I love dessert. If I could be guaranteed the nutritional value of a meal and skip right to the sweets, I would. Now, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a good meal–steak and burgers are right up my alley. And pizza. Oh, and potato chips. Obviously all very nutritious. But anyway, I still love dessert. And I feel that it’s not an option when you’re hosting guests. If they’re staying long enough to sit and sip a beverage, there should be dessert.
So last weekend when we had a meeting at our house, I served a light lunch of taco salad. Now what dessert to balance that? Well, one of the team members is gluten-intolerant (hence the taco salad which uses corn tortilla chips), so how could I accommodate that and still have something that tastes good? (Definitely thankful he’s not diabetic, too!) I had a Better Homes & Gardens monthly food contest on the brain–fudge, to be exact. Fudge doesn’t take flour… It’s relatively quick to make… Easy… Hmmmm….
I ended up tweaking one of the easiest, best fudge recipes I’ve found. It’s in my old, beat-up Betty Crocker Cookbook. I discovered that my tweaking isn’t too original, as there are other variations of this layered fudge out there, but it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to stress about entering this month’s contest. This fudge served its purpose. It was pleasing to the eye. Pleasing to the palette. Rich. Smooth. Minty. Chocolate. Delicious.
This is exactly how I made it. Some variations out there make all the chocolate at once and reheat some of it for the top layer. I only used 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract so that you could taste the chocolate, too. Some recipes used two-three times more. It’s purely your taste preference.
- 1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, divided
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 2 tsp. vanilla, divided
- 1 cup white vanilla chips
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 5 drops green food coloring
Line an 8” loaf pan with foil. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a measuring cup. Combine 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder, 1 tsp. vegetable oil, and 6 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tsp. vanilla. Spread in bottom of lined loaf pan. Set aside to cool a bit, about 15 minutes.
Wipe out saucepan with paper towels. Combine vanilla chips and another 6 Tbsp. of sweetened condensed milk in saucepan and heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in peppermint extract and food coloring. Carefully spread evenly over chocolate layer in loaf pan. Cool for 15-30 minutes.
Wipe out saucepan again. Combine remaining 1 cup chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk (about 6 Tbsp.), cocoa powder, and vegetable oil in saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tsp. vanilla. Carefully spread over mint layer in loaf pan. Refrigerate for at least 1-1/2 hours.
Remove fudge from loaf pan using foil. Peel foil off fudge; cut fudge in half lengthwise. Cut into 1/2″ wide slices. Keep leftovers (if there are any) refrigerated. Yield: about 32 slices.