Who says fudge can only be made between Thanksgiving and Christmas? Why can’t we have it anytime we want? I say phooey! to that! Let’s make some today!
I have been making this fudge for more than twenty years and every time I present it to someone (co-worker, friend, family member, stranger) they always say “You could sell this!”
While most people tend to think of fudge as just a Christmas time kind of candy, I think it works for any occasion — only because the variations are endless!! Let’s start with the base recipe……
- 1 1/2 bags chocolate chips (we will talk about others later)
- 1 can sweetened-condensed milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (do not use “flavor” it needs to be an extract!)
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional – but why leave them out?)
Line a 9″x9″ pan with plastic wrap, set aside. This can be a square or round or even a heart pan — whatever you have on hand.
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat (on low to medium heat) the condensed milk just until it is hot — do not boil!!!! This will take about 5 minutes. Remember, chocolate melts at 98.6 degrees! We are going to want the condensed milk a little warmer than that. Stir in the extract until well combined.
Take the pan off the heat! Next, dump in the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. This will get very thick, pretty quickly. If you wish, now is the time to mix in the chopped walnuts.
Spread the fudge in the pan, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to set (about three hours or overnight). Remove from the pan and cut into 1″ squares.
Now, not that this will apply to anyone here, but just in case you need to know how long this fudge will last — without anyone eating it — it will last about 5 days on the counter — about two weeks in the fridge. It may last longer — but if it does — why the heck did you make it??
Ok, now for the variations:
- Peanut butter, butterscotch, Andies Mint chips, dark, semi-sweet, milk, bittersweet chips will work. White chocolate chips—–not so much.
- Extracts — whatever your little heart desires. Rum, brandy, almond, banana, cherry, peppermint, mint, orange – whatever!
- Candy Oils — can be used in place of the extracts. Be careful! 2-3 drops only!!
- Mix-ins — any crushed candy bar (butterfinger, nestle crunch, andies mints, snickers, almond joy, mounds, etc.), cookie sprinkles on top, any type of nut (your fave!), crushed candy canes, crushed candies of just about any kind, chopped and dried fruits, and on and on and on!!
- Want to get really fancy? Layer the fudges together! Chocolate on the bottom, topped with a layer of peanut butter. These possibilities are endless too!
I really hope you and your loved ones enjoy this little treat as much as mine do!
I’d love to hear what combinations you’ve tried! Just give me a shout down below here!