When I was a kid, our next door neighbor would always send over a tin of fudge for Christmas. Wait, not a tin, I meant a pie tin. It came wrapped in aluminum foil with one of those paper red or green bows on top. It wasn't pretty, but it was by far my favorite gift from anyone, ever, each year.
I grew up. Moved away. But every year at Christmas time I found myself missing Gramma Harper's fudge.
At some point I took my 2 eldest children down to California to visit old friends, the parks and to show them places where I'd grown up. I was amazed and happy to find Gramma Harper was still there. Still tending her roses and greeting us with kisses. While reminiscing about years passed, I slipped in that I'd always missed her fudge. She laughed a full and cackly laugh and said, "It's the recipe on the back of the marshmallow stuff!"
After many thanks and many more hugs and kisses I returned home and sat on the secret for months. Waiting for Christmas. Of course, the fudge and the story were both muy enjoyable and I still try to make it every year.
I hadn't planned on including that story, but I guess Gramma Harper wanted a little recognition. =)
If you've been one of the many, many people who've used this recipe for years, you know that Kraft, in their infinite wisdom, decided one year to CHANGE the recipe on the back. ACK! I can not explain the frustration. What was once titled "Fantasy Fudge" was now "Cream Fudge" and was just all wrong.
I haven't been able to put together a fully accurate account of why Kraft chose to do this, but it seems to center around Kraft buying Baker's Chocolate. The recipe was changed to substitute chocolate chips for Baker's. I think after enough people complained they decided to change it back - as you can see the picture above boasts the Fantasy Fudge recipe. While the recipe has gone back to the original quantities, they still include "1 1/2 pkg. (12 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped".
Thankfully, I had chosen to write down the original recipe while I was visiting, but since I figured, "It's just on the package anyway," I had misplaced the recipe. Hence the frustration!
After several moves and finally unpacking some boxes I found the glorious original recipe. Angels sang - I heard them! Now I was sure I had the right one.
Gramma Harper's/Original Kraft Fantasy Fudge
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) margarine or butter
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1 pkg (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme or fluff
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla
Prepare chosen pan. (9x13 or 9 in. square - or any shape you wish really.) They suggest greasing the pan - I prefer parchment.
Combine butter, sugar and milk in a 2-3 quart pan. Bring to a full boil on medium heat stirring constantly.
Continue to boil 5 minutes or until candy thermometer reaches 234°.
Remove from heat and stir in chips, vanilla and nuts if using. (No nuts in my fudge either.)
Stir well before pouring into pan and allowing to cool at room temperature.
I will tell you fudge is always best after a day or so. It's one of those things that's best to make ahead of time. Some people swear fudge should always be served at room temperature in order to experience proper creaminess. I think we've mentioned here before that I prefer all my chocolate to have some bite to it. I store my fudge as squares wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge. May be sacrilege, but - iz hows I likes it.
I found this fudge site just today so I thought I'd share. There's even a recipe for Vegan Fudge which is one I hadn't figured out yet. It uses the above recipe as a perfect example of how NOT to make fudge, but that's ok. In fact, that's partly why I thought this site was cool and why I'm including it. The information is pretty extensive especially if you're into the science of it all (which I am!). I haven't had time to try any of these recipes yet, but I've also heard this name somewhere before so I thought it was worth sharing.