VirginiaLynne has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.
Easy Fudge That Kids Can Make!
Do you love homemade candy—but think you don't have time to make it? Think again. This recipe is so easy, even my kids can make it. And because you use the microwave, it is safe for them to make it by themselves (with Mom in the kitchen supervising, of course).
A few years ago, our family went on vacation to Mackinaw Island where there were many different fudge shops, each with their own recipes. We loved going to all the different shops, tasting all the varieties, and voting on our favorites. What were our favorites? Chocolate peanut butter and dark chocolate cherry fudge! We even bought a cookbook. When we came home, my kids wanted to make fudge for friends. Most of the recipes involved cooking on the stove, but I developed this one that uses the microwave and only uses a few simple ingredients.
My kids love the idea that they can make presents for friends, teachers, and neighbors all by themselves. When the holidays roll around, they decorate a plate to give away using colorful M&Ms or sprinkles that match the holiday colors, like red and green for Christmas, pastels for Easter, or fall colors for Thanksgiving. Let your kids make your next holiday treat!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
about 40 1-inch square pieces
- 3 cups chocolate chips (any type or flavor)
- 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or other flavored extract
- 1/2 to 1 cup nuts, M&Ms, chopped cherries, crushed peppermint , marshmallows or other candies
- Put chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt in microwave for 1 minute. Stir. If not fully melted, put back in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time. Stir until smooth.
- Add sweetened condensed milk. Stir until smooth. Add salt and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Optional: Add any other ingredients, like nuts or candy, and stir.
- Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Spread mixture in the pan, press down with a spoon (or hands). Optional: Press sprinkles, M&Ms, nuts, marshmallows, or candies on top to decorate.
- Chill until firm. Cut into squares or use small cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Optional: Put candies in mini-muffin cupcake liners for serving or packing into a box for gift giving.
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Try These Ideas!
- Use a variety of other types of chips like milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, white chocolate, mint chocolate, or a combination of two kinds of chips.
- Add in ½ to 1 cup of nuts, M&Ms, chopped maraschino cherries, toffee bits, caramel chips, or coconut before pouring fudge into pan.
- Layer two types of fudge-like peanut butter fudge on the bottom and chocolate on top (one of our favorites!).
- You can make a marbled fudge by making two flavors and alternating drops of each kind in the pan then swirling them together slightly with a knife before patting them down.
- Add 1/2 cup Nutter Butter or peanut butter to the fudge for a creamy, fabulous taste. You can mix this in completely, or leave ripples of the butter for a great flavor!
- If you cut out with cookie cutters and have pieces left over, you can melt them and pour into the pan again or roll into balls and press into sprinkles, chopped nuts, coconut, or cocoa.
- Make truffles by rolling the fudge into balls, melting some chocolate, and then using a fork to dip the fudge balls into the chocolate to coat them.
Why We Love This Recipe!
- Kids can make this with minimal supervision: Grade school kids can make this on their own, and even a preschooler can help stir and cut out shapes.
- Tastes Great: After trying lots of fudge recipes, we've realized that this one is one of the very best even though it is so easy. It is so creamy and delicious that no one will guess you didn't slave over the stove (unless you want to include the recipe on the gift to share the secret!).
- Makes a Quick and Easy Holiday Gift: We cut the fudge with heart-shaped cookie cutters for Valentines; flower and egg-shaped cookie cutters for Easter; and stars, bells, and trees for Christmas. Top these tiny fudge treats with colorful sprinkles to match the holiday.
Tiny Cookie Cutters We Use
- milk chocolate
- semi-sweet chocolate
- dark chocolate
- peanut butter
- white chocolate (add different extracts like maple, walnut or strawberry for other flavors)
- mint chocolate
Candies, Nuts, and Fruit:
- walnuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, honey roasted nuts
- marshmallows (try different flavored ones!)
- chopped Oreos
- dried fruit
- candied fruit
- Peanut butter or Nutella (add up to 1/2 cup)
- chopped candy (e.g., Butterfingers)
- candied cherries or maraschino cherries (dry with a paper towel)
- Maple: add 1 teaspoon maple extract to white chocolate.
- Lemon: add 1 teaspoon lemon extract and 1 tablespoon lemon zest to white chocolate.
- Orange: add 1 teaspoon orange extract and 1 tablespoon orange zest to white chocolate.
- Strawberry: add 1 teaspoon strawberry extract and 1/4 cup chopped dried strawberries to white chocolate.