Kerry Phillips is one half of the writing team at Valium, Vodka, and Vegetables. A stay at home mom and early childhood educator, Kerry writes about ways to nurture your family while saving money, focuses on greener, simpler living, and talks about life as the mother of a learning-delayed child. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her Big Dude, her Little Dude, and Cosmo the Wonder Cat.
As much as I love to cook, there was always one thing that eluded me – fudge. It drove me nuts. But, try as I might, I always ended up with something that resembled a candy bar, or topping for ice cream.
And so I surrendered. I decided that it was simply a skill that would always elude me, much like calculus or reaching a tall shelf without a stool. It wasn’t many years later, until Jeff and I were faced with having to give gifts on a shoestring budget at Christmastime, that I decided to give fudge another chance. Jeff did a little studying, and a little experimenting, and whipped up a perfect batch of fudge on his second try. I hate it when he shows me up in the kitchen.
But I learned how to finally achieve a great tray of fudge. There are three key things to remember: read your recipe twice, prep all of your ingredients first, and use a candy thermometer! That being said, I’m going to give the recipe for the base first, then instructions for 3 basic flavors. After that, I’ll give instructions for swirled fudge, as well as using other ingredients and flavors.
We’ve gotten pretty creative with our fudge. Don’t be afraid to add nuts or dried fruit, or bits of candy. If you want your fudge to have a “crust”, gently press graham cracker crumbs or crushed Nilla wafers onto the top of your fudge immediately after you’ve pressed it into your pan. You’re really only limited by your imagination and taste buds once you’ve gotten the hang of the basics. We’ve made Key Lime fudge, maple, chocolate covered cherry, banana cream pie, and pumpkin. We’re also planning to make a chocolate raspberry swirl, and a blueberry cheesecake fudge.
Good luck! And trust me, this will make you popular.