Fudge usually reminds me of summers – boardwalks at the beach or your town’s fair. Think of this fudge as a more cosmopolitan version.  It’s full of chocolate, not overly sweet, plus it contains bourbon.The perfect occasion to showcase it? New Year’s Eve. Everyone else is getting dressed up so why shouldn’t dessert?

Bourbon is found not only in the fudge but also in the sugar sprinkled on top (fear not as the bourbon is subtle in flavor). You’ll need to start this recipe the night before you intend to serve it as the bourbon sugar has to dry in the oven overnight (I know it sounds odd but it works). Since chocolate plays a starring role in any fudge be sure to use the best you can find like Scharffen Berger and Guittard. Same holds for the bourbon – I used Woodford Reserve.

We are looking forward to a special New Year’s Eve dinner at our dear friends’ house where this fudge will join with the other fabulous sweet treats that get passed around the table just before midnight.

Bourbon Sugar Chocolate Fudge



Bourbon Sugar Chocolate Fudge
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Makes 32 to 48 pieces
Bourbon Sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • ½ cup turbinado (raw sugar) or demerara sugar
  • 1 tablespoon good quality bourbon
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 10 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate (preferably 72%), coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces high quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons good quality bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
  1. Bourbon Sugar: Preheat oven to 150° or as low as your oven will go. Using a small paring knife scrape the seeds from the vanilla into a small bowl. Stir in sugar and bourbon. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out in oven overnight, leaving door slightly ajar. Mixture should feel like the original sugar again in the morning (meaning it’s back to it’s dry state).
  2. Fudge:
    Line an 8x8" baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on 2 sides; lightly coat with nonstick spray.
  3. Heat chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch water) on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost completely melted (just barely hot). Set aside.
  4. Combine condensed milk, butter, bourbon, corn syrup and kosher salt in a small saucepan; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Heat over medium heat until barely hot (same as the chocolate).
  5. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk mixture.
  6. Gently stir one quarter of milk mixture into chocolate with a rubber spatula. Add another quarter of milk mixture, stirring to incorporate (it might look broken and greasy; don't worry, it will come back together). Continue with remaining milk mixture in 2 additions, stirring vigorously until fudge is very shiny and almost elastic, about 5 minutes. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with bourbon sugar and sea salt. Let cool, then cover and chill at least 4 hours.
  7. Turn out fudge onto a cutting board and slice into rectangles, squares or triangles.
* You’ll need start this recipe the night before you intend to serve it as the sugar needs to dry overnight in a very low temperature oven.
* You likely will only need half of the sugar mixture. Use the rest to sprinkle on top of ice cream, add to your coffee or as a rim for a festive cocktail.
* Store bourbon sugar in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.
* Fudge can be made two weeks in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Source:  Variation on recipe from Bon Appétit, December, 2014


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2014-12-30T17:58:27+00:00 December 29th, 2014|Categories: Desserts|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |8 Comments


  1. Chris Gherst December 31, 2014 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Nicole, how many hours would you say “overnight” is for the sugar-drying?

    • Nicole December 31, 2014 at 8:29 am - Reply

      Chris – “Overnight” for me was about 8 hours only because I put it in the oven before going to bed. I did some reading and found someone who made it in 3 hours using a convection oven at 170 degrees. A convection oven will dry it out faster than conventional oven – so best guess on a conventional oven is 4 to 5 hours. I hope that helps! Happy New Year!

      • Chris Gherst December 31, 2014 at 8:34 am - Reply

        Thanks, that does help! I’m making this for tonight and decided to start the sugar early this morning instead of last night so that I can benefit from the warmer kitchen : )) I won’t start the fudge part until around 2 or 3pm so this should give me plenty of drying time. Happy New Year to you as well! Cheers, Chris

        • Nicole December 31, 2014 at 8:41 am - Reply

          Chris – Sounds like a good plan! If you get a chance let me know how long it took to dry and what type of oven (conventional or convection) and I will update the recipe. I’m going to cut up the batch I made yesterday in a few minutes (I had a lot of sugar left over from the first batch).

  2. David January 1, 2015 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    This does sound quite special. And I think the Woodford reseerve is a nice match for the chocolate. This fudge should be its own food group!

    • Nicole January 4, 2015 at 3:35 pm - Reply

      David – Chocolate should definitely be a separate food group!

  3. Embry January 5, 2015 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Oh my Nicole…these are super yummy. I was really hoping that I wouldn’t like this but of course I do. The fudge is not too bourbonny (if that is a word) like many of the other bourbon desserts I have had, and the salt is a nice touch. A definite winner!

    • Nicole January 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      Embry – So, so glad you like the fudge. That means a lot given that Kentucky is your home state!

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