie hater to appreciate this fudge. In fact, it uses a small-ish amount of pumpkin puree, so it’s a good recipe for using up any excess puree you might have lying around after making your pies! Serve these squares as a pre-Thanksgiving dinner treat, or offer them as part of the dessert selection afterward. Give them as gifts, bring them as a hostess present, or make a batch and hoard it all to yourself. You have options! Here’s what you need to make Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge:
Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge
yield: 9×13 pan
Before we get started on the actual recipe, I have a few quick asides. First up, a spotlight on my new favorite snack and a star ingredient in this fudge: Cranberry Pecans. These are big, gorgeous candied pecans, coated in a cranberry and cinnamon mixture so they’re crunchy and flavorful. They’re great in this fudge, but also really good for salads, soups, and snacking out of the bag! If cranberry pecans aren’t your thing, you can definitely use regular toasted pecans instead.
Secondly, here’s a clever trick you will be glad to know about halfway through this recipe! If you’ve ever tried to scoop marshmallow cream out of the jar, you know that it’s a messy process that can take way too long. This is especially inconvenient when your recipe is time-sensitive, like this fudge. To make things easier, line a bowl with plastic wrap, and spray it lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop the marshmallow cream into the bowl. Now, when you need to add it to your recipe, it’s already scooped, and you can just flip it out of the plastic wrap, and it will slide right off.
Now on to the recipe! To make the fudge, line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large saucepan, combine the butter, both sugars, evaporated milk, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon. Place the pan over medium heat, and stir while the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.
Continue to cook the fudge, stirring occasionally, until it comes to boil. Once boiling, insert a candy thermometer. Keep stirring and cooking the fudge until the thermometer reads 235 F.
Once at 235 F, remove the pan from the heat. Add the white chocolate chips and the marshmallow cream–now aren’t you glad you took the time to scoop it out already?
Stir until the white chocolate chips melt and the marshmallow streaks disappear.
Add the dried cranberries and the pecans, and mix them in as well.
When the fudge is set, remove it from the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp knife to cut it into small 1-inch squares.
Your fudge is now finished! As always, there’s an easily printable recipe down below, and a pin-able image. Happy Thanksgiving!
Pumpkin Cranberry Fudge
yield: 9×13 pan
- Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large saucepan, combine the butter, both sugars, evaporated milk, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon. Place the pan over medium heat, and stir while the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.
- Continue to cook the fudge, stirring occasionally, until it comes to boil. Once boiling, insert a candy thermometer. Keep stirring and cooking the fudge until the thermometer reads 235 F.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the white chocolate chips and marshmallow cream. Stir until the chips melt and the mixture is smooth.
- Add the dried cranberries and chopped pecans, and stir them in.
- Scrape the fudge into the prepared pan, and smooth it into an even layer. Allow it to set at room temperature for several hours, or in the refrigerator.
- Once set, remove it from the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp knife to cut it into small 1-inch squares to serve.
- Store Pumpkin Cranberry fudge in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
All text and images (c) 2013 Elizabeth LaBau