Prep Time: 20 minutes
- 4-1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1 14-oz can condensed milk
- 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) butter
- 45 individually wrapped caramels
- 1.5 tbsp water
- 1-1/4 cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1. Prepare a 9×9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine 3 cups of chocolate chips, the condensed milk, and the butter. Microwave in one-minute increments until melted, about 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir until the candy is smooth and well-mixed. Pour the fudge into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer.
4. Place the fudge in the refrigerator to cool while you prepare the next layer: unwrap the caramels and place them in a small microwave-safe bowl with the water. Microwave until melted, about 1 minute.
5. Stir the caramels and water until the mixture becomes smooth and loose. If it is very stiff, microwave for another 15-20 seconds until it is easy to stir.
6. Add the chopped nuts to the caramel and stir briefly, then pour the caramel-nut mixture over the fudge and smooth into an even layer. Place the fudge in the refrigerator to cool while you prepare the final layer.
7. Place the remaining 1-1/3 cups chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until melted, about 1-2 minutes. Stir until smooth, and spread the chocolate over the fudge, covering all of the caramel and nuts in an even layer.
8. Place the fudge in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours. Once set, cut into 1-inch squares and let sit at room temperature briefly before serving. Store excess fudge in an airtight container in the refrigerator.