Preparation / Directions:
For two different takes, try the peppermint-stick and the peanut-butter-and-banana versions that follow.
1. Line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil or waxed paper, letting liner extend a few inches above pan on 2 sides. 2. Stir condensed milk and butter in a medium-size saucepan over low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in prepared pan and refrigerate 8 hours, or until firm enough to cut. 3. Lift foil by ends onto cutting board. Cut fudge in 1-inch squares. Store airtight with waxed paper between layers.
PEPPERMINT-STICK FUDGE Prepare as above, but use 16 ounces vanilla chips instead of the chocolate chips. Omit the chopped chocolate and nuts. Add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract with the butter. Add a few drops red or green food coloring and stir just until swirled, like a peppermint stick. Proceed as directed.
PEANUT-BUTTER-AND-BANANA FUDGE Prepare as above, but use 14 ounces (2 1/3 cups) peanut-butter chips instead of the chocolate chips. Omit chopped chocolate and walnuts. Instead stir in 2 cups (5 ounces) dried banana chips and 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts. Proceed as directed. When fudge is firm, melt 3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips and drizzle over fudge.