Something about the holidays just makes me yearn for rich, decadent treats. And nothing says "Winter Holidays" to me more than peppermint and chocolate together. As a kid, rich chocolate peppermint fudge was one of my favorite treats ever. As an adult, however, the high dairy content of traditional fudge recipes is a no-go for my lately-acquired sensitive stomach.
This year, though, I was determine to have my fudge (and eat it, too!) So, I started with a fudge recipe I found on the back of a jar of Marshmallow Fluff (no, seriously) and totally hacked it to make it completely dairy, egg, and gelatin free.
And it's freaking delicious.
This recipe hinges on a new product Trader Joes has come out with. They're a type of marshmallow that contain no dairy, egg, or gelatin, relying instead on carrageenan for their consistency. Carrageenan is an extract from certain seaweeds, which sounds a bit odd (mmm, seaweedmallows...) but trust me- these marshmallows are fantastic.
So this is what you need:
- 1 bag Trader Joes Marshmallows
- 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons Earth Balance spread
- 2/3 cup plain non-dairy milk (i used soy this time, but almond works just as well)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup peppermint Schnapps (or 1 tablespoon peppermint extract if you're not into alcohol)
This recipe is super simple. The first thing you're going to do is combine the marshmallows, sugar, Earth Balance, soy milk, and salt in a large soup pot. Keep the heat low until the marshmallows are completely melted and you've got all the ingredients well-combined.
Then, raise the heat to medium and bring it to a boil. Once you get it boiling, keep it going for 5 minutes. I've made this a few times now, and the 5 minute rule is really spot on. I've never had any success in candy-making with the "soft ball method", so I need definite times. There's just one catch- the mixture will release some air bubbles as it heats, so make sure it's legitimately at a boil when you start the timer. If you under-boil it, it won't set quite right.
After it's boiled for 5 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla, chocolate, and peppermint. I used Peppermint Schnapps for a little boozy kick to my fudge.
If you go that route too, add it after you pour in the chocolate chips. If you add the alcohol to the boiling hot candy it'll just fizzle away. Keep stirring until the chocolate has completely melted and the candy is silky smooth.
Pour it into a greased 9x9" pan. I sprinkled some red and white sugar on top just to drive home that peppermint theme, but this is totally optional.
That's all there is to it! Just let it cool and enjoy! This is my new favorite holiday treat- rich, smooth, and so satisfying. I just might make this a treat for every holiday!