Foolproof Fudge

November 28, 2010

Psst…wanna hear something scary? Four. Weeks. Until. Christmas.

Did you just pee yourself? Because I just about did when I realized it.

Now I don’t mean to be a crank, but right now, the thought of Christmas is about as appealing as a rectal exam.

A few things I’m not looking forward to:

~Constant harassment from the Creepy Meat Man, shilling his “holiday specials.”  Hey, Creepy Meat Man–how about you take your white truck and your four teeth and disappear from my doorstep, as my holiday special?

~Christmas parties. For my husband’s work. There’s not enough champagne in the universe to make these suckers bearable. Plus, pantyhose in frigid weather? Seven kinds of wrong.

~The barrage of shitty toy commercials. No, for the fifth year in a row, you cannot have Moon Sand or Polly Pockets.

~Feliz Navidad on the airways. Enough said.

~Planning Christmas dinner. Am I the only person who dreads this? And who decided that roasts and hams are the official entrees of Christmas? I fear both of those things. Why couldn’t we have decided that, I dunno, Pizza Rolls were the official food of Christmas? My life would be so much easier.

~Gift wrapping. I suckitysuck at wrapping gifts. Every year, it looks like Harryboy wrapped all of the presents.

~The Holday Cookie Swap. Ummm, no, actually, I am not interested in bringing 8 dozen of my favorite Christmas cookie to your house to trade. Because some nutjob always shows up with fruitcake or bourbon balls, neither of which my family will consume.

Sorry, readers, I’m holiday Debbie Downer right now. But actually, there is a silver lining to this. I can help you with the cookie swap thing. Don’t bring cookies. Bring fudge.

This fudge. Because this fudge is hot-dang easy and you cannot screw it up. Really. I’ve screwed up many pans of fudge, but never using this recipe.

Feel free to jazz up the top of the fudge with nuts or sprinkles or crushed candy canes, but it’s just as good without the fanfare.

So here it is, my holiday gift to you. This fudge will save you Hella Lotta time. I think this recipe absolves me of Grinch status. So in return, readers, could you please come over to my house and wrap our presents?  Harryboy is sick of taking the blame.

Foolproof Fudge

recipe courtesy of the Eagle Brand Condensed Milk Can

makes about 2 pounds

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 (14-oz.) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

dash salt

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

In a saucepan, over low** heat, melt chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and vanilla. Spread into an aluminum foil-lined (buttered) 8 or 9-inch square pan. Chill 2 hours or until firm. Turn fudge out onto cutting board. Peel off foil and cut into small squares.

**Okay, I lied. There is one way that you can mess up this fudge, and that’s by heating it on anything but low, low heat. Chocolate can be a temperamental little bitch, so you need to watch the saucepan and stir frequently and take the mixture off the heat just when the chocolate melts.  It’s the one slightly high-maintenance thing about this fudge. But it’s worth it.

Not tired of a good rant? Click here for Rebecca‘s!

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

KitschenBitsch November 28, 2010 at 8:53 am

Sounds like you need to come spend the holidays with me… I do the cooking, cleaning, decorating, and wrapping, and we drink and eat.


Katybeth November 28, 2010 at 8:57 am

You wear panty hose? I have not worn a pair in a million years. Tights, boots, long enough skirts–a tan in the summer.
Hang tough on the moon sand…I would also stay away from “make your own lip balm.”
The fudge looks yummy. The nuts would never be optional in our house. In fact, I once told a girl friend who made us fudge every year–if she would add nuts…I would buy them. She IS a very good girlfriend!
Oh, and you have not lived until you have been to a cookie exchange at a Waldorf school–I never knew there were so many ways to make cookies without any ingredients that tasted good (sugar, flour,….) and the kicker is they all grabbed for my toll house chocolate chip cookies first!
I leave you with the words of our used to be cello teacher, and still good friend Mr. Hoppe, “the hardest part is always starting.”


Stephane in Alaska November 28, 2010 at 11:01 am

We always seem to get stuck with the poisonous green cornflake wreath cookies. : p

I recommend wine. Lots and LOTS of wine. This may be supplemented with cocktails. Administer liberally every 30 minutes to 1 hour. (If you are able to walk perfectly straight, increase the dosage.)


elizabeth November 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I second the wine recommendation, as well as avoiding all radios as much as possible until maybe Christmas Eve at the earliest.

