A full year has passed since my littlest eater transitioned to a gluten free diet. A year free of food related tummy aches, a year without tummy medicine, and a year of new recipes. Like many folks these days, we are knee deep in a "back to basics" type of lifestyle.
Since wheat products are no longer part of our daily repertoire, I had to reinvent old standby recipes as well as learn new ones, particularly when it came to treats. Chocolate chip cookies are no longer part of our diet; however, chocolate fudge has become a mainstay. A year ago, I had to hunt down recipes and learn about making fudge. Today, I can make fudge blindfolded ... in my sleep ... with one hand tied behind my back.
Fudge making is soooooo easy, and the results are sooooo good. Best of all, fudge is very basic, versatile, and forgiving. All you need is about 8 minutes, and you are good to go. Chocolate fudge is one of my kids favorite things on the planet, and the little squares of goodness are great for packing in lunches, savoring for dessert, or sharing at a potluck. Do you ever find that you have a couple of opened bags of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, mini-marshmallows, or nuts hanging around? If you answered yes, consider making an easy-peasy batch of fudge.
Here’s a basic recipe. Prepare to be impressed with the extensive ingredient list:
3 cups chocolate chips (semi sweet, milk, butterscotch ... any combo will work)
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
That’s it folks. That’s all you need to whip up an 8 x 8 pan of fudgiliciousness. Of course, you can add all sorts of yummy things like a ¼ cup of walnuts, peanuts, or even pine nuts to the mix. Feel like making rocky road fudge? Add a ½ cup of mini marshmallows and some nuts to the finished product. You can make a separate batch using peanut butter chips and swirl it into a chocolate batch. Add a handful of dried cranberries and have folks try to guess the secret ingredient! For those who like to live on the wild side, you know who you are, you could even add a ½ teaspoon of cayenne and a little cinnamon to the basic recipe to create a rock your socks off spicy fudge!
Here’s how to make the basic recipe:
Line an 8 x 8 pan with wax paper. In a heavy saucepan, preferably non stick, heat the condensed milk and chips together over med-low heat, stirring almost constantly until melted. I like stirring with a wooden spoon. I love my wooden spoon. About a minute after all the chips have melted, the mixture will take on a shiny hue. When that happens, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Add any extras like nuts at this point.
Pour the entire mixture into the prepared pan. Use the spoon to press the mixture into the pan and even out the thickness (the mixture will be thick and slightly sticky).Excuse me for a moment while I lick the spoon. Aw come on, doesn’t everybody like to lick the spoon? Actually, I rotate letting my kids lick the spoon. Ahem. Back to the fudge ... Let cool slightly, and then cover with plastic wrap pressing the wrap down on top of the fudge. Put in the fridge until cold and firm. Remove from the fridge and pan, and cut into small squares. Prepare for the stampede of fudge craving maniacs to swipe every piece. Smile as your ears are greeted with yummy noises. Ah, I’ve done my part to make the world a little better place. Personally I think chocolate fudge would help bring about world peace. Yeah, it’s that good.My kids prefer it plain. Hubbyman will eat it in any shape or form. This batch was made with semi sweet chips, a handful of butterscotch chips, and some walnuts. So, what's your favorite type of yummilicious fudgilicous?