Fudge three ways for my three favorite people

Stacks of square fudge for the ones I love ... soon to be stuffed into already stuffed stockings!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house

not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

All gifts were prepared, and nearly all wrapped,

save a few tins of goodies, delicious homemade craft.

Last night did I toil, for half an hour or so,

as I whipped up some fudge; crazy, I know.

Three in my life, the most special by far,

will unwrap a delight ‘neath the Bethlehem star.

For dear sister Sarah, the tropical chick,

is a sweet with a definite Florida kick.

Slivers of dried mango, and chunks of pineapple;

pistachios and sugared ginger, not too much to grapple.

Next for my mother, a fudge with some zest:

a quirky flavor mix will have her impressed.

Cranberries in chocolate and pistachio nuts,

together with tangerine do give her fudge guts.

Finally for father, who brings home the bacon:

is a fudge with which he will always awaken.

Chock full of coffee beans, bathed in chocolate dark,

his sweet treat will give him an anytime spark.

Tomorrow night as the clock strikes Christmastime Eve,

these three lucky people will smile, I believe.

Fudge three ways: with chocolate-covered coffee beans; with chocolate covered cranberries, pistachios, and tangerine zest; and with dried fruit, pistachios, and ginger (adapted from Cooks Illustrated’s 15-Minute Fudge recipe)

The original recipe called for 1 cup of walnuts, but I decided to do something more exciting: I split the fudge base into three bowls and mixed in ~1/3 cup of different flavor combinations into each, then poured the result into the pan which I split into thirds using folded aluminum foil*. Use my flavors as jumping-off points for your own concoctions, but I will very, very strongly recommend the version with tangerine zest; it is incomparable! I also suggest throwing in some chopped crystallized ginger or toasted walnuts in the coffee-bean version. Yum!

  • Sweet "tropical" fudge for my sister, Sarah

  • 1 pound semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (use bar chocolate, not chips; Ghirardelli recommended)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup “mix-ins” (eg. dark chocolate-covered coffee beans, sliced in half; dark chocolate-covered cranberries or cherries, sliced in half; toasted pistachios, cooled; zest of 1 tangerine; crystallized ginger, finely chopped; chopped dried mango and/or pineapple)

Prepare an 8×8″ baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil; use enough so there is overhang on two sides. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Cranberry- and pistachio-flecked zested fudge for my ma

In the top bowl of a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl, such as a glass bowl), mix together the chocolates, baking powder, and salt. Make sure the baking soda is evenly distributed. Stir in the condensed milk and vanilla.

Set the bowl over, not in, simmering water. Heat the fudge mixture, stirring constantly, until only the last chocolate chunks remain. Remove the bowl from the water and continue stirring until all chocolate has melted. At this point, you can stir in the “mix-ins”.  Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until firm. Pull out of the pan using the overhanging foil. Cut and enjoy!

* If you would like to do what I did and make multiple versions of fudge from one recipe, just use your foil to create a “barrier” and divide the pan into halves or thirds. Simply cut a longer piece of foil than usual, and crimp a 1″ high section near the middle into a ridge shape. Repeat as necessary, spacing the foil channels appropriately. Fit the foil sheet into the baking pan.

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10 thoughts on “Fudge three ways for my three favorite people

  1. Oh, can I join your family? These look wonderful. I love the things you chose to put in there–gorgeous mixes of flavors. Thanks for a fudge recipe that doesn’t have marshmallow cream in it…

    I hope you and your family have a very merry Christmas.

  2. Sure! The more, the merrier! And …. you’ll get fudge! I did sneak some samples while I cut the squares, and boy was it good! I’m not sold on the texture yet, but I think that’s because I had it over the water too long.

    Merry Christmas to you and your whole family as well – on both continents!

  3. Hi Katherine, I’m so sorry I can’t stay long this time. I’m in the middle of moving from New York to PA. (I spent 1-1/2 hrs. waiting to cross the GW today) UG!!! I’ll be going back over for the final time on Thursday. (yes new year’s Eve) Big UG!

    Anyway, popped in from Kate’s. so funny about the Nanaimo bars. I was teasing Kate because she comes up with such delicious “concoctions” and I was wondering whether she would put her own spin on a version of her own. And since she is in Belgium, I was all the more curious (all that wonderful chocolate:) I didn’t even think there was a Belgium version of Nanaimo Bars. I did a post about them for Pecan Month which included a recipe. They are of course, purely Canadian:)

    I adore Fudge. Thanks for the GREAT ideas. I’m such a bad little baker but I think I may be able to wing these. Thank you so much for sharing, A very happy New Year sent your way:) I really enjoy your blog!!! Bookmarked!!!

  4. Louise, thank you for stopping by! I’m glad I’ve discovered your blog – am on my way over to check it out a bit more. 🙂 Good luck with the move; you’ve probably driven past me a few times along the way since I’m right off Rt 80!! Best of luck getting settled (especially the kitchen..!).

    Kate, I second the motion for you to whip up your own Nanaimo bars. They are darn tasty! Tim Hortons sells a version that is pretty much a Canadian staple (in case you don’t know Tim Hortons, it’s a coffee/donut chain in Canada, named after a hockey player, which is what Starbucks is to the States), but I’ve seen various versions. However, I’m sure none are as delicious as with Belgian chocolate…

    Come to think of it, I have a few recipes from Ontario’s Liquor Control Board magazine that I should make… We’ll all have a few recipes developed soon that we can share?!

  5. Pingback: Homemade Christmas gifts from the kitchen (and eggnog cake balls for a cookie exchange) | peas + carrots

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