I just finished making four batches of fudge for neighborhood friends. They're not going to be packaged in beautiful holiday tins. The only thing that is festive about each plate is a brightly-colored bow on top of the plastic wrap. I'm a purist, and I know my friends. They will tear into the fudge so quickly, like a pack of wolverines into a moose, so what is most important is the chocolate.
My mother used to make fudge, and it would take a while. The ingredients would have to come to a rolling boil, then to a soft-ball stage, or some similar nonsense. She had a candy thermometer, and I became an expert at making the delectable delicacy.
Then I adopted a friend's recipe for fudge. It had to be on the stovetop for less time, which was a step in the right direction, but required a long list of ingredients. Some of the marshamallows had to be frozen (and some not), the fudge had to be stirred at one point until some of the "sheen" was gone...There were occasions when I would worry if the fudge was still glistening too much ('Do I need to stir some more?'), and other times when I would panic, since I had forgotten to put the marshmallows in the freezer and tried to "flash freeze" them.
That fudge was extremely expensive to make, but delicious. Because of the cost involved, I only made it on special occasions.
Unfortunately for my hips, but fortunately for my friends, I was given a fudge recipe by Holly, one of my team-mates. She knows how much chocolate third grade teachers need on an hourly basis * and for the past two years, it has been the recipe I've relied on, casting aside all others.
Since I'd like to spread the madness, I'm sharing the recipe, in case you do not already have it. Make a batch or two during this holiday season and share (or not).
1 bag of milk chocolate chips
1/2 bag (1 cup) of semi-sweet chocolate chips
(Aldi's has the best price, and their chocolate is great)
1 can of condensed evaporated milk
Put the above ingredients in a glass microwavable bowl (I use a mixing bowl) and cook for 5 minutes at 50% power. Stop it halfway through (at 2.5 minutes) and stir. Then continue cooking.
When the 5 minutes are up, take out, put in a splash of vanilla, and nuts (if you want). I line a glass pie pan with plastic wrap, then I can lift it out easily and cut it up, or wrap up the "disc" of fudge and present it like that. One batch can be poured into a pie pan-sized container...it makes a relatively small amount.
* In our teachers' lounge we don't have a soda machine. Instead, we have a chocolate fountain that is plugged in constantly and restocked regularly.