A lot of my Christmas recipes are traditional family hand-me-downs - Grandma's Meringue Cookies, Mom's fruitcake recipe with just candied fruits and nuts, my sister's Cranberry Liqueur. But my favorite holiday treat is homemade fudge, and the family recipes just didn't cut it. They called for candy thermometers or boiling the mixture to something-something stage involving dripping it onto a plate or into a cup of cold water, then glopping around with it to assess when it was ready. And then the fudge didn't ever stay creamy good - it quickly turned into hard sugary cubes. I now use a new recipe, begged from a co-worker a few years ago. So quick, so easy, and so, so good!
Quick and Easy Fudge (makes 64 one-inch pieces)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (see note below)
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups chopped nuts, or craisins, or dried pie cherries, or ?
Butter 8"x8" pan. Heat milk and chocolates in 2-quart pan, stirring constantly, until melted. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and whatever else you're adding. Spread evenly in pan. Refrigerate 1 hour, then cut into 1" pieces.
Note: If you have a no-canned goods kitchen, here's a recipe for making your own
Sweetened Condensed Milk (equal to a 14-oz can)
1 cup instant dry milk
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
⅔ cup sugar
⅓ cup boiling water
Mix in a blender until smooth. Store refrigerated.