Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...
A unique fudge recipe is something every home cook should have in her recipe box (or, rather, software). Check out this delicious chocolaty treat made with a seasonal craft brew.
This chewy Christmas fudge can be made with any Christmas or winter beer you like. Chances are, if you like the beer, you'll like the hints of flavor it gives your fudge. But don't worry about it tasting too much like alcohol. The other ingredients mask much of the malty and hoppy flavors of the beer, so you're just left with a treat that has just a touch of your favorite lager or ale.
Different types of beer may cause differences in cook times or setting times. Try to make this recipe a day ahead until you know how your choice will affect the final product.
Christmas-beer fudge recipe
Yields 16-30 pieces
1 (12 ounce) bottle Christmas or winter beer
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1-3/4 tablespoons semisweet or dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/4-1/3 cup nuts of your choice, chopped finely
In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix beer and butter, stirring frequently for 20 or 30 minutes or until it forms a syrup with a glaze-like consistency. (If it begins to bubble or boil up, reduce the heat slightly.)
Reduce the heat to low and add in the condensed milk, honey, vanilla and butter and stir until combined.
Add brown sugar and chocolate chips, increase the heat to medium and stir constantly, allowing the chocolate to melt.
Continue to cook on as high a heat as possible (never more than medium), never allowing the mixture to boil and stirring constantly for about 15 minutes.
The mixture is ready when the edges start to come away from the side of the pot slightly or when a teaspoonful dropped in cold water forms a ball.
Remove the mixture from the heat immediately and pour, 1/4 of the fudge at a time, into a greased 8 x 8-inch glass casserole dish. Between each 1/4 of the mixture, sprinkle in the nuts (do not mix in the nuts, as you may break down the fudge or cause it to separate).
Cover the dish with wax paper or plastic wrap and allow to cool at room temperature for about an hour. When the bottom of the dish has cooled off enough to touch the bottom comfortably, you can move the dish into the refrigerator to finish setting.
Remove the dish from the refrigerator and cut the fudge into 16 to 30 uniform squares.
For this recipe, we used Sierra Nevada Celebration with dark chocolate chips for a dark, roast-y flavor. This creates an intense and chewy fudge that's best for nibbling. You could also try Sam Adams Winter Lager or Christmas Ale with semisweet chocolate. Just remember to choose a chocolate that will complement your beer selection.
Because of the malt in the beer, most of these fudges are likely to be chewier than traditional fudge.
Fudge-making is very climate-dependent. It takes longer to set if there's more humidity in the air. So if the weather outside is frightful, consider saving it for another day.