White Chocolate Caramel Fudge

I really love fudge.

Ingredients:

  • 20oz bag white chocolate chips
  • smallish bag of wrapped baking caramels
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • optional: sea salt

Throw everything in a pot on the stove! Turn it on very low and let it all melt, stirring every few minutes to makes sure you’re circulating from the bottom. It will smell amazing. While it’s doing that, put a sheet of parchment in a 9×13 pan.

When it’s all melted and smooth and tempting, you can either beat in some confectioner’s sugar until it’s pretty stiff, or just pour it directly in the pan and then stick that in the freezer for a couple hours. When it’s pretty solid, take it out, pop it out of the pan, and cut it into cubes.

Butterscotch Fudge

IMG_1157 Fudge continues to be one of my go-tos when I’m stressed or want to take food to when I’m asking people to do things. This is wonderfully simple, too.

Ingredients:

  • 24oz bag of butterscotch flavored chips
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • salt

Optional:

  • vanilla
  • powdered sugar
  • mini marshmallows

Put your whole bag of chips and both your cans of sweetened condensed milk on the stove on low. If you are very fancy, you can use a double boiler. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on top, because salt makes all sweets better. Let that go for a while.

Get out a 9×13 pan and line it with parchment paper – it makes for way easier extraction and cleanup.

When the stuff on the stove starts to get melty, stir it, making sure to get the stuff at the bottom. No one likes charred sugar bits. Or maybe you do, I don’t judge. But when it’s all melted and smooth, remove from heat. If you want, this is when you’d add a little bit of vanilla and mix it in. The powdered sugar is more for texture than taste. This stuff ends up pretty soft out of the freezer, but beating in powdered sugar means it’ll be stiffer on its own as soon as it’s cooled. It does need to be beaten, though, either with a whisk and a great deal of enthusiasm or a mixer.

Then pour the fudge in your pan! Spread it out so it’s all more or less level. If marshmallows are your thing, this is when you’d drop them on top. If you have ended up with sugar bits or small pockets of powdered sugar that weren’t quite integrated, marshmallows on top are a way to pretend you totally meant it to have a non-uniform texture.

Stick the whole pan in the freezer for a couple hours, then take it out, lift the whole slab of fudge out on the parchment paper, and cut it into bits. Running the knife under hot water before you cut will make it easier, but either way, it makes tons, and stores well in the freezer.

3-Ingredient Mocha Fudge

So this recipe looks delicious and amazing, but T hates salt on chocolate. And then I couldn’t find espresso powder. But what I could find was this:

Ingredients:

  • 24oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • Maxwell House vanilla iced coffee concentrate

Empty the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk into a pot on the stove and melt it on low. Stir that with a spatula occasionally until it’s all smooth. While that’s going, put some parchment in a baking tin, because it makes everything easier later. Bring the chocolate stuff up to just below boiling, making sure that when you stir you’re scraping the chocolate off the bottom. Take it off heat and add two big squeezes of the vanilla coffee stuff. Stir that again, and pour it over the parchment in the baking tin.

Freeze that for however long – I left it overnight, a couple house would probably work. When it’s hard, cut it into little squares. It’s super rich, and also probably the best possible application for the coffee stuff, which I haven’t tried in milk but which is disappointing in water. It stores well in the freezer, which is great because of how intense it is: you probably won’t want more than a piece or two at a time. Another option, of course, is taking some in to your department as a thank you for agreeing to write a recommendation letter.

Vanilla Fudge

I’m kind of a stress baker. Not a particularly good one, because of the whole aversion to measuring thing. But fudge is something I can do: all you need is sugar, fat, and dairy, and then to heat it without burning until it passes the drop test. The drop test is when you have a bowl of ice water and you drop a little bit of the fudge in – it should form a soft ball. I am bad at waiting until it passes the drop test! This particular batch was a little light on sugar and cooking, so it’s really soft, but we’re going to have fudge sundaes later, so it’s all good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • like a pound of sugar
  • a tablespoon or so of butter
  • generous splash of vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Put everything on the stove on medium-low to medium heat. You’re going to need to stir it fairly frequently, because you want everything to mix and none of the sugar to stick to the bottom and burn.

It should be pretty thick: if it’s not, add some more sugar. If you have a candy thermometer, 168°F is supposed to be good for fudge, I think? Otherwise, the aforementioned drop test.

When it’s good to go, stick it in a pan to cool and set. Sticking it in the fridge or freezer will make it go faster, but you’re still pretty quickly going to end up with absolutely delicious fudge. Or ice cream topping, depending.