December 10, 2010

Chunky Chocolate Fudge Wreath

Want to make THIS?  Sure you do.  Here's what you need:

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. butterscotch or peanut butter chips
14 oz. sweatened condensed milk (save can for a large wreath!)
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. walnuts
1/2 c. raisins
Candied red (cut in half) and green cherries (cut in fourths) to make holly berries (only I hate these cherries and just skip the green and do red maraschino cherries instead!)
*Extra walnuts/almonds for topping (I buy the precut almonds or cut walnut halves in 1/2)
*Containers to use for your wreathes..whatever size you want!  Also dig through your cupboards for a cup (or something) that would be the right size for a wreath center.

***I should add I got the original recipe from Rachel Ray while watching TV (5 years ago!).  I wrote it down from I am not sure how exact it is, but I do know I changed a few things.  Especially how you make the wreaths.  My way is SO much easier!***

First, get your wreath container ready.  You can do all sorts of sizes..line the container/pie plate with plastic wrap.  Wrap your wreath "center" with plastic wrap also.  For one large wreath, use a pie plate and the condensed milk can (or a drinking glass).  For 2 medium size, I use my round rubbermaid containers and a smaller glass for the center.  For 4 mini wreaths, I use my small round rubbermaid containers with shot glasses in the center.  You can make all sorts of combinations..just have them all wrapped and ready BEFORE you start!
Here is what I used this time...

Place plastic wrap in need to make sure it sticks perfectly because once you put the fudge in, it will keep it in place.  Next, wrap your "wreath center"..for me it was a tobasco sauce container!  I love found objects.  I then did the same with a couple of larger plastic containers, using our glass tumblers for the center.  Just make sure to get the "wreath center" as close to the actual center as you can.

Next, get all your ingredients measured out and ready!  Get the chips, milk and vanilla in a sauce pan.  Put the nuts and raisins in a bowl and set aside.  Get your "toppings" cut and ready to go.  Once the fudge is've gotta be quick!

Now you're ready to roll!  Turn your heat on LOW.  Slowly stir the chips until melted.  I had professional help.  :)

Usually the butterscotch chips don't entirely melt..don't know why, but it doesn't affect the taste.  Just don't OVERcook the chocolate or you will burn it.  It should look nice and smooth (not counting the partially unmelted butterscotch..I promise it's no biggie.)
Perfect!  Now dump in your nuts and raisins (seriously..don't leave out the raisins even if you don't like them.  Somehow they are a perfect addition..and you can't tell they are there.  I don't like them and neither does my hubs, but they are a keeper!)
Stir it just until mixed.. time I'm not chopping the nuts as much.  I usually don't...I got carried away!  Get your pan off the heat immediately.  I place it on the counter right next to my wreath containers.  As I finish one, I set it aside and grab the next! 
I use the spoon to "glob" it into the containers.  It works perfect!  Allow your wreath to be makes it more beautiful in the end!

Yep, looks like one big globby mess.  Perfect!  Do the same with all your containers.  Then quickly move to the next step!  Time to decorate!

When I make these for gifts (the mini ones are PERFECT size for a gift basket!!) or for parties I get the green cherries and make holly sprigs.  But..these are for family, and I don't like those green we'll skip that!  The holly sure does make them VERY amazing looking.  You can evenly space the cherries..or do your own thing like my daughter!  I must say she did a fine job.  :)

Here are my two medium sized ones with the cherries and almonds.  Trust me..they will look pretty in the end!  (Seriously though..the green cherries really make them wonderful looking!)
Take the plastic wrap that is "hanging out" around the container and wrap it over the top of your wreath (like the one in the middle and on the left.)  This will keep any yucky smells out of your fudge while they harden in the fridge.  You don't want to mess them up!  I usually wait one hour before moving on to the next step.  They are still slightly soft, but firm enough to be moved.
This one goes to the freezer.  I don't need it until Christmas!  I left it in the plastic wrap, and placed it into a freezer bag.  I've done this every year for the last 4 years..and the taste is not affected in anyway.  They are still D~LISH!  If you need to, put it into a plastic container (if you are afraid it will get damaged while in the freezer).

My daughter's masterpiece got "tested" after lunch!  It of course was yummy!  This was such a fun project for a 3 year old!

See how nice it looks on a Christmas plate?  Very festive.  They are a hit everytime!  Never any leftovers..which is why I made a mini for home this time!

This one is wrapped up and ready to go to the Christmas party tomorrow night! 

This is so very fun (especially if your kids can help!) and very easy!  The taste is out of this world.  ENJOY!