Hey guys! It’s been a few days since I had an update (just busy with Thanksgiving and family stuff) but I’ve decided to do a series of posts on cooking and baking for the holidays. I love to go all out for the holiday season and make a variety of foods and desserts that are a bit more time consuming than I normally make. However, with 2 boys 3 and under, I don’t have a lot of time this year, so… I’m starting out with a couple of my easiest dessert recipes.
During the (what can seem endless) rounds of holiday gatherings, I usually end up baking or cooking something to bring the host/ess. One of my fail safe “go to”s is fudge. It’s super easy (at least the way I make it), can be customized to individual tastes, and who doesn’t like fudge? (if you don’t, I don’t know you. Just kidding. Kinda).
Below are my two favorite fudge recipes, but feel free to play around and make changes as you wish. The first recipe is dairy/soy/gluten free (but as always, YMMV, so check the ingredients list on everything first before making).
Needed items: aluminum foil, 8×8 pan and either butter or coconut oil for greasing. The other ingredients depend on recipe.
3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge
2 cups powdered sugar
1 18 oz jar of crunchy peanut butter
1 cup/2 sticks unsalted butter
If you have it, use a double boiler for this next part. I did not because, despite my really needing one, I keep forgetting to buy it, so I make do with rigging up 2 saucepans together. In medium saucepan, melt butter. While butter is melting, line 8×8 pan with foil and lightly grease the foil with either butter or coconut oil (depending on if you want it Paleo friendly or “regular”). Make sure to press the foil against the sides of the pan as best as you can, so it doesn’t make the fudge solidify into weird shapes.
Once the butter is melted, put the entire jar of peanut butter in the saucepan with the butter and keep stirring until they are totally melted together. If your saucepan is big enough, you can add in the sugar right there (once you take the butter/PB mixture off heat) or transfer the liquid into a microwave safe larger bowl and mix it there. Either way, when you add your powdered sugar, add it slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time, and whisk it briskly. This helps the sugar dissolve evenly. Once it is dissolved, it will look like a peanut butter paste.
Try to resist the urge to face dive into the bowl just to taste it (what, doesn’t everyone struggle with peanut butter addiction?!) and pour the fudge into the 8×8 pan. Spread it evenly with a spatula or spreader and let it cool in the refrigerator for 3 hours (or just set it outside on your deck like I did, because I live in Michigan, which is pretty much a hop, skip, and a jump away from Arctic Circle temps sometimes). Once it’s set, pull the foil out of the pan and use a wet butter knife to cut it into squares. You’ll want to do pretty small squares because it’s rich.
It’s about the same thing with this next recipe, other than pressing the marshmallows in.
3 Ingredient Chocolate Mint Fudge (4 counting marshmallows, but hey I’m sticking with a theme here)
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
Peppermint extract, to taste (roughly 1/2 tbsp. should be good, but use as much as you like)
So this recipe is even easier than the first one (I know, I know, but it seriously is). Melt the chocolate chips and condensed milk together in a microwave safe bowl, checking every 30 seconds until they are smooth and melted together. If you’re one of those fancy folks with a double boiler (see above), then use that. The rest of us will slum it with our microwaved chocolate, but it’s ok because it will still TASTE AWESOME- trust me on this.
While chocolate and milk is melting, line 8×8 pan with foil and lightly grease the foil with butter. Make sure to press the foil against the sides of the pan as best as you can, so it doesn’t make the fudge solidify into weird shapes (it bears repeating because your fudge WILL look weird if you don’t; trust me, I made the guys eat a bunch of pieces that came out looking like Picasso’s toddler art project. Don’t be like me- press the foil to the sides).
Pour the fudge into the pan and press peppermint marshmallows lightly on to the top. Use as much as you want/whatever looks pretty/make patterns with them; it’s up to you.
Chill the pan in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours (I know it’s weird, but the chocolate fudge takes longer to solidify) or throw it outside. Once it’s set, bring it in, use a wet butter knife and rock it to cut the fudge into small pieces.