by Stephanie Zonis
OK, you all know how I'm always going on about getting your kids involved in cooking from an early age. Not all of my recipes are suitable for small helpers, but this one is. It's also a good choice if your kitchen is unexplored territory to you. You can make this in the microwave or on top of the stove; it's quick and very easy and quite chocolatey.
Another nice thing about this recipe is that there are many ways to change it to suit you. For example, use a different kind of nut--chopped walnuts or pecans would be great. Use all semisweet chocolate, instead of half milk chocolate. Leave out the marshmallows, and add 1 to 1-1/2 tsp. Of pure peppermint extract, or to taste, for chocolate mint fudge. Omit the marshmallows and use chopped almonds as the nuts, adding pure almond extract to taste (start with 1/2 tsp.) for double almond chocolate fudge. The possibilities are almost endless, so be creative. By the way, if you're going to add extracts, add them after the vanilla is stirred in; start with 1/2 tsp., mix it in, and taste a bit. You can always add more. and make sure you use pure extracts!
9 ozs. semisweet chocolate, chopped or as good-quality chips
9 ozs. thin milk chocolate bars, broken up (or use good-quality chips)
1 can (14-15 ozs.) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pats
Few grains salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
Line an 8" by 8" square pan (at least 1-1/2" deep) with heavy-duty aluminum foil (or use doubled sheets of regular foil), shiny side up. Set aside.
In large heatproof bowl, combine chocolates, condensed milk, butter, and salt. Place over simmering water on low heat; with large spoon, stir often just until melted and smooth. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl occasionally with rubber spatula. Remove from heat and hot water; mixture will be thick.
Stir in vanilla thoroughly. Now, working quickly, stir in marshmallows and peanuts just until evenly distributed. Turn into prepared pan and quickly spread level. Chill at least 4 hours in refrigerator.
With large, sharp, heavy, straight-edged knife, cut into 36 squares. Rinse knife blade under hot water and dry frequently. Wrap squares individually in plastic wrap (this helps to keep them from drying out). Store in refrigerator. Serve cold or allow to come to room temperature before eating.
Note: To make this in the microwave, use a large microwaveable bowl. Combine chocolate, condensed milk, butter, and salt in bowl. Microwave at 50% (medium) power for 1-1/2 minutes. Stir very thoroughly. Continue to microwave for short intervals at 50% (medium) power, stirring well after each, just until mixture is melted and smooth. Proceed as above.
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This page created November 1998
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