I’ve also been able to knock out so much of my Christmas shopping this year over this past weekend thanks to the godsend that is I’ve been using it for the last few years, of course, but never have I relied on it so heavily.

As for cookie swaps, well, I don’t believe in them. As long as my mother and MIL continue to bake I’ll be happy enjoying the fruits of their labors, and my general cookie avoidance means that I’m not even invited to cookie swaps. This, frankly, I’m OK with right now.

As for Christmas dinner–why not do a braise? Something you can leave and let the cooking process do all of the hard stuff for you?


Carol November 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I’ve never made fudge, but this looks yummy and oh so easy. Perhaps I’ll have to try it.


Contemporary Troubadour November 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Shit! I was just enjoying the end to election season ads on the radio and now Christmas music? Shit! I’m not ready for this.

I’m with Katybeth on pantyhose. I haven’t worn any since … oh hell, let’s not go there. It was the dead of summer in DC. I think the experience put me off nylon for the rest of my lifetime.


Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon November 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I am in complete denial that we have entered the holiday season. If it weren’t for The Mistah, we would have neither tree nor lights.

PS – This year, Christmas dinner = lasagna.


BigLittleWolf November 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Your recipe for fudge sounds delish, though we’re still digesting all those mini-pecan pies from Thanksgiving.

Now, are we going to have to indulge in that Fruitcake Debate again this year? ;)

Sends yours my way. We love ’em. And if we don’t eat them, you already know – they’re practically as easy to toss as a discus.


Phoo-d November 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Try finding pantyhose to fit a 7 month pregnant belly. Now THAT is a bundle of fun. I’m with you on gift wrapping. For some reason I’m lucky if mine line up and don’t look totally mangled. Love the fudge recipe!


Paula (Salad in a Jar) November 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

You can NOT be 7 months already! Really?


Michelle November 28, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I agree about this fudge – it’s a keeper. My son makes it and he uses the microwave method. That’s really hard to mess up and it tastes great. Last week, he did a chocolate mint version that disappeared in a day!


tasteofbeirut November 28, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I am your soul sister here; agree with most of what you are writing; so my answer to holiday pressure: dont celebrate! hah! I am lucky the kids are grown and only want cash and I dont have business functions forced upon me.
that fudge sounds great and very versatile. Cant live without chocolate, that’s for sure.


Jennifer November 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm

One of David’s very favorite things is fudge. I’ll have to try this type.


Paula (Salad in a Jar) November 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I am NOT a candy maker. You promise I won’t mess it up?

And one more thing… OWN a pair of pantyhose?? You can still buy those nasty things?? No way for me. Oh wait. I’m not attending any fancy schmancy parties either. Can you tell? I guess tights or leggings might not go with a formal dress. Think I’ll just stay home and make fudge.


Amy R. November 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Nope, can’t do it; never have been able. Just not in my DNA. Ot always comes out as a nice sauce but never fudge. We used to joke the boys wouldn’t find out that fudge didn’t come in a bowl with a spoon until they started school. But I do make a mean ham…..


Heather November 28, 2010 at 3:22 pm

My honey’s work Christmas party got canceled this year! I’m about 15 shades of happy right now!
I’d certainly come over and help you wrap if I lived closer. I drink while I wrap. A lot. Wine seems to make the wrapping go much more smoothly and I don’t really care what the end result looks like! Now I just gotta get the people opening the presents to drink more and they won’t care either!
Hope your holiday gets a little better.


theUngourmet November 28, 2010 at 10:10 pm

The annual holiday party has been canceled due to the crappy economy so I don’t have to worry about the pantyhose. I once made fudge. It was hard as a rock. I had to chisel it out with a hammer and a butter knife. I am nuts for fudge though so…I am so making this recipe! Feliz Navidad!


Cheryl @ Mommypants November 28, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Chocolate is SO a temperamental bitch, isn’t it?

I make lasagna for Christmas. Altho, I’m not Christian. So no one cares.


Privilege of Parenting November 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Grinch Sminch—it came without ribbons, it came with out bows… your heart grew three sizes long long ago, and Christmas can’t stop you. I came for the cheer and stayed for the fudge. Namaste


Shelley November 29, 2010 at 12:31 am

Christmas does always seem hard work each year. Since I do the traditional American Thanksgiving meal, Bill gets to do the traditional British Christmas meal. At least you don’t have to sit down to Brussel sprouts!


Melissa November 29, 2010 at 4:26 am

I am totally with you on the pizza rolls!!
This entire post had me giggling. I just got called grinch yesterday bc I was already complaining about christmas music. Hang in there, it will be over soon!!!


Amy Tucker November 29, 2010 at 5:49 am

Haha I love this I make it every year thanks to you, and I did screw it up one year by adding too much salt, Lol


Bonnie November 29, 2010 at 6:03 am

O.K., I’m taking your word that this fudge is foolproof. Heretofore, I’ve made “spoon” fudge. True to it’s name, one has to eat it with a spoon. Why didn’t I just call it fudge sauce? Well, I didn’t think of it.

If this recipe turns out to be as foolproof as you say, I’ll probably gift it all over the midwest and there’ll be a lot of people grateful to you.

Sorry I can’t stop by for the gift wrapping. You would not like who I become when performing that task.



Allison @ Alli 'n Son November 29, 2010 at 6:44 am

Mmmmm. I haven’t made fudge since like, Junior High. Let’s not count how many years that has been, it will be embarrassing for everyone.


Suzi Q November 29, 2010 at 7:27 am

I don’t believe you. Last year I made fudge because it’s pretty much the only thing my husband likes for sweets. And I thoroughly effed up three pans! Since then I’ve sworn off fudge making. It’s far easier to buy a slice and then you don’t feel like you have to eat every last bit, gaining forty pounds in the process, just to not waste it. I’m gonna try this and let you know…


Mrs.Mayhem November 29, 2010 at 7:36 am

I agree with every single item on your list, except Felix Navidad. That song ROCKS!

The recipe looks awesome! I will try it, as I have been invited to the dreaded cookie swap.


Justine November 29, 2010 at 8:18 am

You’re not alone – I’m not feeling it this year either. Maybe it’s because what family we did have moved away so it’s just the three of us, and it’s not quite the same. Oh well – gotta make the best of it. And I so agree with you, no thanks ham or roasts. I think I’m going to go with Chicken curry this year for Christmas :)

Glad to have you and your snark back on this side of the planet. Like you, I’ve not been trolling cyberspace too much these days but hey, today IS cyber Monday. Thought I’d do my part as the good citizen.


Foodiewife November 29, 2010 at 8:43 am

Ah, my morning Snark o’ Coffee. Fortunately, I don’t like fudge. I can make it and give it away and ho-h0-ho that I didn’t eat one. Welcome back.


Emily Z November 29, 2010 at 9:09 am

“No, for the fifth year in a row, you cannot have Moon Sand or Polly Pockets.” – Made me laugh. I don’t even have kids yet but that was funny. I am a borderline Debbie Downer. I love Christmas, but currently am having a hard time embracing the fact that there is SOMETHING going on every freaking weekend! AUGH!

Your fudge looks wonderful. Glad to see you’re back!


Emily Z November 29, 2010 at 9:10 am

Oh and PS. you were my 1,000th comment! I should give you a prize or something! ;)


philosophotarian November 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

I never even realized that roasts–of any kind–were what normal people ate until I was in college. Our family always had a smorgasbord of appetizers and tiny desserts.


Monet November 29, 2010 at 10:17 am

Smile. Christmas can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Especially when you have to go to work Christmas parties (I feel your pain there!) But when we have treats like this fudge…I guess we can’t complain too much! This looks like such an easy and delicious recipe for something that is sure to please young and old alike. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you have a wonderful Monday!


Rudri November 29, 2010 at 10:58 am


I’ve never made fudge before, but because of you and this recipe, I am going to give it the good college try. Thanks for this post this morning. I needed a laugh. I love the way you can be so honest and do it with humor and charm.


Ink November 29, 2010 at 11:01 am

You are NOT to open the door to Creepy Meat Man, ok? Just a reminder.

That fudge looks delish! AND I love this rant. It’s so perfectly how most of us feel but fail to say.


Tamar November 29, 2010 at 11:32 am

You know that any day you want you’re welcome to ditch Christmas and come spend Chanukah with us. No decorating, very few presents, couldn’t care less about the cookies, and I’ll fry up some latkes. Just say when.


Jenna November 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I say screw tradition and:
1) Don’t wear panty hose. It’s so dang uncomfortable.
2) Make whatever makes YOU excited for Christmas dinner!


