Easy Candy Cane Fudge

This is the third in the series of potential hostess gifts.  This recipe combined the wonders of peppermint bark with the wonders of fudge, and if you happen to be hosting a party yourself, you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the freezer for one less thing to worry about.

 Ever since I worked on a project for some people in the state of Michigan and they sent me some famous Mackinac Island Fudge as a thank you, I’ve had a special weakness for the chewy stuff.  Mackinac Island Fudge is sort of like the best burger in New York, a sublime symphony of tastes and flavors (with an extra helping of chocolatey goodness).  Unfortunately, this fudge is not readily available outside the Wolverine State, so instead of embarking on an epic journey to find it again, I decided to make some myself.
Since it was holiday time, I decided to add some candy canes to the basic fudge recipe I found.  The first time I made the fudge, I pounded them out, but after it was done, I realized that some pieces were still a bit too big.  The second time, I pulverized the candy canes with a little help from my coffee grinder, and that made the fudge much easier on my teeth.  Both times, the fruits of my labor disappeared rather quickly.  Dan probably ate a pound or two of the stuff all by himself.  It was a good thing he was still training at the time, because if not, he probably would have turned into Fudgie the Whale.

  Candy Cane Fudge
Many recipes I looked at called for marshmallow fluff, and while I think it would have made this a less finicky recipe, I wanted to try it with just the basic ingredients.

2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa 
1 cup milk 
Tbsp butter 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
8 candy canes, crushed

  1. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the 2 c. sugar, 1/2 c cocoa and 1 c milk. Stir to blend, then bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat and simmer. Do not stir again.
  4. Place candy thermometer in pot and cook until temperature reaches about 238 degrees. (since I’m not great with converting the thermometer temperature at altitude, I also do the soft ball test.  To do that you take a drop of the fudge and place it in cold water to see if it forms a soft ball.  Feel the ball with your fingers to make sure it’s the right texture.)
  5. Once the fudge reaches the correct heat/texture, remove it from the heat.
  6. Stir in the 4 T butter, 1 t vanilla extract and the crushed candy canes. Beat with a plastic spatula until the fudge loses its sheen. Do not under beat.
  7. Pour the fudge into the 8x8 pan and let it cool.  Store in the refrigerator.

Nutritionals (60 pieces per piece) Cals: 43, Fat: 1, Carb: 9, Fiber: 1, Protein: 1