Forget about cookies, Santa prefers fudge

by guest blogger Kelly Madey,

Santa has a serious sweet tooth,
But even he gets tired of eating all those cookies on Christmas Eve;

Chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, gingerbread…..
By the time he reaches Pennsylvania,
That jolly old elf is pretty much all cookie’d out;

So this year, I have a sweet surprise for Santa
In the form of rich and creamy fudge.
It is so delicious; it may even get me off the naughty list.

Traditional fudge recipes are complicated and temperamental. They practically require a PhD in candy making. There is sugar syrup cooked to soft-ball stage,

~ not hard-ball stage,
~ not thread stage,

But definitely soft-ball stage, as measured by a candy thermometer that has been properly calibrated on a sunny day,

~ not a rainy day,
~ not a snowy day

But definitely a non-humid type of day.

No thank you. This is not that kind of fudge recipe.

Organnon's Natural MarketThis easy recipe begins with a visit to Organnons Natural Market in Wrightstown,

Where I stocked up on all my holiday baking essentials, like this organic sweetened condensed milk. It is a great base for fudge because it eliminates the need for fussy sugar syrup.

Chocolate hazelnut spread makes this fudge flavorful and super creamy.

Fudge Photo 5

Good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips, a little espresso powder and butter are all that is needed to complete this one pot/stovetop recipe that comes together in less than 10 minutes;

Often times fudge can be too sweet, but what really sets this recipe apart from all other fudge recipes is balance. Just a sprinkling of coarse sea salt brings all the flavors together in perfect harmony.

Fudge photo credit Kelly Madey

After a good chill in the fridge, cut the fudge into approximately 1-inch pieces. It will yield between 36-50 servings, depending on your version of ‘serving size.’

You should have enough fudge for Santa, a few select family members, and the gang at the cookie swap. Mini cupcake wrappers give the fudge a fancy flair and the illusion that it required a lot of effort.

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge

INGREDIENTS

14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
8 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
2 teaspoons vanilla
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

HOW TO

  1. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate hazelnut spread, chocolate chips, espresso powder, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat while stirring, until the chocolate chips are melted, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture will be thick.
  3. Add vanilla and stir. Pour fudge into prepared pan and spread with a spoon to evenly distribute.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
  5. Refrigerate fudge for 3 hours or overnight until firm. Remove fudge from pan. Cut into 1-inch pieces or to desired serving size.

Yield will vary from 36-50 servings.

(adapted from Dara Michalski, Cookin’ Canuck)

Kelly Madey makes amazing baked goods. Check out her website One Sweet Baker.

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