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  • Mary Kay

Easy Double Chocolate Cheese Almond Fudge

Treat your family to this super easy cheese NO COOK fudge in almost any flavor. Today’s recipe features two types of chocolate plus almond extract. Mmmm…mmm…mmm! This recipe makes enough for a crowd, but don’t be afraid to cut it in half for a smaller pan.

Mom always cooked her fudge, followed by lots of (and I mean LOTS!) of beating and stirring. When I was a little kid I would take turns with her to beat the fudge. It seemed like we beat it forever before it solidified. Now I like to use a shortcut to get to the final delicious product much faster, without cooking it on the stove...and it's still delicious!

This recipe is for Mom on Mother's Day and EVERY day.

Prep your pan:

- Lightly brush the sides and bottom of a 9” x 13” pan with butter.

- Line the pan with two sheets of parchment paper, leaving 2” overhangs on all 4 sides to make it easy to lift out the final block of fudge. Brush a little butter between the parchment paper sheets so they stick together and do not slide apart when lifting the entire block out of the pan.

Gather your Fudgy Ingredients:

16 oz Cream cheese (2 – 8 oz packages)

7 ½ C Powdered sugar, sifted

½ C Cocoa powder, unsweetened

8 oz Chocolate, dark or unsweetened

1 ½ C Pecans (halves), divided, optional

2 t Vanilla extract

2 t Almond extract

Stir up your delicious fudge:

- Prep your 9”x13” pan with butter and parchment paper and set aside.

- Chop all but the pecans that you want to use as decoration for garnish on top of the fudge. I save out about 25 or more pecan halves to place them where squares will be cut. If you want smaller pieces, you’ll need to save more pecans for on top or leave some pieces without pecan garnishes. Sometimes I just place pecans on top and not inside the fudge. Set all aside.

- Chop and melt the dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds, until smooth and glossy. Do NOT let it bubble. I usually microwave it until it still has chunks, then let it sit on the counter to continue melting, and stir it until smooth. Set aside to cool a little.

- With an electric beater and a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese on medium until light and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

- Sift and beat in the powder sugar, 2 cups at a time, until smooth.

- Sift the cocoa powder into the mix and beat until smooth.

- Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts until combined well. I always use extracts for deeper, richer flavors.

- Pour in the melted chocolate and beat in until combined.

- Stir in the chopped pecans. (optional)

- Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and cool in the refrigerator for 3 hours until firm.

- Decorate with the pecan halves (optional).

- Slice, share and enjoy!

Try other flavors:

- Garnishing chocolate fudge with strawberries may bring a desire to add some strawberry extract.

- For a brighter chocolate flavor, try orange extract instead of the almond. Garnish with candied orange slices.

- For an even deeper chocolate flavor, add coffee. I like to triple grind flavored decaf beans – my favorites are vanilla hazelnut or vanilla crème brulee. Add a tablespoon of the triple ground coffee grounds with the cocoa powder for a delicious flavoring. If you’d rather use caffeinated beans, go for it! Some people like to use espresso powder, but I cannot find one that I like.

- Rum, pecan and maple always go well with chocolate, so try them in extracts, too.

- If you don’t care for all the different flavors, just use vanilla extract by itself.

Make more than one flavor from one recipe:

- This is easy, too! If you want to make two or three flavors of fudge from one recipe, make the full recipe and separate the fudge into 2-3 bowls before you add the extracts.

- Stir in a teaspoon of your chosen extract to each bowl – vanilla, almond, rum, etc. Then pour, garnish and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

- The fudge is thick enough that you could pour the different flavors next to each other into the 9”x13” pan. Have fun with it!

Storage is easy:

- It’s best to store your delicious fudge in the refrigerator. I place plastic wrap over it and put it in a covered container for up to a week.

- If you want your fudge to last longer HIDE IT at the back of a shelf in the freezer. I wrap individual pieces (or up to 4 pieces) in plastic wrap, then store in a covered container, preferrable a tight-fitting plastic one. By wrapping the pieces in plastic wrap, you can grab and go when you need a “chocolate fix.” If no one “steals” any, it should last up to 4 weeks or so. (It’s usually gone within 4 weeks at my house, so I don’t know for sure if it lasts longer…)

- NOTE: I do not freeze any nut, candy or fruit garnishes on top of the fudge. To garnish, let the fudge thaw a couple hours in the refrigerator and press your garnishes of choice on top just before serving.

Try this quick to make fudge. It’s easy enough to make with the kiddos, with no hot stove involved. Just easy measuring and easy test-tasting. Whoever you make it with or for, “Bake your own Memories!”

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