Christmas time: the rich pine smell of the tree, the spicy bouquet of the gingerbread house on the kitchen table, the lingering aroma of chocolate from fudge making. Every Christmas, Granny Reid makes her famous fudge that goes perfectly with decorating the tree, singing carols, and drinking eggnog.
If you want to make an awesome, quick, inexpensive goodie for your book club, Granny Reid’s Famous Fudge is it! It tastes like that wonderful fudge you ate as a kid and left out for Santa—and anyone can make it. (Plus, it turns out great every single time.) It’s best when eaten within 24 hours, but that’s never a problem.
- 1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 to 5 oz. Hershey's Milk Chocolate bars, broken into squares
- 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (Don't use evaporated milk! You'll have chocolate soup, which could also be eaten in a pinch, but....)
- Dash salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or another flavor of extract if you'd rather, like mint, orange, or coffee)
- Put the chocolate chips, chocolate bars, condensed milk, and salt into a microwavable bowl.
- Zap it about 1½ minutes. Take it out, stir it, put it back in for another 30 seconds. Take it out, stir. Keep doing this every 30 seconds until all the chocolate has melted and the lumps are gone. Time will depend on your microwave—mine takes 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
- While the chocolate is melting, I line an 8x8-inch square pan with heavy-duty foil, and spray it very lightly with Pam. (You can prepare the pan before you start if it's been a long day and multitasking might blow your fuse.)
- When the chocolate is all smooth, stir in the vanilla extract. Spread it in the pan. Make pretty little swirly marks on top with your spoon. Set bowl and spoon aside to be licked later.
- Refrigerate for one hour.
- After an hour, take it out of the fridge (foil and all). Peel back the foil from the sides and use a big butcher knife to cut it into 16 pieces. Put it back into the pan and stick it in the fridge for another hour.
- Take it out, put the squares into airtight plastic containers. If it's a Christmas gift, use the disposable ones, slap a bow on the top and an adhesive gift tag. Ho, ho, ho. You'll get a lot of love for five minutes of "work."
Nuts/Fruit - You can have a lot of fun with this recipe! After the chocolate is melted, before you spread it in the pan, you may want to add something like nuts (Georgia pecans are especially nice) or maraschino cherries. Just make very sure the cherries are cut in half, well drained, and then blotted completely dry with paper towels. Otherwise the cherries will make it too moist, and you'll have to eat it with a spoon. (I assure you that this, too, can be done if push comes to shove.) Granny loves her cherry fudge.
Peanut Butter - Spread half of the melted chocolate into the pan. Quickly sprinkle on a layer of Reese's Peanut Butter Chips. Mash the chips down into the chocolate just a little with the backs of your fingers. Now gently but quickly spread on the other half of the chocolate. When you cut it, the peanut butter makes a pretty—and tasty—layer in the middle. Try doing the same with Andes’ mint baking chips for an after-dinner-mint version.