I love candy canes. I used to snitch candy canes off the Christmas tree, hoping that no one would notice, and looked forward to the day when eating the candy canes became an authorized part of post-Christmas clean up. I was so excited when I arrived in Hawaii to find my Papi Chulo had purchased two giant candy canes in addition to a whole box for the tree. Yahoo! Then, three days later, I went out to buy even more candy canes because I decided to make this fudge. It’s quick, easy, and basically foolproof. There are no thermometers, precise temperatures, or exact times involved, but the result is amazingly delicious!
I immediately knew the recipe was a success because I handed a piece to Papi Chulo when he returned home from work and, as soon as he’d tasted it, he asked “This is what we’re having for supper?” When I asked him if he thought it was worth blogging about, he responded with lots of loud “Mmmm”s while eating a second piece. I took that as a yes!
As a quick clarification – this fudge takes about 15 minutes of your time, but it needs to cool for about 2 hours in the fridge before it’s ready to eat. Considering old-fashioned fudge takes far long than that, a thermometer, and precise temperatures just to accomplish the cooking part, I think this fudge is pretty darn easy! The most difficult part is
not eating it all at once waiting for it to cool.
- 18 ounces (about 3 cups) of semisweet chocolate chips
- ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon of table salt
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup of crushed candy cane bits
- Line an 8" square baking dish with aluminum foil and coat the foil's interior with cooking spray. If you don't have cooking spray, pour a small quantity of vegetable oil on a paper towel and wipe the foil down with this oiled paper towel.
- Combine the chocolate chips, baking soda, and salt in a medium, heat proof bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the vanilla and condensed milk and stir to combine.
- Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven about half way with water and place it on a medium-medium/low heat burner. Carefully lower the bowl into the water, making sure water is not at risk for coming over the sides into the bowl. If water gets in melting chocolate, it will make it seize up and turn grainy.
- Stir the chocolate chip and condensed milk mixture frequently until the chocolate chips are very nearly all the way melted.
- Turn off the burner and remove the bowl from the saucepan. You may need gloves or hot pads for this!
- Fold in about ¾ of a cup of the candy cane chunks into the fudge.
- Use a spatula to transfer the fudge into the prepared baking dish and smooth it flat/evenly to the edges.
- Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of candy cane pieces over the fudge's top, pressing the larger chunks into the fudge slightly with your hands.
- Refrigerate for about two hours.
- Use the foil to easily lift the fudge from the baking tray, cut, and enjoy!
- Store any remaining fudge in an airtight container in the fridge.
When you’re choose chocolate chips, make sure to go for a higher-quality product because the chocolate’s quality will dictate how your fudge tastes and feels. I love Hershey’s Special Dark, and Ghirardelli works wonderfully. This recipe is not the place to skimp on ingredients and buy the cheap brand! For a slightly less sweet fudge, use two cups (12 ounces) of semisweet chocolate and one cup (6 ounces) of bittersweet chocolate. In case that seems confusing – I’m talking about the product’s weight in dry ounces and it’s volume in a measuring up. Obviously a cup hast 8 liquid ounces, not 6!
You can use regular candy canes or mini candy canes for this – the choice is yours. The mini candy canes are more annoying to unwrap, but easier to break into small pieces. To break them up, either place all the candy canes in a zip top freezer bag and crush them with a heavy skillet or a mallet, or use a mortar and pestle. Both methods are tried and true!
This fudge could theoretically keep for up to a month in the fridge. Even if you just plan to keep it for a day or two, make sure it’s in an airtight container and refrigerated. If you leave it exposed to the air, especially in the fridge, it will quickly become dehydrated and grainy instead of thick and creamy. Plus, the candy canes get humid and start to sort of melt, if that makes sense in a cold environment. If you’re really intent on keeping it for more than a few days, you might want to individually wrap each piece in cling wrap. This batch became somewhat dry, though still tasty, in about five days. I don’t anticipate you having any trouble with the fudge going bad, though. It’s simply too tasty for that!
This fudge makes a wonderful holiday dessert, and it would be perfect for a holiday party or homemade edible gift idea. Can you imagine how happy your coworkers would be with a plate of homemade fudge?
Have you ever been brave enough to make old-fashioned fudge the hard way? Lucky enough to have it turn out correctly?