With the holidays rapidly approaching, everyone seemingly wants to reconnect with their youth and their sugar-plum-dreams of holidays past. Especially in between finals, we could all use a little extra holiday cheer.

Growing up, one of my fondest memories of wintertime was helping my mom in the kitchen with my sister. My mom is a fantastic baker — coming from immigrant grandparents that opened a bakery upon coming to America—and seemingly knows all of the secrets of baking I could never dream to.

With loose-fitting, adult-sized aprons covered in flour and at knee length, my sister and I, as children, would probably cause more messes than help in her kitchen. However, my mom would just laugh and smile — and let us taste the stirring spoons.

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Along with Christmas cookies and pies, one of my mom’s favorite recipes to make each year has always been her triple chocolate fudge. Something about this time of year always makes me crave it. Decadent, smooth and just sweet enough, her fudge has always been the best I have ever tried to this day (but hey, I might be at least a little biased).

While I find many fudge varieties to be overly sweet and one-dimensional, the introduction of different types of both semi-sweet and sweet chocolate and pecans gives this fudge complexity.

While I am by no means the culinary whiz that my mother is, her recipe — while a bit labor-intensive — is nearly foolproof. It serves as a perfect unique dessert to bring to any holiday gathering, and also makes a great gift (just wrap it in plastic and add a decorative bow!)

The recipe below makes about 5.5 lbs. of fudge, which is roughly 150 pieces. Trust me: you’ll definitely want to eat that many.

Beware: this recipe will likely cause a chocolate-induced food coma.

Triple Chocolate Christmas Fudge

Kristin Washagan/The Badger Herald

You will need:

  • 1 15x10x1 in. pan
  • Tin foil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (to grease the pan)
  • 3 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 (12 oz.) can of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup butter (cubed)
  • 32 large marshmallows (halved)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 14 oz. milk chocolate (chopped)
  • 2 oz. semisweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped pecans (toasted)

You can begin by lining your pan with foil, and greasing the foil with the 1 Tbsp. of butter you kept to the side (not the butter that you cubed — save that 1 cup for the recipe!)

Combine the dry white and brown sugar together. In a large saucepan, add the evaporated milk, the cubed butter and combined sugar, and bring the mixture to a rapid boil on medium-high heat. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, and be sure to constantly stir it. It is important to keep stirring the mixture, to ensure it cooks evenly and combines well.

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Next, remove the mixture from the heat. Add the vanilla extract and the marshmallows, and continue stirring. The heat from the sugar, milk and butter mixture should begin softening and marshmallows. Continue stirring until the entire mixture is blended.

Not all at once but begin to slowly add the chocolate chips and chopped chocolate pieces. It is important to do this gradually, to ensure the chocolate properly melts. Once the chocolate has melted, you may begin folding in the toasted pecans. If you or one of your loved ones has a nut allergy, you may leave out the pecans and enjoy the fudge nut-free. However, I believe the nuts add a nice bit of texture, saltiness and crunch to the fudge — which is ideal in a dessert that’s so decadent.

After folding in the pecans, immediately transfer the mixture to the pan you had previously covered in foil and buttered. The foil is vital in this step, to prevent the fudge from sticking to your pan. Once evenly poured into the pan, you can refrigerate the fudge until it hardens. This should take about 1 hour but can vary.

Once firm, you can start lifting the fudge out of the pan, and remove the foil from the bottom. I like to cut it into 1 inch bite size pieces, but feel free to cut it however you like.

And finally, enjoy!