Monday, December 20, 2021

Chocolate Candy #Recipe by Maya Corrigan

These bite-size candies take almost no time to make and have only three ingredients: chocolate, dried cranberries, and pecans. They're perfect as hostess gifts or for guests who drop by on short notice. The cranberries make them a holiday treat, but they make great snacks all year round. You can substitute other dried fruit like raisins and any type of nuts.


8 ounces (1 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (milk chocolate also works)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans 
1/2 cup dried cranberries 


Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set it aside

Put the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Heat the chocolate at half power for 30 seconds and stir it. 

Heat the chocolate again at half power for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until the chocolate is smooth. If it's close to being totally melted, heat it for only 15 seconds before stirring.

Chocolate beginning to melt

Final melted stage

Combine the nut pieces and cranberries in a bowl. Stir them into the melted chocolate, coating them well. 

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the paper-lined baking sheet.

Fruit and nuts mixed with chocolate

Chocolate dropped by spoonfuls on paper

Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens before serving.

You can store the mounds in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer until you're ready to serve them.

Makes approximately 24 chocolates.

This recipe appears in Gingerdead Man, the 7th Five-Ingredient Mystery.

Though I make these treats for emergency use as gifts or for guests, I love reaching into the fridge or freezer to snack on them.  

What kind of snacks do you keep around during the holidays?


Just in time for the holidays the Gingerdead Man e-book is 99 cents at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Google play, Apple Books.

During Bayport's Dickens of a Holiday festival, Val hosts a private tea party for the volunteers dressed as Dickens characters including Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past. A Santa who's more naughty than nice also comes to tea. An unexpected guest arrives, "shrouded in a deep black garment" like the eeriest Dickens ghost, and hands out gingerbread men with white icing skeleton bones. Though the creepy treat called a gingerdead man looks like a Halloween leftover, cookie addict Santa can't resist it. When the man in red turns blue, Val and Granddad have a cookie-cutter killer to catch.

"A wonderfully seasonal cozy mystery" -- Criminal Element

"If you are looking to settle in with a well plotted cozy this Christmas, Gingerdead Man is for you. Grab a gingerbread man and some hot chocolate and enjoy." -- Mark Baker, Carstairs Considers

"Plenty of red herrings, mixed motives, and recipes for foodies make for a spirited holiday cozy." -- Kirkus Review 


Maya Corrigan writes the Five-Ingredient Mysteries featuring café manger Val and her live-wire grandfather solving murders in a Chesapeake Bay town. Maya lives in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Before writing crime fiction, she taught American literature, writing, and detective fiction at Northern Virginia Community College and Georgetown University. When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, travel, trivia, cooking, and crosswords. Visit her website for book news, easy recipes, mystery trivia, and a free culinary mystery story.


  1. I am making this TOMORROW! Thanks so much, Maya.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Edith. Next time I make this, I'm going to try putting a pecan half on top of each of the chocolate drops before chilling. Have a happy, healthy holiday.

  2. Yum, and so easy! In normal times we had lots of goodies,including me making Mom's "Cheese Wafers" topped with a pecan half! Thanks, and Happy Holidays, Maya!

  3. Brilliant! Quick and delicious.