Note: The fudge can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week. Awesome!
For Cookie Dough:
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons half-and-half, cream or milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) butter
pinch of salt
1/3 cup half-and-half, milk or cream
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (for topping the fudge)
Line an 8×8-inch or 9X9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside
For the cookie dough, in a medium bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer) combine the butter and sugars and beat with a handheld mixer (or again, use a stand mixer) on medium speed until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla, salt, and half-and-half. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. Set aside.
For the fudge base, combine the brown sugar, butter, salt, and half-and-half in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until the butter is melted and the brown sugar is dissolved. The mixture should be smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Gradually stir in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture is smooth and thick (I used close to the 5 cup amount). The mixture should be very thick. Let this mixture cool completely before proceeding!
Add the cookie dough to the fudge base and stir to combine. Spread the fudge into the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 chocolate chips on top of the fudge and lightly press them into the batter. Chill until set, about 3-4 hours, before cutting into pieces. The fudge can be made-ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week