Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nutella fudge

Where did the time go? It feels like just yesterday that I was making turkey place settings and cooking Thanksgiving dinner and all of a sudden, Christmas is already over with. Since I obviously lost track of time during the holiday season this year, I wasn't able to fit much baking into my schedule. I was, however, able to whip up a couple of new recipes that took practically no time at all.

For holiday gifts for coworkers, this year I made a candied pecan that was as simple as tossing the nuts in two different gallon-sized bags, once with an egg mixture and the other with a cinnamon and sugar concoction then baking for a an hour at a low heat. To accompany these small packages, I made cinnamon ornaments. The recipe suggested baking the ornaments, which I did, but I also let a handful air dry. If you have the time available to air dry, I thought they turned out much nicer. These simple ornaments made my apartment smell absolutely divine!

The pièce de résistance, though, was a salted, Nutella fudge. I made three batches of this simple-to-make candy and people loved it. I put some on trays throughout my office and packaged some up for small gifts (and maybe a few managed to make it into my belly before I could even get them out of the door). On the third batch I made, I was very tempted to warm about a 1/3 cup of peanut butter and swirl it into the fudge, but at the last second decided not to mess with what was already established as being delicious.

The recipe I found on Pinterest and it came from the Tasty Kitchen blog. Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Nutella & Sea Salt Fudge

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes
Servings: Depending on how large you cut the pieces, 30-42
Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 Tablespoon Butter, For Greasing Pan
  • 1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 8 ounces, weight High-quality Bittersweet (60%) Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Nutella (chocolate-hazelnut Spread), Room Temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature, Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces
  • ½ teaspoons (approximately) Sea Salt
Preparation Instructions

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overlap on the sides.

In a medium glass or stainless steel bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate chips, Nutella, and butter.

Form a double-boiler by setting the bowl over a medium pot of gently simmering water. The water level should be low enough that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, spread the top smooth with a spatula, and sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, at least 2 hours.

Once the fudge is chilled, run a knife under hot water, dry it off, and run it around the edges of the pan to loosen the fudge. Using the overhanging parchment paper, lift the fudge out. Peel off the parchment paper. Cut the fudge into 3/4-inch squares. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil.

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