Fudge

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We all like fudge round here. I mean, it’s sticky, it’s chewy, it’s rich, it’s, well, fudgy. The ingredients of classic fudge are pretty straightforward- chocolate and condensed milk. I like to add some vanilla and cocoa powder. Some fine folks add cinnamon. Some monsters add dried fruit. But there’s a secret ingredient to fudge that just puts the cherry on top. The metaphorical cherry. Don’t put cherries in fudge. Or on them. This ingredient isn’t one that can be measured, oh no no- this ingredient is Panic. You can add it whenever you want! You can add it when you realize you forgot to use a double boiler. You can add it when you don’t have any containers for the fudge. You can add it when you forgot to stir in the ingredients before you put the fudge in the pan, and now have to smush them in as best you can. But panic makes the fudge so much sweeter, without adding extra calories! It gives a great aftertaste- when the fudge is not only edible, but delicious, and you are still standing. The more panic you add, the stronger the aftertaste is! This 200 word intro is a cry for help. 19 days to Christmas and I’m steadily losing it.

INGREDIENTS

1 14 oz can of condensed milk

2 cups Hershey’s kisses

OPTIONAL

¼ cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Walnuts

Peanut butter chips

Instant coffee granules

Start by unwrapping the Hershey’s kisses. It was my parents’ 25th anniversary shindig a couple of weeks ago, and I got the bright idea to put Hershey’s kisses everywhere. Get it? Silver candy? Silver anniversary? Validation? Anyone? Please? People didn’t eat as many of them as I thought (it may have been my fault for roasting two chickens and a salmon), so I was stuck with all of them. They made great fudge, but unwrapping this many can be tedious, so if you have any midgets lying around, put them to work to earn their keep.
If you’re using them, throw in the vanilla and cocoa powder with the kisses,
then pour in the condensed milk. As it starts to melt, you’ll realize you’re not using a double border, and add the first dose of panic. It turned out fine. Don’t listen to those double boiler using elitists!
Take it off the heat as soon as it starts to bubble, or else it’ll stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. I speak from experience. Ever tried to scrub a layer of burnt fudge off a steel pot? I haven’t, but my mom has, and I’ve heard about it so much I feel as though I have too. I’m kidding, ma.
Find some containers for the fudge- I was making two small batches of peanut butter and walnut, respectively, and a big mocha batch so I divided it between two pans. I love these little paper loaf pans. They’re adorable. Line them with wax paper, and then pour in the fudge and whatever mix ins you want.
I loved using the instant coffee- mochas were my gateway into the magical world of caffeine, so I’ll always have a soft spot for coffee and chocolate. I remember my first mocha- last year in October, we were in New York, and my mom and I walked the length and breadth of midtown Manhattan looking for a coffee shop. We passed about seven Starbucks, but we were in New York, and we were going to a local artisanal coffee shop, dammit! Long story short, we walked and looked until we were half carrying each other, and finally surrendered and went to the nearest Starbucks. There, I had my first mocha. Extra whipped cream, obviously. I’ve been in love with coffee and chocolate since then! Put the fudge in the fridge to set for about 4 hours, and then slice it up and enjoy!

Give it as a present, hoard it- it’ll stay good in the fridge for a month, if you have self control. I’m putting self control on my Christmas list this year. No I’m not. That’s a lie. I want glitter and a chinchilla.

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