What comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day? Is there someone special? How about chocolates? Red roses? The silly little cards you passed out in elementary school? Those awful “conversation hearts” that were fun to read, but no one wanted to eat?
I hope this Valentine’s Day is a sweet one for you. Even if you aren’t in a romantic relationship right now, Valentine;s Day can still be fun. Hugs and kisses and sweet Valentine’s Day wishes are to be shared with friends and family. I’m reminded of one of my father’s favorite quotations:
“A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it – A song’s not a song ’til you sing it – Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay – Love isn’t love ’til you give it away!”
I can’t think of too many people who wouldn’t love to see a box of this fudge as a gift. Share my Datil Pepper Fudge with someone you love, and watch the fireworks begin. I added pecans because I love the nutty crunch, and they were my Grandmother Vickers’ favorite. I’ve been thinking about her a lot lately. She was a grand Southern Lady. Gracious to a fault, and full of love and kindness for everyone. She never met a stranger, and went out of her way to make people happy. For her, every day was Valentine’s Day. If we could all be as full of love as she was, the world would be a much better place.
I promised you Datil Pepper Fudge. It’s easy to make, and melts in your mouth. It’s incredibly rich and creamy, thanks to the condensed milk and marshmallow cream. It’s so easy, and so good, that I bet you’ll want to make it again and again and again.
Fun Facts about Valentine’s Day:
- Although many legends surround the origin of Valentine’s Day, the most prevalent concerns Bishop Valentine, who defied Claudius II, the Roman Emperor who banned marriage, fearing it made men weak, and poor soldiers during times of war. Bishop Valentine was imprisoned and put to death for secretly performing marriage ceremonies. When Claudius found out, of course, the secret was out of the bag, and poor Valentine paid the ultimate consequence.
- It’s said that while he was imprisoned, Bishop Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. He wrote her a love letter before he was executed, and signed it “from your Valentine.”
- In 1537, King Henry VI of England officially declared February 14, Valentine’s Day,
- In the late 1800’s Richard Cadbury created the first heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
- Over $1 billion dollars worth of chocolate will be purchased for Valentine’s Day gifts this year.
Why not make some Datil Pepper Fudge instead of buying a generic box of chocolates this year? or as Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump said:
“ My mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”
There’s absolutely no surprise here. These chocolates are pure decadence, elevated by the addition of datil peppers, pecans and sea salt. Mama would be proud. I know my mama would be proud.
A special Valentine’s Day shout out to some amazing friends, Virginia and Wallace. Without them, Charles Ray and I wouldn’t even know each other, much less be married for 24 years. This recipe is dedicated to them, although Virginia will probably never make it since the recipe has more than 5 ingredients! But that’s okay. I know not everyone loves to cook and bake as much as I do.
Served with a glass of red wine or champagne, it makes the perfect ending to any romantic meal. You and your Valentine will fall in love all over again. I know my Sweetheart will be happy to see this fudge wrapped with a big red bow!
Creamy Datil Pepper Fudge with Sea Salt and Pecans
- 16 oz chopped chocolate – (use good quality chocolate)
- 1 (13 oz) can condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
- 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon butter, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon Nuthin’ But Datil
- 2/3 cup chopped nuts ( I used pecans, my grandmother’s favorite)
- 1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
Line an 8” x 8 “square pan with foil.
In a large microwave safe bowl, add chocolate and condensed milk.
Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stopping after each minute to stir completely.
Stir in marshmallow cream, butter, vanilla, and Nuthin’ But Datil.
Once fully incorporated, stir in the nuts.
Fold the fudge into the foil lined pan and sprinkle with the sea salt.
Chill for 3-4 hours,
Once fudge is set, remove from pan and place on cutting board.
Cut into squares and serve with love.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Y’all