chocolate (peppermint) fudge

After my headache inducting efforts to make caramels I decided to try something that seemed a bit simpler.  Dan loves fudge so when he saw the fudge recipe in my candy cookbook he requested that fudge be my next endeavor.  I happily obliged.  I'd never thought of myself as a fudge person, but after making it, I love it!

I made a standard chocolate fudge, but I think this recipe would be easy to customize, especially if you wanted to do a peppermint chocolate fudge.  I included a little edit to the recipe for a peppermint version if you want to do that, since it is the season for peppermint goodies, after all.  Fudge is pretty quick and easy to make, so I think it'd make for a nice gift to give out to friends, family, or coworkers.  Dan and I really want to go around town and give little Christmas gifts to our favorite service industry folks, and I think I may make another batch of fudge for just that.  

(recipe via Sweet Confections)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup corn syrup
3/4 tsp kosher salt
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (for peppermint fudge, use 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp peppermint extract)
Candy canes or peppermints, crushed (if you're making peppermint chocolate fudge)

1. Oil an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.

2. Bring the sugar, cream, milk, corn syrup, and salt to a boil over medium heat in a 3-quart saucepan, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula.  Add the chocolate, and boil to 238ºF, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.

3. Pour the syrup in a thin layer in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.  Let cool to 110ºF undisturbed, about 20 minutes.  Once cooled, scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer.

4. Mix on medium speed with a paddle attachment until the fudge thickens and begins to hold its shape, about 7 minutes.  Scrape into the prepared 8 x 8 inch pan, and spread evenly with a spatula.  Let set for at least two hours at room temperature.  Cut into pieces of desired size and store in an airtight container.

5. If you made peppermint fudge, you can crush up some candy canes or peppermints and sprinkle them on top your fudge while it sets up for a festive looking fudge!