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Original Fantasy Fudge

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The Original Fantasy Fudge recipe is so popular because it makes a large batch of candy perfect for holiday gifting this season. A rich chocolate fudge with walnuts is a classic Christmas candy to add to your holiday cookie platter.

A Christmas platter is filled with squares of fudge in small festive cupcake wrappers for serving.

While most people enjoy Christmas cookies and other special desserts, for my husband nothing says "Christmas" quite like trays of homemade fudge scattered around the house.

His sisters always made homemade fudge at Christmas and he's asked me for years to try but I'm much more of a yule log kind of girl.

I finally decided to try making homemade fudge for him and he was absolutely thrilled to get that little taste of home.

Now that I know just how easy it is AND that it can be done well in advance and frozen, this will definitely be part of our Christmas traditions from now on.

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Why This is the Best Recipe

My husband would choose homemade Christmas candy over any Christmas cookie, any day of the week. He thinks that this is the best Christmas fudge recipe because:

  1. Easier than Traditional Fudge: If you're new to making homemade fudge, you're going to love how easy this recipe is to make.
  2. Budget-Friendly Ingredients: Fine chocolate candies can be so expensive this time of year but this rich chocolate fudge is the perfect budget-friendly alternative.
  3. Large Batch for Gifting: A little goes a long way with this decadent fudge. You can slice it into tiny squares and get so many servings out of just one batch.
  4. Amazing Texture: Sink your teeth into this rich fudge and you'll be sold in an instant.
  5. Delicious Flavor Variations: I love the chocolate walnut combo but I have lots of fun flavor ideas for you below, too.

What Makes this "Original" Fantasy Fudge?

The Original Fantasy Fudge recipe was featured on the back of the Kraft marshmallow cream container.

It was super popular with home bakers but for some reason they changed it.

The big batch recipe was super popular because it makes for an amazing holiday gifting idea. So I wanted to share this original recipe just in time for Christmas gift making.

NOTE: There is some debate about the original recipe calling for margarine vs. butter. I just can't bring myself to cook with margarine, but if you prefer it, you may want to try to substitute margarine for the butter. The recipe works either way.

Ingredients

The ingredients to make the original fantasy fudge recipe are on the counter.

Original fantasy fudge was popular because all you need to make it is:

  • Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • Butter
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Sugar
  • Marshmallow Cream: Also known as marshmallow fluff.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Walnuts (optional)

How to Make Fudge on the Stovetop

First, spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. You need a place ready to pour the prepared fudge as soon as it is done.

In a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat, add the sugar, butter, and evaporated milk.

Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring the mixture to a full boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

The step by step photos show the fudge being cooked in a large pot on the stovetop.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir the mixture together until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Stir in the marshmallow cream until fully incorporated.

The marshmallow creme is being stirred into the fudge.

Add the walnuts and vanilla extract and stir to combine.

The walnuts are being stirred into the fudge.

Scrape the fudge mixture into the prepared pan. Spread it into an even layer with a spatula.

Let the fudge cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing into portions for serving.

How to Store Fudge

You can store the fantasy fudge in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

If you place waxed paper between the layers, it will help prevent the squares of fudge from sticking together.

The fudge squares are on a white plate ready to be served.

How to Freeze Fudge

You can freeze fantasy fudge for up to 3 months.

Wrap the homemade fudge in waxed paper first. Then wrap again in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped fudge in another container or more foil to prevent freezer burn.

When you're ready to enjoy it, thaw the fudge in the fridge overnight.

How to Avoid Gritty Fudge

When doing any candy baking at home, it is always important to use a heavy bottomed pan for even heating.

Do not let the sugar crystalize on the sides of the pan, stir it constantly and scrape the sides down as you cook the fudge.

If you don't own a heavy bottomed pan, you're better off making a microwave fudge recipe. I'll have one to share soon!

Easy Variations

The squares of fudge are served on a pretty cake plate with a Christmas tree accent.

Chocolate walnut fudge is such a classic flavor combination but there are some fun ways you can play with this recipe to make an awesome candy platter for the holiday:

Salted Pretzel Fudge: Add crushed pretzels on the bottom of pan for sweet and salty lovers.

Chocolate Cherry Fudge: Add quartered maraschino cherries in place of the walnuts.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge: Add peanut butter chips in place of the walnuts or scatter them over the top of the fudge and use a toothpick to swirl them once they've melted from the heat.

Chocolate Butterscotch Fudge: Sprinkle butterscotch chips over the top of the fudge once you've smoothed it in the pan. Use a toothpick to swirl the melted butterscotch.

M&M Fudge: Let the fudge cool for a few minutes and then add mini M&Ms on top. Just be sure to do it before the fudge has hardened.

Chocolate Almond Fudge: Add 1/2 tsp almond extract along with the vanilla and add chopped almonds instead of the walnuts.

Chocolate Toffee Fudge: Stir in chopped toffee bits in place of the walnuts.

Serving Suggestions

The squares of fudge are about to be packaged into a Christmas gift tin.

My husband grew up with candy trays of fudge served on all the side tables in the house during Christmas. This is such a fun way to make the living room even more festive during the holiday.

You could also add homemade fudge to Christmas cookie trays or bring them to a Christmas cookie exchange.

Since fantasy fudge is so portable, it makes an excellent homemade gift during the season, too!

More Christmas Treats

Looking for more classic Christmas treat recipes? You won't want to miss these family favorites:

๐Ÿ“– Recipe

A Christmas platter is filled with squares of fudge in small festive cupcake wrappers for serving.

Original Fantasy Fudge

5 from 44 votes
The Original Fantasy Fudge recipe is popular because it makes such a large batch for Christmas gifting during the season. Enjoy this easy chocolate walnut fudge as part of your Christmas cookie platter.
TOTAL TIME 20 minutes
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 15 minutes
YIELD 3 pounds of fudge

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (12 oz) bag of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat, add the sugar, butter, and evaporated milk. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring the mixture to a full boil. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir the mixture together until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  • Stir in the marshmallow cream until fully incorporated. Add the walnuts and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
  • Scrape the fudge mixture into the prepared pan. Spread it into an even layer with a spatula. Let the fudge cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing into portions for serving.

Recipe Notes

Easy Variations

There are so many ways to make simple variations on this classic Christmas candy:
Salted Pretzel Fudge: Add crushed pretzels on the bottom of pan for sweet and salty lovers.
Chocolate Cherry Fudge: Add quartered maraschino cherries in place of the walnuts.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge: Add peanut butter chips in place of the walnuts or scatter them over the top of the fudge and use a toothpick to swirl them once they've melted from the heat.
Chocolate Butterscotch Fudge: Sprinkle butterscotch chips over the top of the fudge once you've smoothed it in the pan. Use a toothpick to swirl the melted butterscotch.
M&M Fudge: Let the fudge cool for a few minutes and then add mini M&Ms on top. Just be sure to do it before the fudge has hardened.
Chocolate Almond Fudge: Add 1/2 tsp almond extract along with the vanilla and add chopped almonds instead of the walnuts.
Chocolate Toffee Fudge: Stir in chopped toffee bits in place of the walnuts.
COURSEDessert
CUISINEAmerican

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The photo collage shows the finished fudge being served on a platter next to a photo of the fudge ingredients on the counter.

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