Do you know just how easy these melt-in-your-mouth decadent chocolate treats are to make?! You've GOT to try your hand at homemade fudge this holiday season, and we have tons of flavor combinations to choose from to make it your own!
There's something undeniably magical about the rich, creamy goodness of homemade fudge. Obviously you can enjoy this confection year-round, but it seems to be a staple around Christmastime and a homemade recipe that keeps well for gifting to neighbors and friends!
In this post, we are breaking down the basics to making fudge at home. We have a printable classic chocolate fudge recipe, plus lots of flavor ideas to experiment with. Finally we added some packaging and storage tips if you're planning on sharing these homemade goodies this holiday season!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE FUDGE
Here are the basics, and we have a printable recipe below!
- Chocolate Chips: Choose high-quality chocolate chips for a rich and flavorful fudge. You can use semi-sweet, dark, or milk chocolate, depending on your preference.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: This ingredient provides sweetness and creaminess to the fudge. It also helps in achieving a smooth texture.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is typically used in fudge recipes. It adds richness and contributes to the smooth consistency.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor of the fudge. Use pure vanilla extract for the best taste.
- Prepare the Pan: Line a square or rectangular baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. This overhang will make it easier to lift the fudge out of the pan later.
- Melt the Ingredients: In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Stir continuously to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan or burning.
- Add Vanilla Extract: Once the mixture is fully melted and smooth, remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract, ensuring it's evenly distributed.
- Transfer to the Pan: Pour the melted fudge mixture into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly.
- Cool and Set: Allow the fudge to cool at room temperature for a couple of hours. Once it reaches room temperature, transfer it to the refrigerator to set for an additional 2-3 hours, or until it becomes firm.
- Cut into Squares: Use the parchment paper overhangs to lift the fudge out of the pan. Place it on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut it into squares or rectangles.
- Store: Store the fudge in an airtight container. It can be kept at room temperature for a up to a week; in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks, or frozen for several months.
This is where you can get creative and have a little fun! We have some twists you can put on the classic chocolate fudge recipe, though the possibilities really are endless!
- Peanut Butter Fudge:
- Ingredients: Peanut butter, sugar, butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar.
- Method: Combine peanut butter, butter, and vanilla extract. Gradually add powdered sugar until well mixed. Press into a pan and let it set.
- Tips: Add chopped peanuts for extra crunch. Drizzle with melted chocolate for a Reese's-inspired twist.
- Maple Walnut Fudge:
- Ingredients: Maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, sweetened condensed milk, walnuts.
- Method: Boil maple syrup, brown sugar, and butter. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir until it thickens. Fold in chopped walnuts and let it set.
- Tips: Use real maple syrup for an authentic flavor. Toast the walnuts for added depth.
- Mint Chocolate Swirl Fudge:
- Ingredients: Chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, butter, peppermint extract, green food coloring.
- Method: Melt chocolate chips and butter, stir in sweetened condensed milk. Add peppermint extract and green food coloring. Swirl the mint mixture into the chocolate mixture.
- Tips: Experiment with different food coloring for festive variations. Crushed candy canes make a delightful topping.
- Salted Caramel Fudge:
- Ingredients: Caramel sauce, white chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, sea salt.
- Method: Melt white chocolate chips, stir in sweetened condensed milk and caramel sauce. Sprinkle sea salt on top and let it set.
- Tips: Make your own caramel for an extra special touch. The combination of sweet and salty is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
- Other Flavor Options: Experiment with the type of chocolate chip you use – butterscotch, white chocolate, milk chocolate, or a combo! You can also add in different extracts, but start out very sparingly as a little goes a long way! Feel free to experiment with chopped nuts, candy pieces, and dried fruit bits. Sea salt or warm spices would also be a nice addition.
This classic chocolate fudge recipe is perfect for sharing with friends and family or for special occasions. Enjoy the rich and creamy goodness of homemade fudge!
Classic Chocolate Fudge
- 6 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate – your preference!)
- 28 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Line a 9×13-inch (23×33 cm) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. This will make it easier to lift the fudge out later.
- In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Stir continuously until the mixture is smooth and well-combined. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.
- Once the mixture is fully melted, remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and, if desired, fold in the chopped nuts until evenly distributed.
- Pour the fudge mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
- Allow the fudge to cool at room temperature for about 2 hours. Once it reaches room temperature, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it set for an additional 3-4 hours, or until firm.
- Once the fudge is completely set, use the parchment paper overhangs to lift it out of the pan. Place it on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut it into squares.
- Arrange the fudge squares on a serving platter and enjoy this classic chocolate treat!
- For an extra layer of flavor, consider adding a pinch of sea salt on top before the fudge sets.
- To make the fudge even more decadent, you can drizzle melted white or dark chocolate on top before it sets.
- Store the fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.
TIPS FOR GIFTING
Fudge makes a wonderful gift for neighbors and friends! Here are some tips on how to package and store homemade fudge to keep it fresher, longer.
- Packaging & Layering: Always use airtight containers to prevent the fudge from drying out or absorbing odors from the surroundings. If you're stacking layers of fudge, place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between the layers to prevent sticking.
- Room Temperature: Fudge can be stored at room temperature for a short period, usually up to one week (if average room temperature is around 70°F or 21°C). Place the fudge in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out. If storing at room temperature, choose a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
- Refrigerator: For longer storage, especially if your kitchen tends to be warmer, store the fudge in the refrigerator. Place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. This can extend the shelf life to 2-3 weeks.
- Freezer: Fudge freezes well, and this is an excellent option for longer-term storage. Wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or a zip-top freezer bag. Frozen fudge can last for several months.
Have you made homemade fudge before? What's your favorite flavor variation to try? Leave a comment!