Can I tell you something? I’ve cheated before. It happened when I was in 5th grade and taking a social studies test. I didn’t know the capitol of South Dakota, or what its major exports were, and so… I cheated. And then after school I broke down crying in front of my mom; I’m really not that good at keeping these kinds of secrets. So yeah, based on past experience I didn’t really think cheating was going to be a good thing. However, this time there were no tears and I wasn’t grounded from watching TV for two weeks. Instead, there was fudge. Lots and lots of awesome fudge.
Until now, I had never made fudge. The reason I have never made fudge before is because I thought it was difficult and involved scary and unknown objects like candy thermometers. Whenever I see a recipe that mentions a candy thermometer, I turn the page as quickly as I can. Seriously, things like that make me nervous. However, this was easy, easy fudge. By easy, I mean it took less than 30 minutes and only 5 ingredients. There were no thermometers of any kind involved. I took it to a party and everyone went on and on about how they couldn’t believe I made fudge for them, and I sort of felt like a cheater, knowing I didn’t really spend as much time or effort on this as they all thought. I guess sometimes cheating can be a delicious thing to do.
Chocolate Cinnamon Fudge
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Okay, I know I’m on a bit of a Giada kick, but you’re gonna thank me when you try this. If you’re not a big fan of cinnamon just leave it out. If you really love nuts in your fudge, just add 1 cup of chopped nuts at the end right before you pour it in the pan.
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound (about 2 cups) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch baking pan. Line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper, allowing a couple inches of parchment paper to hang over the side.
In a medium glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the condensed milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate chips and butter. Put the bowl on a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth, about 6-8 minutes. (add nuts at this point if you like them) Using a spatula, scrape the mixture into the buttered pan and smooth the top. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until firm.
Holding the edges of the parchment paper that are hung over the pan, life the fudge out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Peel off the parchment paper and cut the fudge into 1-inch pieces. Store refrigerated in an airtight container or freeze, if you don’t eat all of it while standing in the kitchen.