New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Making Fudge in the CrockPot


Day 339.

You can't make fudge in a crockpot. I've tried. Twice.

It just doesn't work.

I'm pretty disappointed.

When I started this year, I took it for granted that I'd be able to make fudge (a few different kinds!) in the crockpot. I even dreamt about it (I'm thinking this sounds weird, but I dream and day dream a lot---so it's really not weird if you know me. Eh. I guess maybe it is a bit weird. Whatever.)

We make fudge every year in our house, and it always works----but that's because Adam does it and he follows the directions and uses a candy thermometer. I hate following directions. But I also am quite bummed about this soupy fudge that I just fed to the garbage disposal.

Again.

Out of the 13 flops I've had this year, this one is the toughest for me. I really wanted this to work.

sigh.

I did find a totally awesome fudge recipe board, however: Skaarup Fudge.

Here's the Maple Ginger Fudge I was hoping would work:

--4 cups sugar (Baker's Sugar is great because the fine granules melt easily)
--1/2 cup butter
--3/4 cup maple syrup
--1 cup milk
--1 cup mini marshmallows
--1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
--1 tsp vanilla extract
--1/4 tsp ground ginger

Instead of cooking this in the crockpot, cook it on the stove. Stir it around until it forms threads and reaches whatever temperature fudge is supposed to reach that evidently can't be reached in the crockpot.

Pour it into a prepared 9 x 9 pan (line your pan with parchment paper or Release foil. Pam doesn't seem to work well enough on fudge.)

Let it sit on the counter for about an hour to cool, then cool completely in the refgrigerator before cutting into 1-inch cubes.

The chocolate fudge recipe we always use is on the back of the jar of marshmallow fluff.

The Verdict.

I am so impressed with my kids. They've really put up with a lot this year, and have had a great sense of humor about the whole thing. They kept checking on the fudge not setting in the refrigerator, and reset the microwave timer a bunch of times so they could keep tabs. My seven-year-old told me, "the cooking science just didn't work, mom," and my four-year-old simply asked for a spoon. The reason the above picture is streaky is because we ate a bunch of the marshmallow that floated to the top.

My fingers are crossed that this is the last flop for the year.

other candy and fun snacks that DO work:
rice krispie treats
rocky road candy
peanut not-brittle candy
cracker jacks
nuts and bolts snack mix
chex mix

70 comments:

joanna said...

I could tell that you guys ate some of it just by looking at the picture. Even a chocolate marshmallow mess probably still tastes amazing. I mean, it's basically chocolate soup so I understand why your kid wanted some.

Kim in AZ said...

I'm so sorry to hear your fudge did not turn out. I agree that fudge in the crock pot would be amazing!

I've found two great fudge recipes in the last year that I've managed to make with success each and every time. My family absolutely LOVES these. They are pretty basic and easy recipes (no candy thermometer - just watch the clock on a step or two). Check them out!

Peanut butter - http://cookiebakerlynn.blogspot.com/2007/12/warning-hazardous-material.html

Chocolate nut -
http://cookiebakerlynn.blogspot.com/2008/08/back-into-rehab.html

Sooooooo good!!!

Shae said...

you could try making fake fudge. all you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk, a bag of chocolate/peanutbutter/butterscotch/whatever chips and a tablesspoon of butter with a dash of vanilla

mix it all together until it's hot, add whatever extras you want, put in a foil lined pan and cool in fridge.

Draygonflies said...

Sorry it was a dud. At least you guys had fun eating the marshmallows! oh and THANKS for the links. I love love love Rice krispie treats... so we'll be putting that on in the favorites list right now!

Tee

Joan said...

What are we going to do when your year is up? This has been so much fun. The things I never knew I could do with a crockpot!

Moxie said...