Camille Brightsmith November 29, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Honey be nice to Jose Feliciano. He’s so adorable!

Otherwise, rant on. And seriously, panty hose. No effing way??!?!?!? Tights. Tights. Tights. Or effing fishnets to really get the other wives blood boiling! You’ve got to mess with people!

I just love your rants. I might try to come over and help you wrap. I adore wrapping presents!


Tiffany November 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Moon Sand—get the f**k off my TV!! Seriously.

Feliz Navidad is on every fricking time I turn on the radio!!

Lastly, what are these panty hose you speak of?


Sherri November 29, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Love this :-). I have been making this fudge recipe since high school – now do it with my kids. I love it. It is yummy (well…. sweetened condensed milk and chocolate… come on ;-). I actually do a milk chocolate version that people seem to like as well….. Always feel like I’m copping out because my Dad’s family used to make this big production out of making candy every year, but…. this is easy and good. Thanks for posting. I have actually NOT made it in a while and have now been prompted to do so :-).


leslie November 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I know I can come here for a relatable good laugh! I totally suckitysuck at wrapping presents too!


Maria November 29, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Ok. I hate pantyhose. I refuse to wear them. Hubby does not have a Holiday Party this year, which makes me doubly happy. I hate wrapping presents too. And I will have to make the fudge, since you say it’s fool proof.

I say we get together and have a few drinks while totally screwing up the wrapping of the presents…


Lyndsay the other Kitchen Witch ;) November 29, 2010 at 8:37 pm

My favourite radio station plays Christmas all day every day and I just happened to involve myself in a racous rendition of Feliz Navidad this afternoon driving home from work.

Did I just say that out loud?

Nice fudge!


Christine November 30, 2010 at 5:27 am

Since becoming a mother I dread the Christmas holidays. How is that the most magical time of the year becomes so much less magical when there are little ones involved? I’m trying to change that this year, and already I feel less sense of impending doom (maybe it’s the happy pills?!). At any rate, I’ve decided I won’t bake, but I’m still working on a mean holiday dinner. My mom does Thanksgiving, I do Christmas. Though, she buys the Turkey.

P.S. I’m trolling your archives. I host book club this month and I need something spectacular, but easy to serve for dinner. Any suggestions?!


girlichef November 30, 2010 at 5:33 am

I’ve chosen denial. It will NOT be here in four weeks. Nope. It will not fly by and my kids will not be left without presents. Ugh. I need some fudge.


Stacia November 30, 2010 at 6:54 am

If I could have any job in the universe (you know, besides adoring my children for a living), I would wrap presents. Love. It. Love it sooooooo much. How about I’ll wrap your presents and you can pay me in fudge??


Futureblackmail November 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

More scary than only 4 weeks till Christmas….I only get two more paychecks before then. ;)


Donna November 30, 2010 at 9:56 am

I stopped doing pant hose when my hands got too crippled to pull those suckers on. I testify in court a fair bit and I’ve gone to pant suits and trouser socks. Another upside of not wearing skirts and dresses…no more icy cold drafts up the legs in our nasty winters.


Michele November 30, 2010 at 10:08 am

Pee myself? No. Crap myself. Yeah, I just did. Christmas??? Agh. At least I can make your fudge and forget about the presents I have to buy :)


Tina November 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Okay…thanks for the laugh AND the fudge recipe! I WILL NOT do cookie swaps for that exact reason. And last year some nut job in my family bought my tot that damn moon sand. Holy crap….that stuff is awful. And giftwrapping? Seriously. I love it. I SUCK at it. But I love it.
When you have time I have a little story about how I cut myself trying to make homemade christmas ornaments for the tree the other night. GAH! How stupid is that?


SuziCate December 1, 2010 at 6:27 am

I can not manage to wrap a pretty gift to save my life. I give a hearty thanks to whoever invented gift bags…that’s all I use…and if it doesn’t fit in one, well, who needs to be surprised?!


Colleen December 1, 2010 at 7:12 am

Call me crazy, but I enjoy gift wrapping, always have. I do all my mom’s too.
It’s thoughtless, and lately I need thoughtless. The less thinking the better.
Give me a hot chocolate heavily spiked with kahula and I’m a jolly gift-wrapping elf, rosy cheeks and all! It’s the shopping I could do without.

I still don’t completely understand the workings of a cookie swap. I’ve never had to do one, and I think I’ll keep it that way. :)


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