Between visiting Sean's grandparents up in Punxsutawney, PA (yes... where the groundhog lives...) on Christmas Eve and spending a very relaxing Christmas day at my parents' house, we had an extremely enjoyable holiday. Everyone is healthy and doing well, so I can't complain there. I just wish I had thought to take more pictures of the food, because it was awesome: homemade pierogies, sauerkraut, turkey roll, mushrooms at his grandparents' and pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, some tasty shrimp-filled wontons, and a ton of cheese at my parents'. I may have overindulged. Just a little. Have I mentioned that I am borderline obsessed with cheese?
|Left to right: horseradish, salsa jack, and apple-cinnamon. This makes me happy.|
Anyway, on to what you're really here for: the recipe. I found this recipe on the blog A Spicy Perspective, and not only is it delicious, it is incredibly easy to make. I don't know why the word "fudge" always conjured up images of some ridiculously complicated preparation in my mind, but that's definitely not the case.
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tbs butter, plus extra for greasing dish
1 lb. dark chocolate chips/chunks
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Andes Peppermint Chunks
Grease an 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle half of the peppermint chunks into the bottom of the dish and set aside.
Place a medium sauce pot over medium heat with about 2 inches of water. Place a glass bowl over the top, making sure the glass bowl doesn't touch the water. You've just created a double-boiler.
Pour the condensed milk and butter into the bowl and heat.
Add the chocolate and salt to the bowl. Stir the chocolate until it melts and thickens. The mixture should be pretty thick, like a thick cake batter.
Add the extracts and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Gently tap the dish on the counter for a minute or so. This will help release any air bubbles that are trapped under the surface.
Sprinkle the remaining peppermint chunks over the top and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and possibly longer, until the fudge sets.
To cut, dip a knife in hot water, wipe off, and cut quickly. You can dip and wipe between cuts (you'll probably need to). Cut fudge into desired shape and size. I think I ended up cutting mine into 30 square pieces. I do feel obligated to say that I had a devil of a time cutting this up and getting it out of the pan. Is this always the case with fudge, or am I just challenged in this arena?
Despite having difficulty making very neat cuts, the fudge came out very well (if I do say so myself), and was smooth and creamy. The chocolate/peppermint combination was perfect. I admit that I had to order the Andes Peppermint Chips on Amazon.com, since I simply couldn't find them in Baltimore. They're pretty cool, though. I kept eating them out of the bag as I made the fudge. They put me in mind of the big, soft, individually-wrapped peppermint balls, only softer. Delicious.
I realize that this is sort of a Christmas-y fudge, but you could definitely get away with making it through the remainder of the winter, and no one would complain. Or, heck, put this recipe in your back pocket for the next holiday season! Either way, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.