Being the eternal optimist....I think you just need a better recipe!!! An easy, cheap one that I use!!! You usually melt everything in the micro....but I see no reason why the slow even heat of a crock pot wouldn't work. Here's the recipe. I'll do one for a Maple white fudge but flavors are up to you!I'll tell the original way but if you think your crock can melt chips and the frosting.....it will work!
Easy White Maple Nut Fudge.
1 12oz package white chocotale chips (2 cups)
1 can vanilla frosting (DO NOT USE WHIPPED)
1/2 cp walnuts
1/2 teaspoon Maple flavoring

Line 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Place chips in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 90 seconds. stir until smooth.
2 . Add can of frosting to melted chip mixture. Mix well. Microwave 90 seconds, Mix well. Add nuts and extract. Spread in foil-lined pan. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
3 . Remove fudge from pan by lifting foil. Remove foil; cut into squares. Now for gift giving, take the label off the little white frosting container and wash and dry it good. Replace label with a strip of pretty wrapping paper ...now you have a cute little container to give your fudge in!!! There are many different flavor combos you can try:chocolate chips with chocolate frosting, butterscoth chips with vanilla frosting, peanut butter chips with chocolate frosting,
Mint chocolate chips/chocolate frosting!

Abby said...

I dont have the recipe on me right now, but my mom has a crock pot fudge recipe in where you dump it all in, leave for about an hour (No peeking or you'll ruin it!) and it makes the most delicious fudge! I'll try to get it for you today!

Stephanie said...

Ooh, what a disappointment! When I read the title, I wanted this one to work too! Oh well. Wow, you're so close to being at the end of the year - I hope you keep posting recipes next year, they don't all have to be crock pot! :-)

trucksr4gurls said...

the percentages are with your for this beint the last flop. there have only been 13 in 339 tries.

yanno, i think i would have to put a spoonful of the warm "not fudge" over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and call it a day. lol

Teresa said...

I also make the fake fudge using sweetened condensed milk. It always turns out, especially if you stir it vigorously with a wooden spoon before you put it in the pan to cool.My family loves it and that's what counts.

Lori R said...

Actually, I love that you share your flops. Because I have (and sometimes even serve) them all.the.time. Because I like to invent and hate to measure, blah, blah, blah...
Somehow it makes you seem more real.
Maybe you could just turn that fudge into fondue--fudge-du!

Marni said...

I ditto Moxie's fudge. It is super easy and super tasty.
It is the chocolate chips that help "set" this once it cooks.

Catherine said...

You've had a 96% success rate so far this year! I'm not surprised that some things just CAN'T be cooked in the crockpot. But that doesn't mean you aren't going to try anyway. :-) Thanks for sharing your experience.

Amy said...

Oh honey, here's a fudge ANYONE can do, and I've served this alongside traditional cooked fudge and this wins out every year!

1 pkg milk chocolate chips
1 container fudge frosting

melt/mix together, spread in pan, done.

seriously, fantastic, creamy, wonderful fudge, every time!!!

Amie said...

hmm...fudge ain't cheap to make, either. But they can't all be winners, don't beat yourself up over it. Send it to the jello guy, maybe he can figure it out. lol.

Marci Knecht said...

Well, they can't all be winners I guess. You tried! :)

Amiyrah said...

fudge is pretty easy to make in the microwave if you don't want to use the stove. Sorry it didn't work out in he crockpot though. That would have been really cool...

TA-TA said...

I live by this recipe...

2 sticks Margarine
4 cups Sugar
1 cup Milk
25 Marshmallows
12 oz. Chocolate Chips
2oz. Unsweetened Chocolate
13 oz. Hershey Milk Chocolate

Melt margarine in a large sauce pan. Add sugar and stir until mixed well. Add milk and stir until warm. Add marshmallows and continue to cook over medium heat. Once marshmallows are melted, bring to a slight boil and shut off. Add all the chocolate and stir until fully mixed in. Pour into a buttered 9x13 pan and chill.

---

Don't know if a crock pot would work or not since you need a slight boil. It might work, but not sure the value of using it... you'd still have to be hands on.

RLR said...

You forgot to the link to your chocolate Frito candy - delish!

MemeGRL said...

