Sunday, December 15, 2013

Peppermint chunk fudge

One of the things that I love most about the holiday is making homemade baked goods for coworkers and friends. I get a lot of joy from baking (obviously), and I always get warm fuzzies when my sweets make people happy. I used to buy things for coworkers, but it's always a hit-or-miss situation unless I'm giving gift cards. Homemade gifts are much more personal, and when making a large batch of treats, I can always give more treats away.

An item that I make every year is peppermint bark. This year Addie helped me with the process. She helped me crush the peppermints and stir the peppermint extract into the melted white chocolate. Of course, she happily taste-tested along the way. I decided to make this a peppermint-filled year and also made peppermint chunk fudge. I absolutely adore peppermint around the holidays, and this fudge looked too amazing to pass up.

This fudge is super easy to make since it starts with a can of sweetened condensed milk. No candy thermometer needed, which is a huge bonus. I couldn't find the Andes Peppermint Chunks at my local grocery store but my Target carried them so I loaded up. You can cut the fudge into whatever sized pieces you like, depending on how many people you are giving these to.

I really enjoyed this peppermint chunk fudge. It was smooth, creamy and minty from the extract and the peppermint chunks. I could have easily eaten an entire pan, but thankfully I was giving these away and only sampled one small sliver for myself.

Peppermint chunk fudge
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter, plus some for buttering the dish (if using salted butter, omit the salt below)
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 LB dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (I recommend upping this to at least 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Andes Peppermint Chunks, divided (I found these at Target)

Directions
Generously grease or line an 8x8 inch baking pan. Scatter about half of the peppermint chunks onto the bottom of the pan and set aside.

In a double boiler (if you don't have one, simply set a heatproof bowl on top of a bowl of simmering water - make sure your bowl does not directly touch the water), melt the butter. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and mix until both ingredients are fully mixed together.

Stir in the chocolate chips and salt and keep mixing until the chocolate is smooth and free of lumps. Add the peppermint and vanilla and mix well until your mixture gets almost too thick to pour.

Take the mixture off of the stove and transfer to your prepared baking pan. Smooth out the top and sprinkle the top with the remaining peppermint chunks.

Transfer to your refrigerator and allow it to harden for at least 3 hours. Once the fudge has set, you can slice and serve.

Yield: I doubled the recipe and cut mine into 96 half-inch squares; you can definitely cut your fudge larger

Source: A Spicy Perspective

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