Calico Ingredients 101

Calico Ingredients 101

Only the best: What’s inside our fabulous fudge

Fudge Mix: Pre-measured ingredients

Calico’s world-famous fudge took years of research, development and testing to get to the gold standard it has achieved today. Our fudge starts with four basic but essential flavor ingredients: plain, chocolate, milk chocolate and penuchi. The sugar in our fudge is ground specifically for Calico and gives it more than just sweetness, it gives our fudge its consistently creamy texture, great flavor and long shelf life. Our sugar has allowed us to perfect Calico’s foolproof, low-temperature fudge-making process.

A full case of regular ingredients typically yields one batch or about 35 lbs of fudge, which will produce five or six 6-lb slabs. Each ingredient has a shelf life of at least two years when stored at 75 degrees F or lower. Batch weights vary depending on the variety of fudge you’re making and whether you’ve used any additional ingredients.

  • Plain: a neutral base with a superb texture that can be used for all light-colored, melt-in-your-mouth fudges, like Vanilla, Maple, Peanut Butter and Mint.
  • Chocolate: a richly flavored base that’s used for all the dark fudges, such as Chocolate, Chocolate Nut and Rocky Road.
  • Milk Chocolate: creamy, well-rounded milk chocolate used for lighter or milkier versions of Chocolate variety fudges.
    All of Calico’s chocolate ingredients are complex products that allow for a wide variety of possible flavor options. Years of testing have allowed us to create chocolate ingredients that yield well-rounded flavor and a perfect aftertaste.
  • Penuchi uses a special brown sugar sourced for Calico specifically because it will not become lumpy and it has the perfect taste. Penuchi-based fudge is popular in certain regions of the country, especially in the Northeast.


Always use fresh, salted or unsalted butter (salted butter has a longer shelf life) for making fudge. Don’t use frozen butter, only butter that has been refrigerated or is at room temperature. One batch of regular fudge will need two pounds of butter, so make sure to have lots on hand. Never use margarine instead of butter, because your fudge won’t taste as good and will have a shorter shelf life.


Flavoring is far more complicated chemistry than it seems and flavor quality and strength varies depending on the manufacturer and the formulation.  Yet without the right combination of liquid flavorings, our fudge wouldn’t taste as fantastic as it does.

Hundreds of companies sell flavorings. Some are stable and release their best flavor at high temperatures; others at lower temperatures. At Calico Cottage, we have painstakingly tested dozens of flavorings with a host of different flavor profiles to find the ones that make our fudge taste its absolute creamiest and richest. Our Vanilla and Maple flavorings, for example, were sourced over 40 years ago and remain a staple of our outstanding fudge.

Our fudge recipes are based on flavorings sold by Calico, which will maximize the flavor of your fudge and have a shelf life of eight months. We often hear from our consumers that fudge made with non-Calico flavoring have an artificial taste to them or simply no taste at all. You want your fudge to be the creamiest and most delicious on the market, so be sure and use flavorings only from Calico, made expressly for our world-famous fudge.


Your customers associate certain colors in food with specific flavors. Red, for example, is associated with cherry, raspberry and strawberry; green with lime and mint. Although color can enhance the appearance of many foods with fudge, too much color looks artificial. Too little and the fudge looks bland, tasteless. The wrong color makes it look unappetizing. To obtain the best coloring possible use Calico’s colorings in the quantities specified by each recipe.

Add-In Ingredients:

Calico offers a host of ingredients that can be added to fudge to create an unlimited number of flavors. Add-in ingredients take several forms: yummy candy or fruit pieces, slabs for layered effects, mashes for fruity flavors and even gooey favorites like JIF peanut butter. Whatever you add to your fudge, you can rest knowing Calico sources only the finest ingredients and add ins and does extensive testing to be sure your fudge is delicious every time.

Nuts, candy, and fruit pieces

Nuts: fudge that’s densely packed with premium walnuts and pecans are among our retailers’ best selling flavors. The nuts we supply are carefully chosen for their generous size and exceptional flavor. They are specially handled and packaged in a way that will extend their shelf life. Our superior nuts make every piece of Chocolate Walnut or Butter Pecan fudge taste incredibly fresh and deliciously nutty.

Chocolate or Chocolate-Flavored Chips: these can be used as topics for many fudge varieties. Although chocolate-flavored chips might be less expensive, real chocolate chips taste better.

Chocolate Liquor: our liquor is pure, unsweetened chocolate. Small morsels of this slightly bitter chocolate are used in making Dark Chocolate Fudge and other dark chocolate varieties, like Dark Chocolate Nut and Dark Chocolate Caramel Toffee.

Shredded Coconut: this is used in many fudge varieties including Caramel Coconut Delight and Chocolate Coconut Walnut. Shredded coconut is also used to decorate Fudg-Kist™ Apples.

Apple pieces: unsulphured, dried apple pieces are the perfect size for use in Apple Pie Fudge and Caramel Apple Pie Fudge.

Butterfinger® pieces: add these crushed candies to Vanilla Fudge to make Fudge with Butterfinger® and to decorate Fudge-Kist™ Apples.

HEATH® English Toffee Chunks: these sweet, crunchy chunks are added to Vanilla Fudge to make HEATH® English Toffee Fudge and used to decorate Fudg-Kist™ Apples.

Malted Milk Medium Crunch: adding this malted crunch to Vanilla Fudge makes Malted Milk Fudge, ensuring the taste of malted milk in every bite.

Mini Marshmallows: use about eight oz. of small, chewy miniature marshmallows per slab to make Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge or Rocky Road Fudge.


Peanut Slabs: this delicious sweet-yet-salty blend of caramel and peanuts is used in making Caramel Peanut Fudge, which compares in taste to a Snickers® bar.

Praline Slabs: a blend of caramel and pecans used to make Chewy Praline Fudge.

Coconut Dough: this moist dough is used to make several coconut fudge varieties including coconut Crème Fudge, which tastes a lot like a Mounds® Bar.


Fruit Mashes: these are used to make Blueberry, Strawberry and Raspberry Cheesecake fudge varieties. Raspberry Mash can also be used to make Raspberry Chocolate Swirl, Raspberry Chocolate Dream, Raspberry Vanilla Swirl and Raspberry Cinnamon Crumb Cake.

Other Add-Ins

Peanut Butter: After testing many brands of creamy peanut butter, Calico recommends Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter. It results in the best tasting Peanut Butter Fudge.

Caramel Loaves: these can be used to make several varieties of fudge that contain caramel as well as your own caramel fudge candy.

Jalapeño Powder: this finely ground powder made from dried Jalapeño peppers is used to make Jalapeño Fudge.

Key Lime Juice: this juice is used to make Key Lime Fudge. Calico’s is concentrated, so it’s much stronger than store-bought lime juice, which will create a weak-tasting Lime Fudge.