The holidays are winding down, and I'm reflecting on the fact that I ate 45 lbs of fudge between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day. Fudge is such a quintessential holiday food. Eat a fistful in May and your friends will whisper behind your back. Eat that much in December and you're just one of the gang.
My mom's fudge has been consistent and delicious since I was in braces. Her recipe comes from a Diamond Walnut ad that she ripped out of the December issue of Family Circle Magazine... 13 years ago. The ad says, "This season, try standing next to luscious Foolproof Fudge instead of mistletoe. Good things are bound to happen." 90's ads make me laugh.
My mom's old magazine page probably wouldn't survive a trip through the photocopier, so I'm saving it here. The name Foolproof Fudge couldn't be more apt. This recipe is easy.
Start with chocolate chips. Better chocolate makes better fudge, so if you can swing it, pay the extra $1 or $2 for a premium brand.
Add sweetened condensed milk and some salt. Ohhhhhh sweetened condensed milk. You make everything delicious.Stir together over medium heat until the chocolate is melted. Almost there!
Remove the pan from heat, and add in some nuts and vanilla. We used walnuts here, but any nut will do. I'm obsessed with hazelnuts.
Spread your fudge into foil-lined baking dish. We used an 8" square dish here, but 9" would be fine too (the squares would just be a bit thinner).
New Year's Resolution: avoid shadowy photography.
Chill fudge in the refrigerator for 2 hours. When you're ready to cut it, use the aluminum foil to lift the fudge out of the dish. Cut it into small squares. Put it in a pretty dish before a gathering, or in a cellophane bag with a pretty ribbon for the mailman, dentist, or that hottie who just moved in next door. Just make sure you make plenty for yourself, so you're not too upset when you have to give it away.
From Diamond Walnut ad, December 1996
3 cups chocolate chips (we used semisweet here, but you could go darker or lighter depending on your preference)
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (or any other nut that strikes your fancy)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate with sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and vanilla. Spread into a foil-lined 8" square pan. Chill 2 hours or until firm. Turn out onto a cutting board, remove the foil, and cut into small squares to serve.
Makes about 2 lbs.