Created by lazyme on September 20, 2020
Step 1: Line 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with foil.
Step 2: Place first 4 ingredients in medium metal bowl.
Step 3: Mix sugar, condensed milk, cherry preserves, whipping cream, 1/3 cup water and butter in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush to dissolve sugar crystals. Add dried cherries.
Step 4: Attach candy thermometer to side of pan.
Step 5: Increase heat to medium-high. Boil until thermometer registers 230°F, stirring constantly but slowly and tilting pan if necessary to submerge bulb of thermometer, about 17 minutes.
Step 6: Immediately pour hot syrup over chocolate mixture in bowl (do not scrape pan).
Step 7: Using wooden spoon, stir vigorously until chocolate melts and fudge thickens slightly but still remains glossy, about 3 minutes.
Step 8: Transfer fudge to prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Chill until firm, about 3 hours.
Step 9: Lift fudge from pan, using foil as aid.
Step 10: Fold down foil. Trim edges of fudge. Cut fudge into 24 pieces. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Refrigerate in airtight container.)
Step 11: Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.