Ooey-Gooey Fudge

Creamy and chocolaty fudge makes a lovely holiday gift.

By Roger Kimpton and Kate Sonders

Making Ooey-Gooey Fudge is an annual tradition for Helen DeFrance and her son, Martin. "A plate of this delicious fudge is a popular gift for friends, neighbors, and teachers," says DeFrance, a cookbook author and kids-cooking guru. "Little hands are wonderful for greasing the baking dish and chopping pecans."

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Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 13-ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 12-ounce packages semisweet chocolate chips
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
4 cups chopped pecans (if desired)

Directions:
1. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch glass baking dish. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and salt. Mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook at a low boil for 9 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat.

2. Immediately, add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Add marshmallow creme, and pecans if desired. Mix well. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish. Let stand until fudge is set, at least 1 hour.

Yield: Makes 4 dozen small pieces.

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