Wednesday, June 11, 2014

See's Copycat Fudge

See's Copycat Fudge - made June 6, 2014 from The Girl Who Ate Everything
I mentioned how hot it's been lately, right? My operating temperature range is 50-75ish degrees F. Anything into the 80s and I start turning on my electric fan, break out the shorts and tank tops and ice myself down with cold drinks; once it hits the 90s, my spoiled-weather-princess whining goes into full force. You don't even want to see - or hear - me when we hit triple digits.
One of the reasons I get cranky in hot weather is it impedes my baking because it's too hot to turn my oven on. Yes, I could turn on the air conditioner and the oven but that seems like a waste of energy just to keep my spoiled-weather-princess standing. Although rest assured I'm tempted often enough. So in hot weather, in the interest of energy conservation and to keep my utility bills low (cuz I'm also cheap), I turn to no-oven options. Such as fudge. We already know about my spotted history with fudge, from the Fudge Failure That Shall Not Be Named to the I Surprised Myself success. I usually reserve fudge making for the Christmas season but it'll also do in a pinch when it's too hot to bake.
This is supposed to be a copycat version of the fudge from See's Candy. If you live east of the Mississippi, you might not be familiar with See's. They started in San Francisco and are predominant in the West. I have a sentimental fondness for See's. Their fudge is just a little too sweet for me nowadays and they put walnuts in theirs but it used to be my favorite See's Candy treat when I was a teen. I don't know if I could say this is really like their fudge but it's still good fudge. I also find this a bit too sweet (look at the ingredient list and you'll know why) but it helps to add the toasted almonds to cut some of the sugar. The butter did have a tendency to separate out when I spread this in the pan so you may need to blot with a paper towel before it cools completely. This had a nice creamy texture once it had cooled and set. You can chill it or freeze it for later (this makes a lot of fudge) but let it come to just a trifle cooler than room temperature before cutting and serving. Always keep fudge well wrapped so it doesn't dry out. And cut these babies small - trust me.
3 (12 ounce) packages semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (7 ounce) container marshmallow cream 
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened, cut into tablespoons
2 tablespoons vanilla extract 
2 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped
4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups whole toasted almonds, optional but recommended
  1. Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil or parchment paper. 
  2. Place chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, butter, vanilla, and nuts in large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Pour sugar and evaporated milk in a very large pot. Bring mixture to a boil and boil briskly for 7 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and pour into the bowl containing the first mixture. Mix until incorporated completely. Add almonds if using. Pour into prepared pan, smooth top and refrigerate until set.
  4. Slice into squares and serve. You can prepare this ahead of time and freeze if desired.

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