Homemade Holiday Fudge

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Since I was itty-bitty my mom has always made homemade fudge for Christmas. It was such a treat as a kid because she would only make it one time a year and when it was gone, it was gone. As I got older and started hosting the holidays myself I continued the tradition of making homemade fudge at the holidays. It’s a treat that everyone always loves and even though it’s super easy to make everyone will be so impressed that you actually made homemade fudge!

The nice thing about this fudge is that you can change it up with whatever add-ins that you prefer. My mom would always make a plain batch and another batch with walnuts which is super simple and pleases most everyone.  For fun, I started making my fudge in different ways just to change up the flavor profile. I’ve made it with graham crackers and marshmallows for a yummy S’mores version, I’ve made it with Craisins® and shredded coconut (pictured above) and a few times I did batches of Rocky Road fudge which had both nuts and marshmallows. The possibilities are pretty limitless with this recipe so go ahead and add your own signature touch to the next batch you make!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (18 oz) of semi-sweet OR dark chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • dash of Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Red and green decorative sugar sprinkles
  • 1/2 -1 cup chopped walnuts or other add-ins (optional)

Instructions

In a pan set over low heat combine the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips and salt and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and any add-ins such as nuts, marshmallows, etc.

Spread the fudge mixture into a 8X8 pan lined with wax paper and sprayed very lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle with colored sugar sprinkles. Chill until firm and then cut into bite-sized cubes.

**Tip – Keep the cut-up fudge covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to serve. It becomes very soft at room temperature.**

S’mores Fudge

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Leftover Ganache? Do This!

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This weekend I decided to bake my husband an awesome Rocky Road Cake for Father’s Day and even though it was overflowing with yummy ganache goodness, I still had a bowl full of leftovers. You better believe there was NO way I would be throwing out perfectly awesome ganache, in this case, loaded with marshmallows and toasted walnuts! So I set it aside for later when I had time to think about how I wanted to use up what was left.

There are so many wonderful things you can do with any extra ganache you may have, in fact, soon after I made the cake I warmed some of the ganache and poured it all over a bowl of chocolate ice cream for my husband. It was the most decadent and delicious hot fudge sauce imaginable. Then, after chatting with a friend on FB who suggested I make truffles, I was inspired to write a quick blog with some ideas for other things you can do with leftover ganache. Shout out to Michelle G. for giving me the great idea, thank you!! xo

Truffles – Once the ganache is chilled you can scoop it out into little truffle balls. Dust them in cocoa powder or roll them in chopped nuts or shredded coconut and you have a perfect little candy treat.

Chocolate Dip – Warm the ganache and use it to dip your favorite goodies in. Things like brownies, cookies, candies, or even Rice Krispie Treats work great! Sprinkle a little crushed cookie or nonpareils on after dipping and you’ve just turned a simple treat into something much more decadent.

Fudge – If you have plain leftover ganache simply warm it up a bit and then stir in whatever mix-ins you prefer such as: nuts, sprinkles, candies, or even dried fruit. Spread in a pan and chill until firm then cut into bite sized pieces. I personally LOVE dried cranberries mixed into my fudge, especially around the holidays!

Chocolate Mousse – Add a little heavy cream to the leftover ganache and whip in a stand mixer until it reaches a mousse like consistency. Spoon into cute serving glasses and serve with a dollop of whipped cream!

Chocolate Fondue – Warm the ganache and serve it in a small bowl as a fondue alongside a plate of pretzels, pound cake, fresh fruit, cookies, or marshmallows for dipping.

Frosting/Filling – Use the leftovers as frosting for a batch of cupcakes. Better yet, use the ganache as a delicious filling inside of your cupcakes.

If all else fails and you don’t have the time or energy to use it up right away, simply freeze it to be used at a later time. Either wrap it tightly in a plastic wrap, if the ganache is already firm, or seal in an airtight container. To thaw it out, place a metal or glass bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stovetop and add the frozen ganache. Continue to stir it as it melts down, once it’s thinned out and smooth it’s ready to be used.

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