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My husband and I started a tradition shortly after we got married of making goodies at Christmas for our family and friends. (The tradition was suspended when our daughter was born.) We tried out new recipes each year, but also took requests for favorites from previous years. One item that was always requested was fudge. We did not have an elaborate recipe, and in fact used the one on the back of the marshmallow cream jar. It is not real fudge, but it’s much easier and tastes great.
I decided recently to make fudge for the first time in years. As I went through my cabinet looking for ingredients, I realized that all the ingredients I had purchased for the last batch I wanted to make had expired. Apparently, I had gathered all the ingredients, but not actually done anything with them. And I thought evaporated milk would last forever.
Then my husband pointed out an article in “Taste of Home” about homemade holiday candy, and it included a recipe for quick Mackinac Fudge. This is the fudge included in my favorite ice creams (like Moose Tracks). It has a darker taste than most fudge and pairs well with sweeter chocolate ice cream. In addition, it called for 2 percent milk, which I already had in the refrigerator.
I always keep semi-sweet chocolate chips on hand, but I had to shop for the other chocolate. Most grocery stores will have a selection of chocolate. The dark chocolate I used was 70 percent cacao and was slightly sweetened.
It is very important with this recipe to read all the steps beforehand and prepare everything. I did not chop the chocolate bar until the candy was cooking, and I had to rush to get everything finished. It is probably a good idea to cut the bar into very small pieces so that it melts quickly. The fudge will start to set up before it is poured into the pan otherwise.
I made this to take to a family dinner, and ended up starting it late at night. I thought that it could cool on the counter overnight. As I reached the end of the recipe, I realized that it needed to cool for an hour before being placed in the refrigerator for three hours. I decided to leave it in the refrigerator overnight after the one-hour cool time. The next morning, it was too hard to cut and had to sit out for over an hour before it could be handled. I recommend following the directions exactly. I also recommend not starting the recipe just before bedtime.
The recipe does not call for nuts, but I did eat several pieces paired with toasted pecans. The next time I make this, I will add nuts.
The flavor was not quite the same as the fudge in my favorite ice creams (although I did not use unsweetened chocolate, so maybe that is why). It was very rich and creamy. It was a hit at our family gathering. Maybe we will restart our Christmas goodie tradition with this fudge.
2 teaspoons plus 1 cup butter, divided
4 cups sugar
1 cup 2% milk
25 large marshmallows
1 package (11 ½ ounces) milk chocolate chips
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
Line a 13-inch by 9-inch pan with foil; grease the foil with 2 teaspoons butter.
In a saucepan, combine the sugar, milk and remaining butter. Bring to a rapid boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Stir in marshmallows until melted. Add all chocolate; stir until melted. Stir in vanilla. Immediately spread into prepared pan; cool for 1 hour.
Score into 1-inch squares. Refrigerate, covered, for 3 hours or until firm. Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Remove foil; cut fudge. Store between layers of waxed paper in airtight containers.
Makes three pounds of fudge.