Dark Chocolate Fudge with Walnuts

October 31, 2010


Dough & Desserts, Fall, Holidays, Recipes, Seasons, Winter

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I grew up in an old farm house, deep in the woods of Northern Connecticut. It was built in 1787 and hasn’t been modernized much since, except for the addition of electricity and plumbing in the 1950s. My father, who grew up in the house with his mom and brother, remembers getting his backside stuck to a frosted toilet seat in the outhouse. He has lots of stories to tell about Dayspring.

There were always sounds, inside and out. Either the floorboards creaked and settled, or the wind moved through the trees and made their branches scratch together like eerie, quiet chimes. The house is inhabited by at least one ghost, though some report that there are several. Barefoot Charlie is there for sure. He owned the house just before my grandmother bought it and died without shoes, apparently. I saw him a few times when I was young, but he stopped appearing as I got older. He never makes any sounds.

Dayspring is the kind of place where an alert ear triggers an even more sensitive imagination and can keep a person up until daylight. As a kid, I often lost sleep when the pitches of the house carried me through unexpected pathways of my own invention. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alive than on the nights when every shadow and every sound was endowed with its own spirit.

When we were young, my parents took Lily and me out to a nearby graveyard on autumn evenings leading up to Halloween. We sat on blankets surrounded by graves, some dating to the 17th century. My father invented stories about their inhabitants, his face lit strangely by a kerosene lamp. Those weekend nights were the most fun a kid could have, second only to their crowning event. To this day, Halloween is the only time of year I feel justified in stuffing myself with pure sugar. Tonight, it’s fudge.

Happy Halloween.

Dark Chocolate Fudge with Walnuts

Makes 12 pieces

2 c Semi-sweet chocolate chips

2oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

140z of sweetened, condensed milk

2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c walnuts, toasted and chopped


Line an 8″ pan with waxed paper.

Place chocolate and condensed milk in a double boiler and stir until melted.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract, and then walnuts.

Spread fudge into pan and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Store, uncovered at room temperature.

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