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Christmas Gift for Giving and Eating: Fudge

Brrrrr. It is just a little nippy and blustery outside. I was thinking of going snowshoeing and probably will when the blizzard subsides but for now it is the perfect time to make some fudge. I have lots of people that I work with that I would love to let them know how much they are appreciated but I have no clue what to get them. It feels like just going through the motion when you pick up a little plant, mug, gift card, etc. so I figure that if I give some type of food gift they will appreciate it more. I decided to give fudge as that can be put out for the holidays, brought to a party or dinner (the host will love it and they too can keep it or pass it on :) ) or simply saved an eaten one piece at a time for at least a month or more if properly stored, wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Now that I brought up all the justifications of making fudge (no need to mention that I shouldn’t be making it as I will eat just a little too much of it while slicing and wrapping as I have no freakin’ willpower when it comes to fudge!) it is time to decide what kind to make. In my eyes the best and easiest is chocolate fudge. Why invent the wheel. There are perfectly great recipes out there. A real great one is the recipe right on the Marshmallow Fluff jar. I realize that Marshmallow Fluff is a local New England product, can be found in a few parts of the country, but can be replaced with mini marshmallows. My favorite is penuche but not everyone likes it so I will only make a small batch of that and include a few pieces. Last but not least is peanut butter fudge. MMMMMMMMMM. Love it. Love it made and dipped in a dark chocolate.  MMMMM MMMMM  (that was a double MMMMMM) Here are the recipes I used. Using marshmallow almost always adds certainty to the outcome otherwise a thermometer will be needed to make sure that it is not overcooked or undercooked. Overcooking makes a very hard fudge and undercooking makes a too soft fudge. Need to be just right. (Almost sounds like an old fairy tale). The fudgemaker gets to decide the additions. Nuts? Raisins? M & Ms?  I use high quality products and always use butter, not margarine. Never use an imitation vanilla.   Here are my 3 favorite ones and are genuine crowd pleasers.

Never Fail Chocolate Fudge
5 cups sugar
1 12oz. can evaporated milk
1 stick butter
1 large container (16 oz.) Marshmallow Fluff
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts if desired
2 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine sugar, milk, butter, Fluff, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5 minutes. Do not under cook. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nuts, and chocolate chips. Pour into a buttered 13×9 pan. Let cool.

Penuche Fudge

2 cups white sugar
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
½ stick butter (1/4  cup)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
small jar Marshmallow Fluff

Cook all ingredients except Marshmallow Fluff,  on high til it comes to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1 small jar Marshmallow Fluff and nuts if desired. Pour in a buttered 13×9 pan.

Peanut Butter Fudge

1 tsp. vanilla
5 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 stick butter
small jar Marshmallow Fluff
2 cups peanut butter, plain or chunky

Cook on high until boiling. Lower heat to medium and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 small jar Marshmallow Fluff and 2 cups peanut butter. Pour into 13×9 buttered pan.

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