Here’s the Secret to Making Foolproof Fudge

The secret to making foolproof fudge is: using the microwave. (Really!)

Homemade chocolate fudge with walnuts on plate over wooden table.Whiteaster/Shutterstock

The holidays are drawing closer, and it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll gift to the soccer coach, dance teacher, doorman, neighbor, dog walker, and all the other people that you want to send some Christmas cheer. It’s the perfect occasion to make something homemade—but you’ll need a foolproof recipe. Knowing how to make fudge the easy way definitely comes in handy!

What You’ll Need

  • 14 oz chocolate chips
  • 14 oz (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract (you can even make your own)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt

Step 1: Microwave it

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, cover the chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk. Here’s the shocking secret—you microwave on high for 2 minutes! Then, stir well and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring well in between until chocolate is fully melted.

Step 2: Add butter

Stir in butter until well combined and microwave for a final 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla. Stir in ¾ cup of chopped nuts. This is the real difference between fudge and ganache. 

Step 3: Mold it

Pour mixture into an 8×8 pan that’s lined with foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle the top of the fudge with the remaining ¼ cup nuts and the flaky sea salt.

Step 4: Chill

Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours until set. Just slice and pack up for the perfect Christmas gift—but don’t forget to save a piece for yourself.

Pro Tip: This fudge is best at room temperature, so remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.

How to Customize Your Fudge

Go For More Flavor

There are endless ways to customize fudge because of the massive variety of chocolate chips sold in stores. (Here are the best chocolate chips, according to the Taste of Home Test Kitchen.) Here are some ideas:

  • White chocolate chips with macadamia nuts
  • Peanut butter chips with peanuts
  • Dark chocolate chips with pecans
  • Dark chocolate chips with M&Ms
  • Butterscotch chips with Nilla Wafers—my personal favorite!

Swap Out the Crunch

You can use 1 cup of dried fruit, candy that won’t melt, or chopped pretzels in place of the nuts in this recipe.

Pick a Festive Topping

You can also skip garnishing with chopped nuts and salt, and opt for sprinkles instead. Pick ones designed for the holiday or a color that’s meaningful to the person you’re gift-giving to. Don’t miss the secret ingredient for the best brownies, too.

Now that you know how to make fudge the easy way, be sure to check out these other easy-to-make desserts, too. Next, here are 17 more easy DIY Christmas presents everyone will love.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home

Mandy Naglich
Mandy is a food and beverage writer with bylines at WNYC, Munchies, Mic and October. She's a Certified Cicerone and award-winning homebrewer living, writing and cooking in New York City.