This summer Michael made me the happiest wife in the world when he took the kids and me to Mackinac Island. (Just so you know it’s pronounced mack-in-aw regardless of that crazy “c” at the end. It’s an English word that was shortened from a French word that was taken from a Native American word. 🙂 The Native Americans thought that the shape of the island looked like a turtle so their original name for it translates to “big turtle.” Fun facts.) All I knew about the island was that it was home to the Grand Hotel which became famous to me after falling in love with the movie Somewhere in Time. As we walked the grounds of the Grand Hotel I used my phone to play the movie’s theme song while Mike first rolled his eyes and then just tried to walk extra fast so he wouldn’t look like he was with me. LOL
A definite added bonus was that we later found out that Mackinac Island is known for it’s fudge. While walking or biking down Main Street the smell of chocolate fills the air. About every third store is a different fudge shop and even more amazing is that we could stand at one fudge location and have the identical shop within view. So I could stand at Murdick’s Fudge and see another Murdick’s Fudge down the road and across the street. Same with Joann’s Fudge. Days before we left Ann Arbor I got online to research the best place to buy fudge on the island. It wasn’t easy because everyone has their own tastes. We went to the island during the weekend of the Fudge Festival and they gave away boxes of free fudge to all the kids! I asked locals where to get the best fudge but the answer I always got was, “It depends on what type of fudge you like.” When I raised my eyebrows and scrunched my nose it was obvious that I was not a fudge expert. By the time we left though, we all were. Every store hands out free samples of whatever you ask for so you can try before you buy. Needless to say, we didn’t need lunch, we forced ourselves to eat dinner, and we all left in sugar comas. The hardest part is picking a favorite because they are all really outstanding. Joann’s Fudge Shop has a smooth tasting, very soft, melt-in-your fingers kind of fudge which is what this particular recipe reminds me of. I’m not gonna lie, Murdick’s Fudge was our favorite even though it’s slightly grainier. When I find a recipe that matches Murdick’s Fudge I’ll be sure to post it too. 🙂
It’s predictable that after having such a wonderful experience on the island we would want to relive it again through fudge. It has been my goal since we got back to learn how to make fudge. I spent about fifteen minutes picking one fudge maker’s brain while we were in Mackinaw City (it had rained all day and we were the only ones in the shop) and he was kind enough to tell me about using all natural ingredients, adjusting the recipe due to humidity, and the basics of the process. I came home pumped. This past week I tried a recipe using Hershey cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, milk and butter. All normal, easy to say ingredients. The recipe said the fudge was outstanding but it was a difficult recipe to follow. Hmmph. Well, I cook often. I am a great reader. I was pretty sure I could follow directions precisely… Let me just say I failed miserably. Maybe I stirred it too long, maybe it was because I left it for two minutes when one child was hitting another, maybe it was because it was super humid that day, or maybe it’s because I was not meant to be an Oompa Loompa. I was convinced the fudge was inedible, but Mike and the kids ate it anyway. Three days later I was still scraping chocolate off the bottom of my pan. The second experience with peanut butter fudge from a blog went much the same way, except for being rock hard it was super crumbly. I threw it out without telling anyone. This time, everything went smoothly, and thus the fudge came out that way too. What’s more, the easy adjective in this title couldn’t be more accurate. This fudge took me maybe ten minutes to make. The hardest part of this recipe was waiting around to let it set up in the fridge, and it turns out, I couldn’t even do that. There were many taste tests before three hours were up!
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup peanut butter chips
- 1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk, divided
- 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp salted butter, softened
- 1 tsp + 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Butter & line an 8×8 inch metal pan with a sheet of parchment paper making sure that it’s long enough to hang over the sides. This will ensure easy fudge removal later. 🙂 The butter helps keep the parchment paper in place while you’re trying to pour in the fudge. Believe me, you need it or you might end up fighting with the paper…I’ve done it.
- In a medium, heavy sauce pan stir together the chocolate chips, 2 Tbsp butter & 1 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk over low heat until all the chocolate chips have melted. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract. Remove from the heat.
- In a small, heavy sauce pan stir together the peanut butter chips, remaining Sweetened Condensed Milk and 1 tsp butter until all the peanut butter chips have melted. Stir in the 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the Sweetened Condensed Milk because you want all that goodness. Plus, it helps thin out the peanut butter mixture.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan. Using an offset spatula, smooth out the top until level. Drop the pan from 1in high 2-3 times on the counter to get all the air bubbles out.
- Dollop the peanut butter mixture evenly across the chocolate. Using a butter knife, swirl the peanut butter into the chocolate. Drop the pan a couple more times for good measure.
- Allow to set in the refrigerator for 3 hours. (But, just so you know, it’s tastable after only 1 hour. It’s still kinda soft, but definitely sneak in your mouth when no one is looking doable.)
- Carefully pull the parchment paper up and remove the fudge from the pan. Cut into squares & store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Recipe only slightly adapted from javacupcake.com
Notes – If you prefer room temperature fudge, you can leave this fudge out for about thirty minutes and then eat it. It still holds together and is only slightly soft. It’s perfect to sink your teeth into also if your teeth tend to be sensitive to cold. However, after an hour it’s slightly sticky and begins melting a bit as you hold it in your fingers. So you know, try to eat it between 30-60 minutes out of the fridge and you’re good! Good luck with that though, because it smells amazing as soon as you start cutting into it. I usually have to have a piece immediately and cut extra to leave out for a bit. Nope I cannot resist the temptation of chocolate.