It’s a running joke around here about my Grinch-like feelings towards the holiday season. It’s much more than my disdain for Christmas cheer but this post isn’t the time or place to get into it. So, let it be known to the friends who think I’m some sort of animal, I’m truly not a Scrooge. I’m simply a person who hasn’t dealt with her feelings about the holidays and have let them overcome me.
However, this year, I received some great advice on dialing in on what I do like rather than what I don’t. Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. I have a surprisingly long list of things I find joy in and one I am sharing with you today. I love to make a pan of simple homemade fudge that we nibble on throughout the last few days before Christmas.
I’ve pretty much always enjoyed holiday baking. My mom made the best peanut butter blossom cookies that have become my own tradition with my daughter. I like making a sheet pan of chocolate chip cookie bars, snowball cookies dowsed in powdered sugar and chocolate chow mien noodle cookies. I had never made fudge until a few years ago. My mother-in-law always makes fudge during this time of year but it’s usually gone by the time we visit on Christmas day so I started making my own to have on hand.
There are a million and one varieties on how to make fudge but I truly love the texture of the classic Kraft Fantasy Fudge. I do modify their recipe a little bit, so don’t think this is just a copy and paste.
What you need to make this classic and simple homemade chocolate fudge
- 3 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1 (5 ounce) can of evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup, if you can’t find the 5 oz. can)
- 12 ounces Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped
- 1 (7 ounce) jar Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Here are my modifications to the ingredients:
- Choose margarine over butter. I’ve had the most success making fudge with margarine. It has never failed me and though I wouldn’t normally opt for margarine in any other dish I make throughout the year, I always use it for this recipe.
- Omit the nuts. Why? Because nuts in a dessert are a crime (said no one ever, except my husband).
- I recommend a high quality vanilla extract like this one from Nielsen-Massey.
Making fudge can go sideways, so following these steps will help
- Line a 9-inch square pan with foil with end extending over the sides of the pan.
- Chop the chocolate bar before you begin cooking anything. You want to make sure you’ve go everything prepped because you’re likely to burn your ingredients in the next step if you don’t.
- Bring sugar, margarine and evaporated milk to a full rolling boil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 4 minutes or until your candy thermometer reaches 234°F – continue to stir.
- Remove saucepan from heat.
- Add chopped chocolate bar and marshmallow creme; stir until melted. Add nuts (if you want them, do it now) and vanilla. Mix well.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan; spread to cover bottom and let cool.
- Use excess foil to lift fudge from pan and cut into squares.
Here are my modifications to the directions:
- If the chocolate isn’t fully melting, I will put saucepan back on the burner at an extremely low or simmer heat for about one minute while constantly stirring.
- Use non-stick foil like this one.
- Don’t make this without a candy thermometer. I watch both the clock and temperature at the same time.
- Completely cool and then store in refrigerator overnight. Fudge is so much easier to cut when it is cold and this is my go-to tool for cutting fudge into squares.
Check out Kraft’s Fantasy Fudge video for how to make this classic and simple homemade fudge.