Yakityak's Favorite "Cheater" Fudge

"Cheater" fudge is a favorite well-known holiday season recipe. The best variations are very hard to distinguish from traditionally made fudge... yes, you can make believable fudge with nary a candy thermometer in sight. I got the original out of Family Fun Magazine, but while I have kept the chemical principles of it the same, I have spent years toying with flavor variations to the point where it's a very different taste than the original. Here's the result of that tinkering:

Place all of the chips (3 cups total) in a microwave safe glass bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave in 30 second increments until the chips are smoothly mixable. The butterscotch chips will be the last to melt, but it's better to smash them up against the side of the glass bowl than it is to over-heat the chocolate.

Mix in the extracts and salt.

Mix in the can of sweetened condensed milk and blend thoroughly. The best results are obtained when you use a little muscle to stir the mixture quickly and smoothly.

You next spread this mixture in an 8X8 pan... ideally you wish to use the floppy silicone pans because it is a cinch to flip the hardened fudge out. If you do not own a silicone pan, line a glass or metal 8X8 (9X9 is fine too, it will just be thinner squares) with tinfoil such that the tinfoil sticks out on either side, allowing you to lift out the cooled fudge.

After smoothing the fudge into the pan, sprinkle the decorations evenly over the fudge and gently (!) press them into the surface of the fudge with your finger tips.

Refrigerate flat for an hour or freeze flat for a half hour.

Evert the fudge from the pan and place right-side-up on a cutting board.

Cut fudge 8 X 8 resulting in 64 pieces of 1" fudge.

NB: You'll notice that the recipe calls for 1 cup each of 3 types of chips. This works out to be half of a conventional package. If you bought 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk you can easily make a double batch and thus will not have any evil tempting half-used-up bags of chips in your pantry. (Might as well get it over with, I say.)

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