Let’s Make Some Fudge!

I can’t think of anything more luscious than a perfect piece of fudge. A combination of chocolate, milk, sugar, and butter, transformed into a silky, melt-in-your-mouth morsel, fudge is a little bit of heaven on earth.

My base recipe is an oldie, but goodie off the back of a marshmallow creme jar. Yeah, I know that purists turn their nose up at this recipe, but the quality of the resulting fudge is consistently yummy.

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick)
2/3 cup (1 small 5 oz. can) evaporated milk (NOT sweetened condensed milk–that’s another recipe)
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme (or 1 pkg. (10 oz.) marshmallows or 1 pkg. (10-1/2 oz.) minimarshmallows)
1 package chocolate chips (12 oz. or so)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Heat sugar, butter, and milk over medium heat to a full, rolling boil in 3 qt. heavy sauce pan, stirring constantly. Boil on medium heat until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees F (about 4 minutes), Fudgestirring constantly. Honestly, I usually let it go until 235, just to make sure the fudge texture is consistent, especially if I add extra ingredients that add extra moisture to the mix.

Take the pan off the heat and start adding the chocolate chips to the mix. You don’t want to dump them all in at once, because that brings the mixture’s temperature down too fast and it makes the whole batch of fudge clump up.

Once you’ve added the chocolate chips, stir in the marshmallow creme. The marshmallow creme helps the mixture form teeny tiny sugar crystals, which keeps the fudge smooth and less grainy. In my opinion, grainy isn’t a bad thing. Really, I’ve never met a piece of fudge I didn’t like. But there are great fudges and less than great fudges. Grainy fudge is in the “less than great” category.

Go ahead and add the vanilla and any nuts or other mix-ins, and stir until the mixture thickens and starts to look dull. Pour it into the foil-lined or buttered cake pan (or brownie pan, cookie sheet, or your mouth, whichever is handy). Let it cool for a couple of hours before you cut it. (By the way, don’t add the vanilla before you add the chocolate chips unless you want lots of hot bubbles popping in your face.)

Store it in air-tight containers. I don’t think it would spoil if you kept it at room temperature, but I usually store my fudge in the refrigerator, just in case. I wouldn’t want to poison anyone. That would not be good.

Yield: About 3 lbs. (That’s a heck of a lot of fudge.)

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