Quick, Easy and Delicious Fudge

My mother-in-law was a fudge connoisseur.  A fudge addict, really.  Anyplace she went she looked for fudge to buy.  It didn't matter if it was the middle of summer or the start of fall, if someone was selling fudge, she was in line to buy it.

And then there was Christmas time. 

With a fully decorated house and a woodstove cranking to keep it toasty, her kitchen became a fudge processing center.  Gift boxes were lined up on the dining room table ready to receive the finished product.  She cooked and stirred and stirred some more.  As the fudge set and cooled, it would get cut and placed into those adorable little boxes.  When you picked up a sweet little red box from under the tree that weighed 50 pounds {a slight exaggeration}, you knew you were a lucky recipient.

It has become a tradition in our household at Christmas as well, although we keep the production down to a pound or two.  While she enjoyed making the old-fashioned long version of fudge, I very much enjoy the super quick yet still delicious version. 

Quick & Easy Fudge

1 (12-ounce) bag + 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips {2 1/2 cups total}
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnut halves/pieces, optional
8 -inch
cake pan, lightly greased with softened butter

Line an 8-inch pan with either aluminum foil or food-safe waxed paper.  Lightly butter.
In a medium size pan over low heat, add the chocolate chips, milk and vanilla. Stir until the chips are melted and all are combined.

Take the pan off the stove and stir in any additional ingredients.

Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and let sit at least 6 hours prior to cutting.  {you can refrigerate for an hour to expedite setting time}  When all set, lift out the foil/waxed paper and peel it off the fudge. Place the fudge on a cutting board to cut as desired.

Some delicious combinations:

- add 3/4 cup salted peanuts and 1/2 cup raisins for Chunky Fudge
- add 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts and 1cup mini marshmallows for Rocky Road Fudge

Additional fudge recipes:
Cake Batter Fudge
Maple Walnut Fudge
Quick & Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

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