Peppermint Fudge

Cookie Week continues, well, sort of.  Okay, so this isn’t a “cookie” recipe, but I enjoy making it along with Christmas cookies, and it’s always a hit when I serve it.  For that reason, I’m including it in Cookie Week.

I am a big peppermint fan, so I have to be careful when I make this.  For instance, I try to only make it when I have somewhere to take it all, leaving just a few edge pieces for the family to nibble on.

This is really, REALLY delicious with semisweet chocolate too.  In fact, I prefer it that way.  The pretty colors don’t show up as well, but the flavor combination is sublime.  You could make a batch of each, but if you’re like me, that could be very, very dangerous thing to do.

I often use candy canes, but if it’s convenient for me to pick up some peppermint crunch (available at candy supply/baking supply stores,) I do that instead.  I like the red and green together, plus it’s already crunched up for me.

I will confess that this recipe is a “cheater’s” fudge, not made with the proper fudge-making ingredients or technique.  But it tastes so good that no one will care.

This fudge is sooo easy to make and has Christmas written all over it.  The kids will love helping you with this one.

Peppermint Fudge

3 cups white chocolate chips

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (I like Eagle Brand)

12 drops pure peppermint oil (you can also use 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract)

1 cup peppermint crunch or coarsely crushed candy canes

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.  This will make it so much easier to remove the fudge from the pan (the whole thing at once) and cut into nice, even pieces when you’re done.

Combine white chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk in saucepan over low heat.  Stir frequently until almost melted.  Remove from heat and stir until smooth.

You can also melt this in the microwave—15 second intervals at 75% power.  I use the microwave as little as possible due to health concerns, but in light of this recipe’s ingredients, it seems kind of silly to say that right now.  And, truth be told, I went ahead and nuked it this time.

Stir in peppermint oil and crushed candy canes or peppermint crunch, and spread evenly in pan.

Chill at least 2 hours or overnight, then remove the whole block of fudge from the pan by lifting the foil edges.  Cut into even squares with a large chef’s knife.

The fudge stores well in the refrigerator for a few days.  Beyond that, you may notice the candy canes begin to “melt” and look a little less firm around the edges, although the flavor will still be wonderful.

I have had good results freezing this as well, although there will be some similar “weeping” of the candy canes upon thawing, which makes the fudge a little stickier.  But honestly, I don’t think anyone really minds.

Tomorrow I’ll wrap up Cookie Week with two different recipes for an old, not-exactly-a-cookie favorite, along with the results of our family’s recent taste test.