Alright, so are you ready for the weekend???
Please tell me that I’m not the only one feeling like Christmas completely snuck up on them this year because I’m having a hard time grasping the fact that tomorrow’s Christmas Eve! It’s exciting though, and I feel pretty confident in saying that, when it comes to shopping, this was by far my most successful year since we moved here. I found some gifts that were absolutely perfect for who I want to give them to and I’m actually dealing with a little bit of childish impatience for the 25th to get here so I can give them away.
Something else I’m excited about today is sharing this last minute recipe with you guys. Just like last year, I had a really hard time deciding which recipe to post today because it’s so close to Christmas. See, I wanted it to be something that might still have a chance at being useful as a gift or as something to add to your own table. Plus, I needed at least one fudge recipe before the year ended, don’t you think? I mean, fudge is one of my family’s favorites during the holidays so I felt like it was missing in my line-up.
Anyway, do you remember recently how I told you about my love for toasting nuts? Well, obviously it didn’t fade at all ’cause I just couldn’t help toasting these lovely hazelnuts before adding them to the fudge. Ah, and speaking of the fudge, I wanted to tell you that it was inspired by something else I’ve been obsessed with lately, hazelnut coffee!
It’s terrible you guys, like I can’t resist drinking a second cup (despite the fact that I’m a caffeine light-weight and it usually makes me anxious) when the delicious smell of it is floating in the air right after it perks in the morning. Yep, it’s good stuff. Hence the fact that I dreamed up a flavor of fudge to match.
As I already said, I wanted this to be something you still had time for and I hope you do. It’s a great last-minute recipe because it’s pretty simple and you can have it ready to eat or give aways in about an hour and a half from start to finish. Not to mention, it’s like every coffee lover’s dream fudge. Light milk chocolate, crunchy toasted hazelnuts, and a good balance of coffee flavor to make it completely irresistible.
Oh, and if you’re among the many novice candy makers who have had one too many fudge fails in the past, don’t let that stop you. You got this! Honestly, you don’t really even need a thermometer if you don’t have one, (I’m currently in the market for a new one as my adorable nephew was a bit too enthusiastic about my last one.) but feel free to use one for accuracy if you want.
Okay, so I’m sure we’ve all got bunches to do today, but hopefully you have time to squeeze this in because it needs to be part of your holiday! Have a Merry Christmas you guys!
- 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 2 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, divided
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/4 cup warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 300g (about 2 cups) milk chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme (about 1 cup)
- Melt 1 tablespoon of buttter in a medium skillet over medium low heat and add the chopped hazelnuts, Toast for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until lightly golden and fragrant. Immediately pour them onto a plate and set aside to cool.
- Line a 9x9 inch or 7x11 inch pan with wax paper or grease with oil; set aside. Combine the chocolate, marshmallow cream, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and also set aside.
- Add the sugar, evaporated milk, water/espresso powder, salt, and 2 tablespoons of butter to a small pot or large saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring gently. Once it starts to boil let it cook for about 5 minutes (until it reaches 238 degrees F or 115 C if using a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and add the butter then return to heat and stir until it's evenly melted and the mixture is just starting to boil again. Immediately remove from heat and pour into the bowl with your chocolate. Stir well to combine as the chocolate melts into the fudge then add about 1/2 cup of the toasted hazelnuts.
- Use a rubber spatula to scrape the fudge out of bowl and pour into your prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top and let the fudge cool for about 5 minutes, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill until set, about 30 minutes. Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.