Happy Endings

I remember growing up and being amazed by the art of candy-making. I say "art" because there seemed to be so many things a good candy maker had to take into account in order to make a successful batch of goodies. The freshness and temperature of the ingredients, the kind of pans and other equipment used ... even what the weather was like outside! It left me in awe and, frankly, reluctant to dive into the process myself.

Many years later, I've discovered that even the timid among us can enjoy homemade candy. It really depends on which kinds of sweets you want to make and what kind of equipment you have at your disposal. This month, I'm sharing one of the simplest and most accessible candy recipes I have. This fudge can be flavored in many different ways by simply changing the kind of chips and/or extract used. That said, I think my favorite rendition is this simple, silky peppermint fudge. All you need are 4 ingredients, a small saucepan, a way to mix and spread the fudge (I like my heat-resistant spatula), and a baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Then you just take a few minutes and after a bit of chilling time, you've got a batch of decadent fudge!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Peppermint Fudge

  • 1 (12-ounce package) bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 T. cold unsalted butter - cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or nonstick foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.

In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and condensed milk. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the butter and extract, and stir until the butter has melted.

Spread the chocolate mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours and up to 2 weeks.

Using the overhangs, transfer the fudge to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares.

  • Yields: About 128 pieces
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling time