I know what you are thinking, "That's a long title for one piece of fudge." I know, but let me tell you, the combo is divine and every flavor deserves its place in the name. A little salty, definitely sweet, and probably the easiest fudge you will ever make. No candy thermometer required.
I got the inspiration during Brian and my quick stop off in Nashville after visiting my family in Knoxville in a few weeks back. We didn't want to come home empty handed so we stopped off in the Savannah Candy Kitchen on Broadway Street. From the first step inside the door, you are smacked in the face with the smell of caramelized sugar and cloaked in scent of melted butter. The walls of the shop are lined with bins of bulk candy and other novelty items from days of yore. The middle of the store is outfitted with two stations. One where they are hard at work whipping up pecan gophers, brittles of all kinds, caramel popcorn, and dipping all sorts of items on sticks in a healthy dose of melted chocolate... stacks of marshmallows, the biggest rice krispy treats I have ever seen, crisp green apples dipped in caramel... basically anything you can put on a stick that tastes good with sugar they had ready for the masses.
Brian and I picked out some choice gophers, a big bag of still warm caramel popcorn, and also a hunk or two of this chocolate peanut butter bark that apparently (I didn't fully read the sign when I ordered) had Ritz Cracker pieces in it. Genius! Everyone is always putting pretzels in chocolate bark to give it that salty sweet we all crave, but what about the other salty snacks of the world?
So, instead of a making just a copycat bark, I decided a to go for some fudge. It requires slightly more work than just melting some chocolate for bark (I am talking like one more step), but the pairing of soft sweet fudge with the slight crunch of a buttery, salty Ritz is unmatched. Fudge always makes a great DIY gift or after dinner snack, so hop to it! Just don't do what I did and eat an entire sleeve of the crackers before you get a chance to get the fudge started.
The Recipe: Chocolate Ritz Cracker Peanut Butter Fudge
yields ~ one 8-inch pan of fudge
The Bits and Bobs:
1- 14 oz can condensed milk
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (1 package)
2 cups peanut butter chips (Reese's makes these!)
15-20 Ritz Crackers, broken into pieces (use as much or as little as you want)
Line an 8-inch pan with 2 pieces of foil leaving some overhang on all four sides, and brush with butter. **For my most recent batch, I used one of those foil disposable pans greased with butter, and just sliced through the pan with the knife to remove the fudge**
In a medium saucepan, melt together the chocolate chips and 3/4 of the can of condensed milk over low-medium heat. Once smooth, pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the broken crackers all over the top of the chocolate layer and press down slightly. Rinse the saucepan and return to the stovetop. Again over low-medium heat, melt together the peanut butter chips and the rest of the condensed milk. Once smooth, spread over the top of the ritz cracker layer.
Cover the surface with a piece of parchment and put in the fridge for about 45 minutes to allow to set. Once it is ready, either lift the overhanging foil pieces to remove the whole block, or as mentioned above, cut through the foil pan and peel away the sides. Slice into bite size pieces and enjoy!!