I often think of fudge as being just for the holiday season but someone in the Test Kitchens was making Candy Bar Fudge recently and I realized what a wonderful gift this delicious treat makes. We were celebrating the retirement of a long-time employee, Margaret, that day so we added the Candy Bar Fudge to the goodies at the retirement party. It was a hit! Here is a picture of Margaret at her party.
We will all miss her sunny smile, warm personality and her wonderful home-baked goodies. Margaret is famous for her home-made dinner rolls. I featured her recipe in a blog back in May, 2010, check it out here.
So, who says fudge is for the holidays only? Not me! Candy Bar Fudge only has 6 ingredients and can be customized by using your favorite candy bar. I followed the recipe and used peanut butter filled candy bar cups because chocolate and peanut butter is one of my favorite flavor combinations.
The first step is to line an 8 or 9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Let the foil extend over the edges of the pan – you can wrap the ends over the edges so they aren’t in the way. This will make removing the fudge from the pan later much easier.
Next butter the foil. I cut off a piece of butter and leave the wrapper on the sides of the butter so my fingers don’t get messy. Once butter, just set the pan aside while you make the fudge mixture.
I like to get all my ingredients ready to go before starting the fudge. Again, this recipe has just 6 ingredients and the only prep involved is chopping the candy bars and the peanuts, and cutting the butter into chunks.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine the sugar and evaporated milk. Be sure you are using evaporated milk and not sweetened condensed milk. Both are commonly used in fudge recipes. Evaporated milk does not have the added sugar that is in sweetened condensed milk. Also, I like to use a non-stick saucepan when I make candy as it makes clean-up easier, but any type will work.
Stir the mixture together and then turn your heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
Now reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking letting the mixture boil gently for 8 minutes. The important step to remember here is too stir constantly during the entire 8 minutes. I like to think of this as exercise. (Better than going to the gym!?!)
After 8 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips and butter until melted...
…and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Pour the fudge mixture into the butter pan you prepared and set aside.
The fudge mixture will pretty much fill the pan and level itself, but you can help it if needed with a spatula. Immediately sprinkle the chopped candy bars and peanuts all over the top of the fudge.
Press the toppings firmly into the fudge.
Refrigerate until firm which takes at least 2 hours. Gently lift the fudge out of the pan using the ends of the foil you left extended.
Remove the foil from the fudge and place on a cutting board. Cut into small squares or rectangles. If you are giving this as a gift you may want to cut the fudge to the shape and size that best fits the container you will be using.
If you have little candy paper cups you can put place the pieces of fudge in the cups for a very professional presentation. The paper cups are the same used for mini muffins and are available at most grocery stores.
If you give the fudge as a gift, include a little note telling the recipient to store the candy in the refrigerator. Doesn’t this look like a lovely gift? I know Margaret and everyone at the party enjoyed it. See, I told you fudge isn’t just for the holidays!
I’d enjoy hearing what kind of candy bars you used when you made Candy Bar Fudge. Come back to leave me a comment, and take a minute to rate and review the recipe too.
Come back in a few days when Mallory will share a coffee drink recipe perfect for your Valentine.
Becky Wahlund is the Director of the Test Kitchens for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.