Indulge in the holiday spirit with our irresistible peppermint fudge featuring colorful M&M candies. Discover a perfect blend of rich chocolate and festive peppermint in every bite. Elevate your seasonal treats with this easy and frugal recipe – a delightful addition to your holiday celebrations!
Christmas fudge is one of my favorite candies to make at Christmas. I am a bit of a snob when it comes to my candy recipes though and I prefer a traditional fudge recipe over the more recent and popular quick fudge recipes. This chocolate peppermint fudge recipe is one of my favorites to make and has been on the list of candy recipes I make each year for decades.
If you’ve ever made homemade fudge, this one is a pretty easy fudge recipe that follows most others. If you’ve never made it, as long as you follow the recipe instructions, you’ll be just fine.
What can I mix into peppermint fudge?
This peppermint fudge is great with mint M&M candy mixed in as we’ve written, but you can change that up if you’d like. A few other great ingredients that work well are crushed peppermint candies or crushed candy canes, red and green sprinkles, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips or even mini marshmallows.
This peppermint fudge recipe is especially fantastic when you use this homemade butter recipe for the fudge combined with these homemade marshmallows for the fluff. Making homemade marshmallow fluff is super simple and really takes your desserts to the next level!
If you want to change the flavor and don’t want a chocolate fudge, you can even do that! Instead of using semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, use the same amount of white chocolate chips instead. This would give you a white chocolate peppermint fudge or a peppermint bark fudge recipe depending on what mix-in’s you added.
Really, the possibilities are sort of endless and are entirely up to you! I’ve even been known to mix semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate together to get a swirled fudge recipe or to layer them with a milk chocolate layer followed by a white chocolate layer.
Why is my marshmallow fudge not hardening?
One of the biggest reasons for fudge that doesn’t set (or harden) is temperature. Fudge is cooked to a soft ball stage or around 238°F. This temperature is necessary to cause the reaction needed for your fudge to set up.
This is why it’s so important to use a candy thermometer when making fudge. Yes, once you’ve made it a few times, you will likely be able to gauge things by looks, but at first, use the thermometer to ensure you don’t pull it off the heat too soon.
How do you fix fudge that didn’t set?
If you didn’t use a thermometer, you’ll probably find yourself standing in the kitchen wondering how you fix fudge that didn’t set. Lucky for you, it’s an easy fix.
To fix fudge that didn’t set right, simply add it back to the pot and melt it again. Stir often to keep it from sticking and cook it until it reaches the correct temperature given to you on your recipe card.
What is the secret to perfect fudge?
Fudge that isn’t made correctly can have everything from a soft set to a grainy texture. There are a few fudge making tips that you can follow though that will help you make a perfect batch.
First and foremost, that temperature thing rears it’s ugly head. In all candy making, temperature is one of the most important things. If it’s wrong, your final product will be wrong.
Secondly, when making fudge, you need to ensure that all of the sugar crystals are dissolved and fully combined before the mixture begins to cool. This means scraping the side of your pan with a wet pastry brush and stirring while the sugar and milk are cooking.
However, once the mixture comes to a simmer, stop stirring it. Doing so will encourage sugar crystals to reform and you’ll end up with a grainy fudge.
Finally and this is what I really consider to be the secret to perfect fudge, once your fudge is done cooking, allow it to cool down to around 110°F. Then, before you pour it into the baking dish, beat it very well. This usually takes between 5-10 minutes. Do this until the fudge mixture is no longer glossy and then pour into the prepared pan and allow it to fully cool before cutting.
How long does it take homemade fudge to set?
The time it takes your peppermint fudge to set to room temperature will depend on how hot your finished product was when you poured it. Typically it can take mine one to two hours to fully cool.
Do not refrigerate your fudge to get it to cool faster. Doing so can cause condensation in the candy itself which will change the texture and possibly cause the peppermint flavor to weaken.
How to store homemade peppermint fudge?
The best way to store peppermint fudge is in an air tight food storage container with a tight fitting lid on the counter. Place parchment paper between each layer of fudge so they do not stick together.
As I said earlier, it is best not to refrigerate fudge.
However, if you must, you can freeze fudge for up to 3 months. Bear in mind that freezing it will change the texture. To do so, wrap each piece in parchment paper followed by aluminum foil. Place each piece in a freezer bag and freeze. Allow to fully thaw before eating. Consume with 3-months.
How to make peppermint fudge?
Peppermint Fudge with M and M Candy
- Line 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and sit aside.
- In a medium stockpot, combine butter, sugar, and evaporated milk making sure all sugar is fully dissolved. Cook on medium heat until temperature reaches soft ball stage (238°F) with a candy thermometer. Stir often only until mixture reaches a simmer then do not stir.3 C. sugar, 1 1/2 sticks butter, 1/2 C. evaporated milk
- Once mixture reaches soft boil stage, remove from heat. Immediately stir in marshmallow fluff, peppermint extract and chocolate chips. Mix with a silicone spatula until well combined.12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, 7 oz. marshmallow fluff, 1 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
- Once combined, quickly stir in the mint M&M’s and mix well. Remove from heat.1 C. Mint M&Ms
- Allow the mixture to cool to approx. 110°F. Once cooled, beat by hand 5-10 minutes or until it is no longer glossy.
- Pour the mixture into the parchment paper lined baking dish.
- Allow fudge to cool completely then cut into small squares.
- Nutrition information is auto-calculated and may not be correct. Please use discretion; especially if you follow a special diet.
- Store fudge in an food storage container with a tight fitting lid. Freeze for up to 3-months. Thaw before eating.