It’s the time of year for “gifts from the kitchen” (for other homemade gifts, see here). When I’m in a hurry to pull off last-minute gifts, I’ll usually make this toffee recipe, since it has ingredients that I usually have in the cupboard- butter, brown sugar, nuts, and chocolate chips. (Plus, the toffee only takes seven minutes to make. Seven!)
But when I’ve planned ahead, I like to make fudge for gifts too. The following are my three favorite fudge recipes; you can get creative and add extra ingredients, but these are (in my opinion!) great core recipes to start with.
The quick fudge uses a minimum of over-processed ingredients, and is quite tasty. The traditional fudge recipe is more authentic, but a bit more complicated. It requires a candy thermometer, and needs to be beaten vigorously. An old-fashioned method called for it to be beaten with a wooden spoon (to incorporate air into it), but thankfully, a standing mixer also accomplishes the job.
Makes over a pound; 12 to 15 pcs.
- 4 sq. unsweetened chocolate squares
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1 lb. confectioner’s sugar (about 3 1/2 c.)
- 1/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. nuts
1. Microwave 1 min. or so, stir until melted: > 4 sq. unsweetened chocolate squares > 1/2 c. butter
2. Blend in a mixer with: > 1 lb. confectioner’s sugar (about 3 1/2 c.) > 1/4 c. sweetened condensed milk > 1 tsp. vanilla> 1 egg
3. Add last: > 1/2 c. nuts
4. Spread into a buttered, 9×5″ loaf pan. Cool, then cut.
Makes 1 lb. or so, 12 to 15 pcs.
- 2 c. sugar
- 2/3 c.milk
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares
- 2 TBS. corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 TBS. butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2/3 c. walnuts
1. Stir over high heat until sugar is dissolved: > 2 c. sugar > 2/3 c.milk > 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares > 2 TBS. corn syrup > 1/4 tsp. salt
2. Cook the above on medium high, stirring some, until soft-ball stage (234 degrees degrees). Remove from heat, add: > 2 TBS. butter > 1 tsp. vanilla
3. Cool fudge to lukewarm, 120 degrees, without stirring. Beat in a mixer 10 minutes, until no longer glossy. Last, quickly stir in: > 2/3 c. walnuts, if desired (Or see Peanut Butter Fudge to the left, for alternative)
4. Spread quickly into a buttered, 9×5″ loaf pan. Cool, then cut.
Peanut Butter Fudge
For peanut lovers, just swirl a simple mixture of peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, and butter into one of the above fudge recipes after pouring it into a pan. Makes about 16 pcs.
Mix together: > 1/4 c. butter, melted > 2/3 c. peanut butter > 2/3 c. confectioner’s sugar
Swirl into the chocolate fudge recipe before it sets up, for a great combination!