I am an admitted holiday slacker. You know how Sara spends 3 days decorating her house for every holiday and says things like her epic Valentine’s Day breakfast are no big deal? I would love to be awesome like that, but alas, I am not. I am a low-key holiday-er.
Now, granted, we just got back from vacation…
and during the last few days of our vacation, I caught a little virus and haven’t been feeling great. And even though I didn’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving this year, I’ve been busy baking my own little butterball, if you get what I’m saying. Do you get what I’m saying? We’ll get to meet the little turkey in June, which means I’m smack dab in the middle of lovely morning sickness and exhaustion. So yeah, it may be the week after Thanksgiving, but I still have a stray Halloween decoration up, nary a Christmas tree in sight.
Because I’m already behind and because I’m a holiday slacker, one of my favorite holiday treats is this fudge. It is so dang easy, not like that temperamental toffee that I can only get to work 1/3 of the time, or time-consuming like caramel-wrapping. You can make it in less than a half hour, let it chill in the fridge for up to a couple of days, then cut it into squares and deliver it. Or eat it all yourself. Although I’m pretty darn sure that 5 pounds of fudge translates into much, much more than 5 pounds of body fat.
I got the original version of this recipe years ago off the same mommy message board where Sara and I “met” (all over again) when my oldest was a baby. I’ve tweaked a few things to be consistent for the widest amount of readers, but Kathy Jacobs, wherever you are, this is the easiest, most delicious fudge I’ve ever made.
You’ll need a 12-oz. can of evaporated milk, 4 cups of sugar, and 2 1/4 cups of mini marshmallows.
I know some people think marshmallows in fudge are cheating. Are they? Maybe. But marshmallows also make consistently good fudge because the “candy” part is already done for you. And anything that makes the holidays easier (and yummy fudge into my snack plans) is good in my book, cheating or not.
Cook the marshmallows, sugar, and evaporated milk
over medium heat, stirring frequently (constantly at the end, preferably with long sleeves and a hot pad, not that I’m speaking from any kind of firsthand experience), until the mixture reaches 230 degrees. Remove from heat.
While the marshmallow mixture is cooking, line a 9×13″ pan with aluminum foil, allowing the edges to hang over the edge. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
While keeping an eye (and spoon) on the marshmallow mixture, combine 1 12-oz. bag of milk chocolate chips, 1/2 c. of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 2 sticks of butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla in a large glass or metal mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer).
When the marshmallow mixture has finished cooking, pour it over the chocolate chip mixture. Use a heavy-duty mixer, a handheld electric mixer, or a whisk to beat the mixture together on low speed until the chocolate is completely melted, all the ingredients are fully combined, and it’s just starting to lose its sheen.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely.
Now…this is a great jumping-off point for adding other ingredients. If you want to add nuts, you could always add chopped walnuts or pecans to the mixture before pouring the it into the pan. You could use those fancy new-fangled peppermint marshmallows instead of regular marshmallows to make peppermint fudge and then sprinkle chopped Andes mints on top of the fudge before it cools. You could top it off with marshmallows and chopped nuts for rocky road fudge or even make half of the fudge mixture with peanut butter chips and then swirl the two mixtures together. The sky is the limit. Well, at least the candy-making sky–you can’t make the fudge into, say, 2 million dollars, awesome as that would be.
After the fudge has cooled completely, cut it into 1″ squares and deliver it to unsuspecting neighbors, friends, and teachers. And yourself. Never forget to deliver fudge to yourself.
This will make about 117 1″ pieces of fudge. That’s a lot of happy people with very little effort on your part.
Creamy Chocolate Fudge
Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from Kathy Jacobs
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
1 12-oz. bag milk chocolate chips
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large heavy saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, and marshmallows and insert a candy thermometer into the mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently (constantly at the end) until the temperature reaches 240 degrees.
While the marshmallow mixture is cooking, line a 9×13″ pan with foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
After you spray the pan, combine the butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla in a large glass or metal bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer). When the marshmallow mixture is cooked, pour it over the chocolate chip mixture. Beat the mixture with a hand-held electric mixer, your stand mixer, or a hand-held whisk on low speed until the mixture is well-combined, smooth, and just starting to lose its sheen. Pour it into the prepared pan. Chill completely in the refrigerator before cutting into 1″ squares.
Optional Mix-Ins, Toppings, and Changes:
-Use peppermint marshmallows and top with chopped Andes mints for peppermint fudge
-Use 1/2 chocolate chips and 1/2 peanut butter chips (in 2 separate bowls) and then swirl the two mixtures together for peanut butter fudge.
-Add 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
-Top with chopped walnuts or pecans and marshmallows for rocky road fudge
Makes 117 1″ squares/5 pounds of fudge.