When it comes to holiday gift-giving, things can get ugly. There’s always someone, that one stubborn person, who refuses to tell you what they want. Do they really want nothing or do they merely enjoy messing with you? Regardless of their motives, those people make the holidays exponentially more difficult than necessary.
The good news is that food is a pretty universally adored gift. I mean, does anyone hate food? (I’m sure there’s someone; there’s always someone). The problem arises in choosing a food that you gift-recievee will enjoy. Brussel sprouts? Eh, not the safest choice. Cookies and fudge, on the other hand, are usually a pretty safe direction to go in. They’re delicious, generally enjoyed, and perfect for the holiday season.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your options, you’ve got one more choice to make: cookies or fudge? This is a tough choice. Cookies are yummy, but fudge is awesome too. So, how do you choose?
You don’t. You make both.
Enter my Hello Dolly Fudge. Hello Dollies are a classic Christmas cookie in my household, comprised of several layers: a graham cracker crust, coconut, chocolate chips, walnuts, and sweetened condensed milk. Bake ‘em up, and the result is ooey gooey goodness. I took the essential elements of a Hello Dolly and fused them together with my favorite fudge recipe. The product is delicious, chocolatey fudge studded with walnuts and coconut then topped with a graham cracker crumble.
This fudge recipe is awesome. There’s no candy thermometer required and it always comes together, producing the ideal rich and creamy fudge consistency. It truly tastes like Hello Dollies, making for one awesome hunka fudge. Even your most stubborn gift receivers will be pleased, but I won’t judge you if you wind up keeping it all for yourself.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- This recipe is easily halved. In fact, I usually do half it and make it in a loaf pan. If you’re only making the fudge for one person, then I suggest halving it.
- The graham cracker crumble admittedly is a bit messy. You can mix the crumbs into the fudge instead, if you prefer.
- Wrap the fudge up nice and pretty to make it really special.
- Make sure you stir constantly or the fudge will burn.
Hello Dolly Fudge
Recipe by The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield: about 2 1/2 lbs.
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup butter, divided (1 stick + 1/2 a stick)
- 2 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 5-oz. can evaporated milk
- 1 7.5-oz. jar Fluff
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 12-oz. package of semi-sweet chips
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- Butter a 9×9 baking dish and set aside.
- Melt a stick of butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs in a mixing bowl until well-combined. Set aside.
- In a medium pan over low heat, thoroughly combine the sugar, evaporated milk, Fluff, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. When the mixture is smooth, turn the heat up to medium and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for another 5 minutes while stirring constantly, allowing to thicken and making sure to scrape down the sides.
- Remove from heat. Immediately stir in chips until completely melted. Add the coconut and walnuts, and the graham cracker crumble if you’re not putting it on top, and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Pour fudge into the baking pan and sprinkle with graham cracker crumble (if you didn’t already mix it in). Let set then cut into squares. Store in fridge.
That’s one tasty gift!
Check out the Smart Cookie Holiday Headquarters for more seasonal treats!