The recipe isn’t hard to make, needs only basic ingredients you can find at any grocery store, and uses simple techniques that almost anyone can follow.
Sugar and white chocolate serve as the base. You can chop up a block of white chocolate, or, easiest of all, simply use white chocolate chips. (Note: Be sure not to use white confectionary coating/almond bark/vanilla candy coating — it won’t work well for this recipe.)
Marshmallow creme helps provide a smooth texture, and the most surprising ingredient — the half cup of sour cream — gives it a rich flavor that balances the sweetness of the other ingredients.
Then of course, a bit of peppermint extract gives this candy cane fudge a distinctive sweet mint flavor, while crushed candy canes (or peppermint candies) add texture, color and a cool burst of flavor.
It’s never a bad idea to use a candy thermometer, but it’s not required — but be sure to keep a close eye on your mixture.
And when it’s all blended and in the prepared pan, let it completely cool at room temperature for the creamiest, smoothest fudge.
Peppermint fudge: Retro recipe from 1987
Adapted from the North Adams Transcript (Massachusetts) December 9, 1987
Creamy homemade fudge, one of the sweetest holiday traditions, is a favorite for gift-giving, enjoying with a cup of cheer, or serving as an after-dinner indulgence.
No matter how it’s served, and whether for Christmas or any other time of year, fudge is always more special when it’s created in the home kitchen.
Tempting, perfect-every-time fudge is no longer a mystery known only to experienced home cooks. Now, even first-time fudge-makes can find sweet success thanks to a “secret” ingredient: marshmallow creme. The creme streamlines preparation, ends tiresome beating, and ensures a velvety smooth texture every time.
How to make peppermint fudge, step-by-step
Crush mini candy canes or peppermint candies
Before the crushing commences, unwrapped mini candy canes were placed on a cutting board underneath some plastic wrap. (A plastic bag will also work.)
A meat tenderizer is shown here, but you can also use a rolling pin. No matter the tool, you will end up with many different sizes of crushed candy, which is a good thing! Just try not to let any piece be bigger than about the size of a pea.
Prep fudge mixture
Once your peppermint candy is crushed, grab a heavy saucepan and add in some sugar, sour cream, and butter.
Bring everything to a boil while stirring constantly. Keep stirring and boiling for about 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 234F. This will prevent the mixture from scorching.
Once it’s reached the right temperature, remove the saucepan from the heat. Next, add in the white chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, and peppermint extract. Give everything a good stir until it’s well combined and looking creamy.
Add the crushed peppermint candy canes
After all the other ingredients are combined, it’s time for the last ingredient: the crushed candy — one of the most important ingredients of this fudge.
ALSO SEE: No-cook peppermint patties
Stir in the crushed candy until it’s evenly distributed
Place the fudge in a prepared pan or two
How big a pan you use (or how many pans) is really a matter of how thick you’d like the fudge. Regardless, try to pat the fudge mixture down so it’s fairly even on top, and there are as few as possible bubbles or gaps in the pan.
While optional, we recommend lining the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang that you can use to lift the entire block of fudge from the pan after it’s set.
Cover and cool it
Cover with plastic wrap, and let the white chocolate peppermint fudge cool completely at room temperature.
Remove from the pan and start to cut
It will be easier to cut up the fudge if you don’t have to use your knife at an angle to work around the edges of the pan.
Place the cooled fudge on a cutting board and peel off the foil or parchment paper. Then plan your slice size, and press down using a sharp knife with a long blade, as shown below.
The first cuts will show the peppermint chunks
Complete the cuts
After you cut the fudge in one direction, cut it the other way to create small pieces.
A typical guideline is to make each piece about 1 ounce — meaning 16 pieces per pound. But you can make them as thick, thin, long, short or shaped any way you like!
A bowl full of homemade peppermint fudge
Packaging peppermint fudge as a gift
Peppermint or candy cane fudge: Ready to share!