Christmas came all too quickly this year (we still have to decorate the tree at my house; the lights are up and the aluminum-foil star is tied on, but it is looking rather barren without any ornaments). My dad (wise man) said some years, Christmas just comes and goes, and it may not feel like the holiday season. I am looking forward to Winter Break, where I’ll have a chance to relax and simply enjoy the holidays with my family.
This weekend, in my efforts to welcome in some holiday cheer, I baked some treats. I bake all sorts of goodies; some go in tins for my teachers, some I bring into school to share with my classmates, and the left overs are left at home to nibble on (of course!). My Christmas baking was a little rushed this year, and so it was a bit stressful; I need to remember to allow myself more time to enjoy the experience :) But, treats were made, and if I may say, they were quite delicious! I made my first-ever batch of fudge (with satisfyingly sweet results!), molasses spice cookies, and sugar-cookie cutouts. One of my teachers is lactose intolerant, so I had my first (intentional) experience with dairy-free baking (it’s not hard at all, once you’ve found all the right substitutions). While I didn’t make a dairy-free fudge, the cookies were a dairy-free success.
Below is the recipe I used for fudge, loosely adapted by myself. Since this was the first time I had made fudge, I was a bit nervous, but this was an absolute breeze! The recipe is simple, with only four ingredients, and produced a rich, decadent chocolate fudge. It may not seem to be a lot of fudge, but a little piece is enough to fulfill a sweet tooth.
Simple Chocolate Fudge recipe loosely adapted from Giada de Laurentiis via foodnetwork.com
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened-condensed milk (This is not the same as evaporated milk. If you’d like to try dairy-free, cook about 5 1/4 cups of soy or rice milk and about 7/8 cup of sugar over medium heat until the mixture has reduced to roughly 14 ounces.)
- 2.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (For a less sweet fudge, use bittersweet chocolate, or a combination of semi-sweet and bittersweet. I also like white chocolate fudge, and would think this could be swapped for the “brown” chocolate; I would use roughly 2 cups of the white chocolate, as it is sweeter than the semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolates. Use a dairy-free chocolate chip, such as Sunspire Vegan Carob Chips, if trying dairy-free.)
- 3 tablespoons softened butter (For dairy-free use a substitute such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish and line with parchment or wax paper.
2. In a large pot (such as a soup pot), bring about an inch or so of water to a boil.
3. Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl, and place bowl on top of the boiling water (the ingredients will be melted using the double-boil method).
3. Stir the mixture constantly until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth (it may be thick).
4. Poor the mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly.
5. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until the fudge is set.
I wish y’all a safe and joy-filled holiday,