Pour 2½ cups of chocolate chips, heavy whipping cream and vanilla in to a small slow cooker. Stir and turn on high for one hour. Stir at the halfway point to make sure nothing is burning.
Line a pan with foil or parchment to pour the chocolate mixture into when done. You can use anything from 8x8 for a thin fudge to a 3x8 for a thicker version. It is all up to you.
Pour chocolate fudge into the foil/parchment lined pan and allow it to harden. Spread some caramel on top and swirl with a fork or skewer. Sprinkle sea salt on top of that.
Put in the refrigerator to harden for a couple of hours.
Cut into bite size pieces and serve or prepare for gift giving.
Variations: The options are endless here and you can have so much fun mixing up the "same" recipe over and over again with just a couple swaps.
Use peanut butter chips to make a peanut butter fudge
Or you can use peanut butter chips and swirl in chocolate at the end
Use espresso chips for a coffee lovers version
Consider using white chocolate chips and stir in Craisins
Make the chocolate version as it is and pour HALF of the chocolate in the pan, layer with crushed cookies and then put the remaining HALF of the chocolate in the pan.
When Is It Done: Easy enough! It comes away from the sides of the slow cooker with ease. Look at the photo where I plopped it from the slow cooker to the foil lined pan. That came out in one glop and it was perfect! Nothing stuck to the slow cooker at all. It was ready! That is also why I suggest checking it ever 15 minutes or so. Storage: You can keep this for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Because the sugar stabilizes the dairy, it is considered safe to keep this on the counter for 1-3 weeks. If you feel more comfortable, place in a container in the refrigerator, layer the fudge pieces between wax paper to wick as much moisture away from the fudge as possible. Slow Cooker Liner: If you want an easy cleanup, go right ahead and use a liner. This will allow you to lift up the liner and remove from the slow cooker with no mess at all.Freezer Friendly: Your fudge can be frozen if you would like. Just place in a freezer container or bag, and freeze for 3-4 months. When you want some fudge, slice and thaw on the counter. The key is to keep the moisture away from the fudge as much as possible to first wrap the fudge in wax paper and then wrap again in Saran, Press N Seal or Foil to protect it. Follow up by placing in a freezer safe bag or container that has a good seal.