Fudge. ”Oh, fudge!” Once the battle cry of Ralphie (well, that’s what the censors let us hear in “A Christmas Story”), this is a call to chocolaty arms from hungry cocoa bean lovers everywhere who want to know, “Why the F…udge is there no believably delicious sugar-free alternative for the holidays?”
Well, I am ready to bring the dense, sweet, chocolate bites of decadence right into your kitchen for Christmas. I love to make things, but I was a little bit concerned about this one. The thought of putting processed cheese [recipe here] in a chocolate candy at first was a little revolting. Once I considered the flavors, it started to make sense, and I set out to recreate the rich, melt-in-your-mouth delicacy based on what a reader sent as a challenge.
The result of these ingredients is impressive! The calorie count is fairly low, at only 85 without nuts, and in terms of carbohydrates, each candy ‘costs’ only 2.3 net grams! Not bad. This means you can give these to everyone who’s been on your nice list for Christmas and know they will positively try harder to remain there next year, too.
Here, as you can see, I package each little 1″ x 1″ square in a mini petit four/cupcake wrapper. This makes less mess when eating, but it also means a cute presentation when placed four to a box for your friends. Don’t have friends (or none you want to share with? I’m not judging)? Then freeze the pieces for later enjoyment and to help you from overdoing it. Those calories can add up, and you don’t want to stimulate cravings.
Just Like Velveeta Fudge
This easy-to-make candy is perfect for holiday gifts, special treats, and Birthday bashes. You can halve the recipe and turn the batter into a greased bread pan as well.
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
8 ounces processed cheese recipe
5 cups confectionery sugar equivalent in a substitute
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup plain or vanilla* protein powder
2 tsp vanilla extract*
2 cups chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and processed cheese together, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from heat. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine powdered sugar and cocoa to prevent particulate from making a mess. Add the cocoa and sugar mixture to the cheese and butter mixture. Add the protein powder, vanilla, if not using vanilla protein powder, and nuts. Stir to incorporate all ingredients. Pour into a greased 8 x 8 x 2 pan. Chill. Cut into squares.
YIELD: 36, 1″ x 1″ servings
NOTE: *If using the vanilla-flavored protein powder, cut vanilla extract by half or eliminate based on taste.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER PIECE: Calories: 128, Carbohydrates: 3.2 grams, Fiber: .5 + .17 alcohol grams, Net Carbohydrates: 2.5 grams, Protein: 5.1 grams, Fat: 10.3 grams.
WITHOUT NUTS PER PIECE: Calories: 85, Carbohydrates: 2.3 grams, Fiber: 0 + .17 alcohol grams, Net Carbohydrates: 2.3 grams, Protein: 4.3 grams, Fat: 6 grams.