Well, hello there, Crazy Cooking Challenge time! The challenge presented for December by our hostess, Tina of Mom's Crazy Cooking, was FUDGE! Gloriously decadent and totally indulgent fudge.
I'm new to making fudge ... I made my first fudge just last month, when I put two family recipes to a head-to-head taste and texture challenge. (My mother-in-law's recipe beat my sister-in-law's!) I always thought fudge was difficult to make, but ya know, it's not. It's really pretty simple.
So, with just one batch of fudge under my belt, I set out to find a fudge flavor to play with for the Crazy Cooking Challenge. I came across many interesting and intriguing flavors ... like eggnog, mocha, and cappuccino ... but being a choc-a-holic, I went with a good ol' chocolate variation ~ Dark Chocolate Pretzel Fudge, adapted from Beantown Baker's Oreo Pretzel Fudge. When I saw the combination of fudge and pretzels, I just couldn't resist! I left off Beantown Baker's Oreo cookies 'n cream layer, and went with just straight chocolate and pretzels. Oh my.
This fudge is incredibly intense and rich, so just a little dab will do ya. But my oh my, it's a choc-a-holic's dream.
To make it, start by preparing an 8"x8" pan with an aluminum foil or parchment paper sling. This will make it easy to lift the finished fudge from the pan for cutting, and will make clean-up of your pan a breeze.
Melt some dark chocolate and combine it with sweetened condensed milk. I used Baker's semi-sweet chocolate squares.
Then stir in about a cup of crushed pretzels.
Pour half of this mixture into your prepared pan and top it with a layer of whole pretzels.
Pour the remainder of the fudge mixture on top and smooth it out.
Now, Beantown Baker suggested sprinkling the top with sea salt. And I agree. I wish I had taken her advice and done that. And next time I make this fudge, I will give it a little sprinkling. While you indeed do get the beautiful chocolate-and-salt flavor from the dark chocolate and pretzels, I think another little kick of salt on the top would be totally fabulous.
Dark Chocolate Pretzel Fudge
Source: Adapted from The Beantown Baker
1 (8 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate squares (I used Baker's brand)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. crushed pretzel pieces (approximately 25 small twist pretzels)
Additional whole small twist pretzels (approximately 20 additional pretzels)
Fleur de sel or sea salt (optional)
1. Line an 8"x8" pan with an aluminum foil or parchment paper sling.
2. Melt the chocolate and condensed milk together in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in pretzel pieces.
3. Spread 1/2 of the chocolate mixture in the prepared pan; top with a layer of whole pretzels. Pour remaining chocolate mixture on top and spread it evenly. Top with a sprinkling of fleur de sel or sea salt (optional).
4. Refrigerate for about two hours or until firm; cut into small squares.
(Note - The pretzels do begin to soften after a couple of days. It's still tasty after they soften, but just be aware that the pretzel 'crunch' fades. So ... if you want to 'keep the crunch,' eat up within a day or two!)