Apparently I promised The Boy I would make a dessert for his work potluck. (I claim it was a promise I made in my sleep, under the influence of a sleeping pill) Normally I would be really excited to figure out some new, fun dessert to make. But the glitch here was, his party was on a Friday, at noon. And… If you read this blog at all, you should know that I work an incredibly erratic work schedule that ends on Thursday night, technically the wee hours of Friday. I do ALL my baking between late Friday night and Sunday. The LAST thing I wanted to do was come home at 2am and wait for eggs & butter to come to room temp, and then beat this, whisk that, and wait for it to bake. So I climbed up on my counter, scoured the cabinets, and realized I had some sweetened condensed milk. I found a recipe on Eagle Brand’s website for fudge that seemed really easy, so fudge it was!

Of course, I couldn’t just make fudge. I mean, I’m ERIN, I have to try some kinda twist on it! So I crushed 5 candy canes in my Magic Bullet Blender, and mixed 1/2 into the fudge, and the other half sprinkled on top. I think it made for some very pretty & festive fudge! I also subbed 1 tsp peppermint extract for the vanilla. In the past I have tried to exchange vanilla for peppermint equally, and wasn’t a fan of the overpowering flavor. In this fudge, the peppermint flavor came from both the candy canes, and the extract. It was the perfect balance for my tastes. And one last optional tip, I added 2 tsp of instant espresso powder, because my original plan was peppermint mocha flavor. It wasn’t quite enough espresso to give the fudge that specific mocha flavor (perhaps I should experiment a little more for that one), but as I learned Friday morning (well after the fudge was set) from TheKitchn, espresso helps give the chocolate an extra kick to get the best flavor. I love it when I have a little serendipity in the kitchen!

Oh, and one more thing… I was sort of hoping for some leftovers, but apparently, this fudge went over pretty well. Not a single piece was left!


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Candy Cane Fudge

adapted from Eagle Brand's basic recipe

Ingredients:

3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli)
1 (14 oz.) can fat free sweetened condensed milk
Dash salt
2 tsp instant espresso powder, or instant coffee *optional* (I do a quick swirl in the Magic Bullet Blender, to be sure this is as finely ground as possible)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
5 peppermint candy canes, crushed

Directions:

Line 8- or 9-inch pan with wax paper.

Melt chocolate with sweetened condensed milk, salt, and espresso powder in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and peppermint extracts, and half the crushed candy canes. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Top with the rest of the candy cane crumbs.

Chill 2 hours or until firm. (Mine set at room temperature for about 6 hours while I slept) Remove from pan by lifting edges of wax paper; peel off paper. Cut into squares.

**This time last year, I sent off these DELICIOUS Gingerbread White Chocolate Blondies to The Boy’s Christmas party. Man oh MAN were those good!**