Happy holidays, Pizza Freaks!
‘Tis the season to give extra thanks for our one true love: pizza. And even though ‘tis ALWAYS the season to eat the pizza, it’s the one pie that’s too often neglected during this time of year.
Yes, we turn to delivery pizzas to fill the gaps between our hectic holiday feasts, and Thanksgiving Eve is the #4 most popular day to order pizza in the U.S. But then amidst the roast turkeys and hickory honey hams and apple pies and sweet treats galore—is there still room for pizza?
Of course there is! Who do you think we are? In the spirit of the holidays, we’ve crafted the ultimate festive treat with a pizza-tastic twist: PIZZA FUDGE. No, not chocolaty fudge in the shape of a pizza pie... We’re talkin’ pizza-licious mozzarella cheese fudge with pepperoni on top!
Undeniably weird, bafflingly tasty, and unlike anything you’ve ever eaten before—it’s the ultimate holiday gift for the Pizza Freaks in your life, including yourself. So check out our recipe below, give it a whirl, and Merry Pizzamas!
Oh, Fudge! The Tastiest Fudge-Up in History
Few strokes of culinary genius are authentically American. Pizza hails from Ancient Rome, French fries came from Belgium and/or France, and even our iconic apple pie had to cross the Atlantic Ocean to get here! Yet fudge is a rare exception—an American invention through-and-through. Granted, food historians aren’t entirely clear on exactly who invented fudge and when. But the origin story that still persists today is so good, it has to be true.
The word ‘fudge’ has been around since the early 1800s, before the sugary confection was even invented. Technically, the definition is “to fit together in a clumsy or underhand manner”—as in, “I lost the instructions for my IKEA desk, so I just fudged it.” And that’s pretty accurate in describing how fudge came to be: somebody fudged up.
In the 1860s, before fudge was a food, chocolate caramels were the latest candy innovation. They’re similar to fudge, but not exactly the same, and they can be pretty tricky to make. It requires very careful heating, stirring, and monitoring to get the consistency just right, and even the slightest deviation can ruin a batch…
One fateful day in the 1880s, a chocolatier accidentally bungled a batch of caramels they were trying to make. Tiny sugar crystals had formed in the mixture, which is bad news when you’re trying to make super-smooth caramel. Those sugar crystals were an amateur’s mistake! (Or, a moment of genius…) It could’ve been due to a temperature change, maybe they stirred the batch too much, or maybe they didn’t stir enough?
Whatever the case, the result was a soft, creamy, crumbly candy instead of a slick and chewy caramel. As legend has it, that chocolatier had a profound “oh, fudge” moment—only to discover that ‘fudged’ batch turned out to be pretty darn tasty! Hence, fudge made its way into American life.
Most accounts trace the beginnings of fudge back to a Baltimore grocery store, where it was sold for 40 cents a pound. Then, that fudge-maker shared the recipe with a cousin, she made it for her senior auction at Vassar College, other students at Vassar went wild and began cooking fudge over their dorm room gas lamps, recipes spread to other colleges, then all across the country, and finally fudge conquered the world.
You CAN Have Your Fudge and Pizza, Too
Okay, fudge may not have ‘conquered’ the world per se—definitely not like pizza has… But it IS an American culinary feat that has won the hearts and taste buds of people all across the planet. And an iconic staple in many folks’ holiday munching!
This year, you can have your fudge AND pizza, too. Don’t put pizza on hold for the holidays—eat this pizza fudge, and be merry!
- 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder (one 3.25oz envelope)
- ½ cup parmesan
- 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups/8oz mozzarella cheese, room temperature
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- dried oregano & dried basil, to taste (optional)
- mini pepperonis
- Line a 9-inch square pan/dish with foil or plastic.
- **First, if milk powder is coarse at all, add to food processor and process until smooth.
- Add milk powder (if not already added), parmesan cheese, butter, and room temperature mozzarella cheese to food processor and process until smooth.
- Add 4 cups of powdered sugar and pulse to combine. Season to taste with a dash of dried oregano and dried basil, if you’re feeling really pizza-y.
- Continue to pulse until the mixture is stiff, adding additional 1 cup of powdered sugar as needed.
- Spread fudge mixture into prepared pan. Top with mini pepperonis.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set in refrigerator for several hours, until firm.
- Remove from pan, cut into squares, and eat that pizza fudge.
Yields ~36 pieces of soft, cheesy pizza fudge.