Holiday Baking: Dark Chocolate-Hazelnut Fudge from "Holiday Cookies"

Seira Wilson on December 02, 2017

HolidayCookies_DarkChocolateHazelnutFudge_225H.jpgLike the Butter Spritz Cookies from Sally's Cookie Addiction, fudge reminds me of my grandma.  She sent both in coffee cans every Christmas, and I've tried to make fudge in the years since she passed but somehow it's never turned out.  I'm going to try again this year, inspired by this recipe from Elisabet der Nederlanden's Holiday Cookies cookbook.  I've been doing a lot of adding to my cart from our Kitchen store a baking extravaganza I've got planned, and for the fudge I'll need some of these little confectionary baking cups.  If my result looks anything like the gorgeous picture from the cookbook it'll be a lovely holiday tribute to a treasured tradition from my past.

Makes about 36 squares

Here is a great winter-day project for the whole family—as long as everyone can wait the two hours the fudge must sit before it can be eaten. The combination of bittersweet chocolate and toasted hazelnuts is a favorite of mine, and this easy-to-make fudge shows it off deliciously.

Unsalted butter for the pan, plus 4 tablespoons (2 ounces)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3?4 cup jarred chocolate-hazelnut spread
1?2 teaspoon kosher salt
3?4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ounces) hazelnuts, toasted and skinned and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

About 36 small confectionary baking cups

Butter an 8-inch square straight-sided metal baking pan, then line it with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Place the 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, condensed milk, chocolate, chocolate-hazelnut spread, and kosher salt in a heatproof bowl set over (not touching) gently simmering water in a saucepan. Heat, stirring often, until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is
well blended and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Using a rubber spatula, fold 3?4 cup of the hazelnuts and the espresso powder into the chocolate mixture until evenly distributed.

Spoon the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and, using an offset spatula, smooth the top or make a little wave pattern. Sprinkle the top evenly with a little sea salt and then with the remaining 2 tablespoons hazelnuts. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, until firm.

Using the parchment-paper overhang, lift the fudge out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut into about 36 (1 1?4-inch) squares.

Transfer each square to a confectionary cup, arrange the cups in an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.

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