Every December, various family members bake large batches of gingerbread cookies, fruitcakes, and buckeye balls to share and mail. But not once, in all of my sugary Christmas seasons, can I remember a single relative sending fudge our way. We surely didn’t make our own—the chocolate would have disappeared before Mom pulled out the recipe!—so any fudge came from the store or a neighbor.
But not this year! I decided to break the fudge-less tradition and make my own. I conveniently forgot about my drier-than-a-desert first fudge attempt from 10 years ago until I poured the milk and sugar into the saucepan… So with fears of chalky chocolate swirling in my head, I tested the boiling mixture every 30 seconds with one hand while consulting the recipe with the other.
And then I started shaping more popcorn balls while the fudge cooled, completely neglecting to rig a timer as a reminder to score the top before it set. I woke up sweating in the middle of the night from a crumbly fudge-cutting nightmare!
The next morning, I padded into the kitchen to pull out the treat from the fridge and gingerly slice a few squares. Although I mauled the first piece while finagling it out of the pan, the rest popped out looking quite festive!
modified from Simply Chocolate
makes 64 pieces
This fudge is sweet, light, and rich. Feel free to substitute dark chocolate for the semi-sweet or other dried fruit for the ginger.
6 pieces candied ginger
1¼ c. milk
2 c. sugar
5 tbsp butter
¾ c. semi-sweet chocolate (i.e. chocolate chips)
- Coat the inside of an 8” x 8” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Finely chop the candied ginger.
- In a medium pot, combine the milk, sugar, butter, and chocolate. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the butter and chocolate have melted. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, for 10-15 min until a small amount of the chocolate mixture, when dropped into a glass of cold water, can be molded between the fingers.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the candied ginger. Let the mixture sit for 5 min before vigorously stirring until thick and creamy. Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Let the fudge set in the pan for 5-10 min before scoring the top into 1” cubes. Allow the fudge to set completely before slicing into squares. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.