If it makes you feel any better, as a drop-in-when-I-can-remember reader, this is the first "flop" I've seen! I'm sure there have been others but there have been so many successes, I hope you aren't too down about this one.
At the end of the year (like in January sometime) I'd love to see your thoughts on your favorites and least favorites--sort of a "Best of the Year" edition.
Thanks for sharing them all--and what a good mom you are to have such easygoing, smart, accepting kids!

Lynn said...

You are such a trooper and so is your family...you gave it all you had as far as fudge goes so I say break out the ice cream and nuts and pour that sweet confection on top ! LOL

Heather said...

Real fudge has to reach a certain temperature to set properly. I don't think a crockpot can get that hot.
You could have stirred the failed fudge, added some powdered sugar to thicken it, and made little fudge candy balls out of it. =)

Amy said...

Growing up we did candy bakes every year at my grandmother's house. Every year I marveled at the science of candy making. One thing I did learn, you really DO have to follow the recipe exactly and you really DO need a candy thermometer. Candy (especially fudge... so many years it didn't ever set) is just persnickity that way unfortunately.

I like the recipe that Moxie posted though! Looks like a great option for the crock.

Meredith said...

I hate following directions too LOL! My honey's mother gave us her awesome yummy peanut butter fudge recipe. He tried it first and we are talking crumbles! (it went on ice cream, yum!) then I tried and talk about soupy! (well, I put it on ice cream too and it was GOOD)
So I guess next time you get a soupy fudge recipe (or crumbly) try it on ice cream!

Danielle Porter said...

I love your blog. Can I share my favorite fudge recipe?
Peanut Butter Fudge:
Melt 2 sticks of margarine in a sauce pan, add 1 1/2 cup peanut butter. Stir until melted. Remove from heat. Add 1 box of confectioners sugar. Stir until blended and pour into a wax paper lined pan. Easy and super delicious!!!

Theresa in Mèrida said...

I love that you share what doesn't work with us too. It's too bad about the fudge not working out. Maybe if you used the crock as a bain marie (water bath) to melt the chocolate?
Flop or fabulous, I look forward every day to reading your latest recipe.
regards,
Theresa

Maggs said...

I was really excited to see the fudge in a crockpot and really bummed to hear it didn't work. Oh well, less chocolate for me this winter.

PastaQueen said...

That's probably for the best. If it were easy to make fudge I'd be tempted to do it all the time.

Jessica in SC said...

Sorry your fudge didn't turn out! :( It looks like you got some great ideas for the future listed here already! I just found this page and thought it sounded interesting, with a few tweaks.

http://www.phassociation.org/Message_Boards/detail.asp?Id=105594

Hope that link works.

I never use a candy thermometer either, but I do remember, from watching Alton Brown that you cannot let water/condensation get into the mix or it messes up the crystalization while cooking. Something to ponder I suppose.

layla72 said...

I'm sorry it didn't work, but your first line had me LOL!!

Anonymous said...

Fudge that doesn't set still makes great ice cream topping!

Courtney said...

Bummer, so sad to waste the ingredients.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog and loving it. We accidentally made fudge in our crockpot over Thanksgiving. We have a traditional chocolate turkey that we attempted to make into a fondue for the first time this year. At a cabin with little ingredients and no internet access for a recipe, we through the 5lb. dark and milk chocolate turkey in with a cup or two of whipping cream. When it was all melted it was grainy so we whipped it with beaters for a few minutes and turned off the heat. Cooled, it is just like rich fudge in texture and taste. Next time we'll try one of your fondue recipes:).

Crockpot Lady said...

Oh, the internet rocks. Come over.
bring fudge.
lots.

xoxo
steph

tchrbev said...

Wow. Only 13 unsuccessful attempts this year? I truly wish I had that kind of record! We've had more must-order-pizza or pass-the-peanut-butter nights than that at our house, and I was not trying soomething new each day. I hope you are really patting yourself on the back!

You are fablamous!

Bev

Rosemary said...

I'm sorry you had a flop - but you have so many great successes! I made your tomato soup and OMG and OMG - so delicious - you have spoiled me for any other tomato soup now. Thank you for performing this service by checking out all these recipes and then reporting on them.

quinn said...

I feel your pain.

That said, I would have been reaching for a spoon, too. Or a mug ful of hot milk. Or SOMEthing. I hate it when I have to throw out food.

Onward to the next success!!!

kelly gibson said...

maybe this post should be called "Not Making Fudge in the CrockPot"

aelfie said...

I'm sorry that fudge didn't work. Try making our fudge. Works great in the Microwave, should work well in the crockpot

http://www.eaglebrand.com/detail.asp?rid=48

I used to make the complicated get out the thermometer fudge until I got this one from my mother-in-law. Tastes the same and a lot less work.

Miriam the Mommy said...

As Danielle posted, you need a more simple recipe.

The one I use came from a kid's cookbook. It's powdered sugar- margarine - cocoa - vanilla. That's it. I'm sure it would work in the crock pot.

1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 stick margarine
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla

nuts optional

MizFith said...

great googly moooogly I now crave fudge.

or frosting.

I have some canned frosting :)

Im out.

MizFit

Anonymous said...

You know, I *like* that sometimes there are flops. It makes the series more real and true-to-life. It's good to see that when a recipe fails, it isn't the end of the world, and that there'll be another one tomorrow. :)

Lisa said...

BUMMER! I saw the title in my Google Reader and thought, "FUDGE???! BE STILL MY HEART!!!!" LOL!

Thanks to Kim in AZ for posting the links to those other yummy recipes tho.....

crazydaisy said...

I still love your posts! Did you ever see the movie Waitress with Keri Russel? It wasn't the best movie, but I LOVE that when she daydreams, she does it with food! She creates pies according to how she feels and names them accordingly.... Silly things, too... Like an I hate my husband pie, the dawn of a new day pie.... And they're pretty creative! IF you do watch that movie, only pay attention to the pies!!!

Kris said...

See, I would have just used it as ice cream sauce.

Erin said...

Sorry your fudge didn't work out, but hey, they can't all be gourmet right!? AND.. You got a great story out of your flops to entertain all of us readers! You should be very proud, only 13 flops in almost a year, that's excellent!

Beth N said...

I really think, after all this, you just owe it to yourself to succeed - you've gotta try the sweetened condensed milk recipe!

Seriously, all it requires is for everything to warm up enough to melt the chips. I've been making it for 20 years and we LOVE the stuff.

Rhonda Brewer said...

Here's the "crock pot candy" that I make every year. It's my dad's favorite.

Crock Pot Candy

2 pounds roasted, salted peanuts
3 pounds white melting bark (candy coating)
12 ounces chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
6 ounces Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate
5-6 qt. crock pot

Put peanuts in bottom of crock pot. Break up candy coating and put on top. Pour chocolate chips over and around. Break up German chocolate and put on top.

Put lid on and set on low for 3 hours. Then, remove lid and stir. Spoon out onto waxed paper. (You can do this on high for 1-1 ½ hours if you’re short on time, but I think it comes out better on low for 3 hours.)

Note: You’ll need a lot of space on counters or cookie sheets. I usually fill 4-5 cookie sheets that have waxed paper on them. If you don’t have that many cookie sheets, put a few layers of newspaper down on the counters, then put waxed paper down on that. I once made them and just put waxed paper on the counter and ended up with a mess! The waxed paper stuck to the counter (from the heat of the candy).

downs mama said...

Stephanie-
I just wanted to say that you and your sense of humor make my day! I just laughed so hard at all posts about the recipes that did not work this year that I am crying! I am going to miss being able to read about your crockpotting journey every day. It has truly saved my sanity to laugh a little and to make your recipes for my family.
Heartfelt thanks from a SAHM!

petunia said...

I was amazed that you only had 13 flops (and they were not exactly flops....only a few REALLY did not work. You have adapted so many recipes to the crock pot that work - it's awesome!
Could you do like a "top 3 favorites" from all your readers? I have a ton of recipes that I use but I would like to see what everyone else likes. I have made the Obama chili so many times already (even for people at my work)!

Jessica said...

At the risk of sounding rude... there is a part of me that just loves it to hear you made a dud. Not because I'm glad it didn't work but because I figure if you do then it's not such a big deal that I do! Thank you so much! Can't wait to try the Rice Crispy Treats you did though, my girls will love them. Oh, and I did try my own recipe in the Crock-Pot today and it worked out really well! You've made me fall in love with my crock-pot all over again, thanks!

Jena said...

Two easy, quick (microwave) fudge recipes I love:

http://www.recipezaar.com/Mw-Peanut-Butter-Fudge-246132

http://www.chocolatebytes.com/two-minute-microwave-fudge/

Nil Zed said...

I'm an occaisional reader, and have only used a few recipes because usually because the things I most want to try involve ingredients I can't get in UK grocery store (I miss Trader Joe!)

At any rate, being overseas, I haven't got a crockery cooker. I could get one, but when we moved here, my budget didn't have enough 'pounds' to replace all my kitchen appliances at once. I've only replaced items as I reached the point of crazyness doing without. A microwave and toaster and stick blender so far.

The more I read this blog, the higher a crockery cooker rises on my crazy without it list! Even though I had one for 15 years back home and used it maybe once a year. Perhaps I'll get one this Christmas, and start over at your beginning last January! Maybe I can get a TJ care package from relatives in California too!

Anonymous said...

Have you considered trying marshmallow fluff instead of the whole marshmallows? I know this is how my mom makes her fudge :)

Chris said...

I discovered your blog only 3 weeks ago. I eagerly read your entire blog in 3 days to catch up. I'm wondering, besides fudge, what were the other recipes to NOT cook in a crockpot (I didn't write the failures down)? Since you have the exact count, I wonder, can you easily list them for us? Thanks. P.S. I love your blog.

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Chris,
sure. Here's the link to the flops.

xoxo
steph

Diana said...

Ok- you ARE ready for one more year, right??
I RELY on your site (and yours alone I might add) for my weekly meal planning.

Come on, please!!!


imthankfullyhis@gmail.com

Cassie said...

I am a newbie too. I am so sorry that it didn't work in the crock pot. I can't wait to use some of your other recipes though.
Thank you so much!!
You are doing a great job!!!
:)

Rita T. said...

Too bad because that would have been great. I just want to thank you for your faithfulness to this blog and our readers. I have come away with a lot of great ideas.

Our oven went on the blink tonight and I'll be relying more upon my crockpot until we can afford to get the oven fixed. Your recipes will come in handy. Thanks!

renee said...

the best fudge recipe is the one on the jar of kraft marshmallow creme...no need for candy thermometers...at least we never used them. and you can even make it in the microwave. so maybe you could make this one in the crockpot?

http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/fantasy-fudge-51833.aspx

Tabitha said...

Thanks for sharing your failures as well as your successes. I have a microwave fudge that is relatively painless. I have posted it in my lasted blog entry. You can find it here

Anonymous said...

Now I'm wondering if Fantasy Fudge couldn't be made in a crockpot. We used a micro when I was a kid, but I don't have one now.
I am enjoying all the recipes! I have a large crockpot and use it all the time.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea for you, it's very simple. 1 can of ready made frosting (vanilla, chocolate, etc....whatever you like) and 1 cup of peanut butter (with or without nuts, again, your choice). All I do is warm frosting in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir in peanut butter. Let set to harden, or put in fridge...easy! You can add in items like M&M's, coconut, nuts, etc. if you like. It's really, really good. Try it in your crockpot...though I'm sure you'd have to make a larger batch. My husband's fav is vanilla frosting with peanut butter (we call it peanut butter fudge around here).

Patty said...

I too do Fastasy Fudge without a candy thermometer. Someone else may have suggested this solution (as I didn't read through all the comments)--whatever sweet delight formed in your crock pot would have tasted great on some ice cream. Never throw anything out is my motto. Some of my failures worked great as driveway paving material and magic repellant to marauding wildlife out of our garden!

MavsMom said...

I came across this recipe for Crockpot Fudge in a cookbook that I own and I thought of you. I haven't tried it but here it is for you to give a go at.

1 (16 ounce) jar unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup loosely chopped walnuts or cashews
1 sweet German Chocolate Bar
2 cups milk or white chocolate chips (can use semi-sweet)
1 pound milk or white chocolate bark

Layer ingredients in large round crock pot in above order. Do not mix or stir. Heat on low for 2 hours or until melted. Do not lift lid. After 2 hours, stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon, coated with cooking spray. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper on a cookie sheet. To harden candy quicker, place in refrigerator for a few minutes.

Good luck! I hope this one works for you.

Allison said...

You know, I was thinking about this today, and I was wondering if you ever tried the super easy fudge recipe. I think this would work fine in a crockpot.
Original-
Ingredients
-3 cups (18 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
-Dash salt
-1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions
In heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat; stir in nuts (optional) and vanilla.
Spread evenly into wax paper lined 8- or 9-inch square pan. Chill 2 hours or until firm.
Turn fudge onto cutting board; peel off paper and cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.

You could probably do the first step in the crockpot just fine! It's just melting, really.

Crystal said...

I'm sorry your fudge didn't work out, but I'm wondering - since fudge is a candy, and candy typically requires boiling, maybe what you need is a recipe that doesn't require boiling.

I don't know where I got this, and honestly don't think I've ever tried it (I'm a recipe junkie - I see, I like, I collect; it drives my hubby absolutely NUTS because most of the recipes I do have I've never tried), but it's for a BAKED fudge. Since you've been successful baking other items, I'm wondering if this would work.

1 c sugar
3 tbsp shortening
dash salt
3 1/2 tbsp flour
2 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, shortening, salt, flour and eggs; stir in cocoa and vanilla. Pour into a greased cast iron skillet; bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Fudge will be done when top is crusty all the way across.

Granted, this is just for plain 'ole fudge, but sometimes that's the best kind. =)

I wish I had found this blog in January 2008, instead of January 2009, but either way, it's been fun reading!

Barsha said...

I read your blog regularly and I am enjoy reading these blogs recipe.

Anonymous said...

World's easiest fudge:

1 package of chocolate chips (your choice)
1 can of prepared icing (your choice)

Pour chips in microwaveable bowl and heat in 15 second increments - stir after each time. Continue until chips have all melted.

Pour in icing and mix - nuke again for 2 15 second increments and mix well.

Pour into well buttered pan and it will set in minutes.

I get chips from bulk food store (approx. amounts - this isn't rocket science).

Mint chips with choco. icing
Peanut butter chips with vanilla

You are only limited as to your imagination.

Enjoy

Sarah said...

I admit I didn't read each and every comment left to see if someone added this recipe yet, but it is my favorite because it is ridiculously simple and you only need two ingredients and a microwave! (can be adjusted to use your favorite fudge fillings). I think it is a nice and rich recipe but I have been told there are more savory recipes out there. Here it is:

12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I have used gluten free chocolate chips with this recipe but they were in 10 oz. packages and required adjustments)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk.

In a microwave safe container add the whole bag of chocolate chips and pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk on top. Microwave for 1 minute (may require a few seconds less or more depending on manufacturers suggestions but 1 minutes seems to work best for most.)

Some of the chips may appear to still have their shape but when you use a spatula to mix the condensed milk and chocolate together you will find them soft and warm enough that they blend away smooth.

You can add your favorite chopped nuts, or maraschino cherries or whatever you like at this point, but work quickly as the chocolate will cool rather quickly and needs to be transferred into a greased, glass pan right away.

Let it cool, overnight, in the fridge, if you can hold out that long. I find it sets well enough in an hour that you can indulge yourself right away.

Enjoy!

Don't just take my word for it, check out the recipe on Cooks.com here: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1729,150161-230201,00.html

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