My mother loves fudge. I’ve made her fudge for her for years. In order to keep her stocked in fudge, I send her the large priority mail box filled to the gunnels with fudge. I made her chocolate, peanut butter, and penuche fudge for years, until she told me one year she doesn’t like chocolate. She does like maple nut fudge, though, so I’ve switched to that. I’ve tried different flavors, root beer, mocha, espresso, etc. and she didn’t like it, so I stick to the old standbys.
What this did is give me a chance to experiment with some different recipes.
I gave some fudge to some friends not long ago. They shared it and loved it. Declared me the queen of candymakers. Oh, if only they knew how easy it is, but there are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years, so, with the holidays coming up, I’m going to share.
The key to making creamy fudge, I discovered was microwave fantasy fudge. Before that, I would make several batches of fudge before I finally hit my stride. When you only make it a few times a year, you get out of practice. This recipe works every time, and it requires no skill.
I’m posting three variations of it with which you can go crazy with flavor variations.
The base recipe:
- 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter (Use butter not margarine.)
- 3 c. sugar
- 2/3 c. evaporated milk
- 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (Use good quality, it does make a difference.)
- 7 oz. jar marshmallow crème (Again, use good quality.)
- 1 c. broken pecans (or nut of choice)
- 2 tsp. vanilla
Microwave butter chunks in 4 quart or larger microwave-safe glass bowl on high for one minute or until melted. Add milk and sugar and stir until well blended. You will microwave after that for a total of ten minutes, but I do it in two-minute increments to keep it from boiling over. Even so, I put a microwave safe plate under the bowl just in case. At the end of two minutes, scrape down the sides and stir.
Reset for two minutes and cook again. Put the spatula or wooden spoon in a cup of water so you don’t reintroduce sugar crystals to the fudge which will cause grainy fudge. When you take the spatula out, wipe it down so you don’t put water in the fudge. I keep a small notebook by the microwave so I can keep track of how many cycles I’ve done.
At the end of ten minutes, take the bowl out carefully, it’s very hot. Add chips and stir until they are melted completely. Add marshmallow crème and vanilla and stir until completely incorporated.
Pour into buttered 8″ pan. I use aluminum foil cake pans so I can just pop them out and put the fudge in gallon plastic zip bags.
Tip here, you might be tempted to oil bowl before you start because you always buttered your cooking pan before you made fudge. Don’t. It will make the very hot bowl hard to grip when you’re pouring the fudge out.
OK, you’ve just made chocolate fudge.
Rocky Road Fudge
Add 2 cups mini marshmallows to the fudge when you have everything else added. Stir just enough to incorporate or you will melt the marshmallows.
Chocolate Cherry Fudge
- Use dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup or more to taste of chopped candied cherries
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 2 tsps almond flavoring instead of vanilla
Cinnamon Chocolate Fudge
Use base recipe except make following changes.
- Use Ghirardelli bittersweet dark chocolate chips
- Add 2 tsps or a bit more of ground cinnamon
- 1 cup of broken pecans of walnuts
Mint Oreo Chocolate Fudge
- 2 cups of mini marshmallows
- 20 crushed Oreo cookies
- ½ cup of crushed candy canes
- 1-2 tsp mint extract depending on taste
Add a cup of chopped Snickers bars at the end and stir in well.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge
Add a cup of peanut butter to your chocolate fudge when you add chips.
Malt Shop Fudge
Use milk chocolate chips and add powdered malt to fudge to taste. I use about a half cup.
Add 1 cup of crushed malted milk balls to the fudge and then sprinkle another half cup of crushed malted milk balls to the top of fudge and press in.
The variations are only really limited by your imagination. Mocha, raspberry, orange, etc.
Peanut Butter Fudge
What if you want peanut butter fudge?
Leave out the chips, add a cup or so (I know exact recipe here, but Mother likes really peanut buttery fudge) of peanut butter. Stir until melted. Add marshmallow crème and vanilla.
White chocolate fudge variations
Use the same base recipe, but add white chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate. I use Ghirardelli. Using good ingredients really does make a difference.
Candy Cane Fudge
Add peppermint extract to taste and a cup of crushed candy canes after you’ve added everything else. Save about a half cup of crushed candy canes to spread in top of hot fudge.
Add 8 ounces of cream cheese softened and cut in cubes to fudge with chips along with a package of cheesecake pudding.
After your pour it, spoon strawberry ice cream topping on top and knife through the fudge in swirls.
This is a very rich fudge, but it’s so pretty and special.
White Chocolate Pistachio Cherry Fudge
Use the base white chocolate recipe
- Add ½ cup of rough chopped dried cherries (not candied)
- Add ½ cup of rough chopped pistachio nuts
- Add ¼ cup each of chopped cherries and pistachios to top and press in lightly if desired for a prettier fudge.
Brown Sugar Fudges
Make the base recipe except divide sugars and do half brown sugar and half white sugar. Use white chocolate chips unless otherwise noted.
This is perfect for the holidays or giving.
Make your base recipe brown sugar recipe.
- Use a package of cinnamon chips instead of white chocolate
- Add ½ cup canned pumpkin.
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup broken pecans or walnuts
Maple Nut Fudge
Use brown sugar fudge base recipe.
- Add a lot of pure maple extract. I use half a bottle of Watkins. Taste to get the flavor you want.
- Add a cup of broken walnuts.
Use brown sugar fudge base recipe
- Add ½ cup of molasses
- 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp allspice
Use base brown sugar recipe, but substitute butterscotch chips for white chocolate chips.
Add a cup of broke pecans or walnuts.
Use base recipe, but substitute all brown sugar.
Add white chocolate chips and marshmallow crème at the end and 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts.