Oh, fudge! It's that time of year when we turn our kitchens into Santa's sweet workshop, making batch upon batch of creamy rich homemade fudge to bestow upon family, friends, and lucky neighbors. But since your basic fudge-on-a-plate presentation can look pretty plain, here are some creative ways to turn your fudge into mini masterpieces.
1. Fudge Wreath
Butter up a Bundt pan to make this centerpiece-worthy Rocky Road fudge wreath created by Phoodie, an Australian food blogger with an eye for great design. Show up at a holiday potluck with this sensational dessert only if you want to win Christmas forever. You know what else would be pretty as a wreath? This White Cranberry Walnut Fudge.
2. Fudge On a Stick
These individually wrapped bites of caramel and sea salt-topped fudge are the brainchild of Centsational Girl, a budget-minded food blogger from Northern California. We love how she inserts a lollipop stick into the squares and wraps up each treat in clear cellophane cake pop bags to turn them into hot chocolate stirrers for mugs of steaming milk. Ideas: Use wooden popsicle sticks or small wooden spoons for the stirrers, and top chocolate fudge with homemade marshmallows, like these wow-worthy Double-Decker Marshmallows.
3. Cookie Cutter Fudge
Who says fudge has to be cut out in squares? Try using cookie cutters to turn your fudge into all kinds of festive shapes. Here are two way to do it; either way, the cookie cutter ends up being part of the gift.
A) Cut simple shapes out of a cooled slab of fudge (make sure it's no thicker than your cookie cutter). You could dress up the cut-outs with frosting or candies, and save the leftover fudge scraps to top ice cream.
4. Fudge Sauce Gift Box
Not going to lie — I'm stealing this idea. Homemade fudge sauce and all the fixings for a sundae, nestled into a serving tray. This would make the most amazing hostess gift, don't you think?
5. Frilly Fudge
Here's an easy, low-cost way to dress up a simple batch of fudge. Put a doily on it. #putadoilyonit. Make a batch of peanut butter fudge in a disposable pan. After cooling, cut into squares and embellish each square with an unwrapped peanut butter cup candy. Use tape to adhere two doilies to the bottom of the pan, positioning them so they overlap slightly when you fold them over the top. Tie the whole thing off with a ribbon. Whoa. That was simple!
Tips for Wrapping, Storing and Mailing Fudge
1. Wrap It Right
Unlike harder candies, soft fudge can dry out and get hard and crumbly when it's exposed to air. To keep it soft and fresh longer, wrap fudge tightly in plastic after it cools.
2. Cold Storage
Well-wrapped fudge will stay fresh for one to two weeks in a cool, dry pantry. For longer storage, keep it in the fridge for two to three weeks, or in the freezer for two to three months.
3. It's In the Mail
Soft, dense fudge survives being jostled in the mail better than many of its cookie cousins. Like all homemade food gifts, it's smart to let the recipient know what's coming so the fudge doesn't accidentally languish under the tree for a week or more before it's opened.