You don't want to give your Valentine the same old chocolate, but you aren't much of a candy maker yourself; she'll never guess you did not spend hours over the stove with a thermometer in-hand when she tastes this super easy fudge recipe.
Everyone thinks "chocolate" when they think "Valentine's Day." But, do you really want to give your sweetheart the same old box of bland chocolates that everyone else is getting? No, of course you don't! Here is a simple recipe that even the least kitchen-inclined individual can make with ease--and even make some yummy variations for added sweetness on our annual day of love.
The basic recipe--Easy Chocolate Fudge--is truly as described: Easy. There are no thermometers. No standing over a hot stove stirring, worrying about scorching the sugar. No concerns about your fudge failing into a gooey mess. This fudge is cooked in the microwave. Your biggest worry to get it right is having all of your ingredients, and being sure the bowl you are using is (1) large enough and (2) microwave safe. And, of course, remember that when cooking in the microwave, slower is better than faster. Things can overcook quickly and some ingredients--like butter and chocolate--can end up all over the inside of your microwave if you push them too quickly; just be patient!
Now, gather the following ingredients:
- 3 cups of chocolate chips (Nowadays, you can get dark, semi-sweet or milk varieties; get your favorite--or, well, your beloved's favorite, right?)
- 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk (For those kitchen newbies who might wonder, yes, sweetened condensed milk is vastly different from that other milk in a can, evaporated, so make sure you get the correct type.)
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 box of bread storage bags; and red, white and silver ribbon (Optional)
Carefully melt the butter in the microwave. Add chips and sweetened condensed milk. Heat in microwave, beginning with one minute and continuing in 30-second increments until the chips are melted, giving the mix a stir a couple of times during the process. When the chips are melted, stir in vanilla. Pour mixture into an 8X8 glass pan lined with wax paper (you could grease the pan with butter, but lining it with wax paper just makes removal and clean-up a lot easier), and place fudge into the fridge to cool. When firm, lift the fudge out with the wax paper, and cut into squares.
Go All the Way for Your Valentine!
After cutting into squares, make it pretty! You don't want to just hand a zipper bag of fudge to your sweetheart, right? Place your fudge squares into your bread bag, then tie it with lengths of your red, white and silver ribbon. Use scissors to curl the ends of the ribbon for added effect. Beautiful and tasty! Store in the fridge until you are ready to give to your love.
Mix It Up!
What's that? Your love hates chocolate but adores peanut butter? Use peanut butter chips. Prefers white chocolate? Use white chocolate chips. Likes nuts? Stir in a half cup of her favorite nuts into the mix after adding the vanilla. This recipe is very versatile; I have personally made variation after variation of this fudge (my favorite is mixing dark chocolate chips with peanut butter chips) and have not had a failure to date. So, give it a try. Not only will your true love be surprised and touched by your homemaking efforts, she/he will have a yummy treat to remind them of you every time they take a bite (which, as good as this fudge is, may not be long, so you may even want to double the recipe and spread it out in a 9X13 glass pan, for good measure!)
Happy Valentine's Day!
Image: Wikimedia Commons