Historically I have made chocolate covered peppermint pretzels for a Christmas goodie to give out each year. But these are extraordinarily time consuming because you have to dip each individual pretzel in chocolate, sprinkle with crushed candy canes and set them out to dry. Plus, several family members have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity since I began this tradition (and gluten free pretzels aren’t cheap) and others have asked for pretzels without peppermint. These special requests, while I’m happy to honor them, also add time (and money) to my project. With a tiny human to entertain, time, and definitely money, have been given new value in my home this year. Plus, I really wanted to be able to share my love of essential oils with friends and family who haven’t had the opportunity to experience them. So I got to thinking about what I could do that would be pretty quick and easy to replace my time honored tradition with an acceptable alternative. And then it hit me… Everyone LOVES Fudge! Why couldn’t I incorporate dietary essential oils into fudge recipes to spice them up a bit and start a new tradition. After all, everyone loves my peppermint brownies. How hard could peppermint fudge be to make?
You know me well enough by now to know that I start every new quest by perusing Pinterest for new ideas. Interestingly enough, there are very few fudge recipes using essential oils as flavoring on Pinterest or on the web in general. I didn’t want to just give one flavor, so I had to experiment a bit to come up with enough recipes for a fudge variety. I found several basic fudge recipes and chose one that seemed relatively simple. After all, the more time I spend in the kitchen the more likely I am to hear about how disappointed my child is I’m not giving her my undivided attention! I modified the recipe slightly after experimenting to come up with a good basic recipe that is easily adjusted to accommodate a variety of fudge flavors.
Homemade Essential Oil Fudge Basic Recipe:
- 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1/4 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 bags of “chocolate” chips (your choice of flavor)
- essential oils of your choice
In small saucepan, add sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Heat slowly, stirring often to keep the mixture from caramelizing on the bottom of your pan and bring to almost a boil. Reduce heat. Add “chocolate” chips and stir until chips are melted and the mixture has a smooth, creamy consistency. Remove from heat and add essential oils. Mix well. It will start to thicken up as the temperature cools. Pour into wax or parchment paper lined 8×8″ pan. Let cool until set. This may take up to several hours. You can put in fridge to expedite this process. Once set, remove from pan and cut into 1″ squares.
Once I had my basic recipe down it was time to experiment with flavorings. I knew I wanted peppermint but wasn’t really sure what all else I would do. I figured if I would do a fudge variety I would want milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate so I challenged myself to come up with essential oil flavors that would balance well with all three varieties. I knew peppermint and milk chocolate was a tried and true combo. And I used to love getting those dark chocolate orange balls in my stocking so figured I could use orange essential oil to imitate that flavor. I must admit, this combo was spot on! White chocolate proved to be a bit of a challenge. My first instinct was to pair it with Stress Away, Young Living’s blend of lime, vanilla, copaiba, lavender and cedarwood essential oils. I loved it! For those of you who are already oily addicts and know the joy that is Stress Away, you will also love this combo! However, my hubby was a little concerned that the cedarwood leaves a bit of an aftertaste that is an acquired taste and wouldn’t suit all members of our family. So I considered other options and landed on Citrus Fresh, Young Living’s blend of orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, and spearmint essential oils. While I normally wouldn’t think to pair citrus with white chocolate the spearmint seems to balance this blend nicely and I was surprised by how well they complimented one another. Here’s the ratios of my first three flavors:
- 2-5 drops Peppermint essential oil + Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips
- 8-10 drops Orange essential oil + Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips (you could do the semi-sweet chocolate chips instead if you find dark chocolate too bitter)
- 6-8 drops of Stress Away essential oil blend + Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
- 6-8 drops Citrus Fresh essential oil blend + Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
After I had experimented with my three main flavors I decided that I really needed a fourth flavor to make the gift a well rounded fudge variety. After looking at the different flavors of chips in the baking aisle the Reese’s peanut butter chips started calling to me and told me that they needed to be the base for my fourth flavor combo. I figured cinnamon would be a good partner for peanut butter but felt like it would be lacking something. After thinking on it for awhile it came to me… Maple Syrup! This one is to die for!
- 3-5 drops of Cinnamon Bark essential oil + 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup + Reese’s peanut butter chips
(pic of finished fudge gift box coming soon)
Once I had all my flavor combos perfected it came time to decide on packaging. Michael’s had these cute little holiday print take-out boxes that were just perfect! Plus, in late November/early December they were running a buy one, get one ½ off sale so I saved a little bit since I had to buy 20 for my gifts. I created my own gift tags using Canva so I could list the flavors of the fudge and give a link to this blog in case anyone wanted the recipe, borrowed my stepdad’s laminating machine, and then tied them on with curling ribbon. Overall, I’m pleased with how they came out. I only hope the family doesn’t revolt when they realize they aren’t getting pretzels! I hope they enjoy the fudge and maybe I can start a new holiday tradition!
(Michael’s doesn’t have the gift boxes I purchased online, they must have been an in store only thing, but check out their cute little Holiday Take-out Box with Tulle tutorial! What a cute way to package your fudge or some other small gift!)
I also packed some Peppermint fudge up in these cute little DIY dotted Sharpie mugs and threw in some homemade Raspberry Mint lip balm for my daughter’s preschool teachers. I’m really pleased with how cute the whole package turned out!
Do you have a favorite Holiday goodie you make using essential oils or an idea for an essential oil fudge combo? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below!
I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils, especially in any edible recipe. Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount plus a chance to earn amazing promotional gifts. Message me for more details or join today here!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.