Ah, breakfast. Yep, it can be a bowl of whole grain cereal with milk, sliced bananas, and a glass of OJ. But sometimes, it’s okay to break the rules. After all, rules are made to be broken, especially when the world is still unpredictable and we need a feel-good change for the thrill.

I remember during a trip to Kauai; one morning I awoke to the scent of fresh brewed coffee. It was dawn – bright sunshine, birds chirping, and dozens of cats outdoors by the swimming pool. I got up and joined my gracious host at the breakfast table. We nibbled on pieces of dark chocolate, some with nuts, and ate fresh berries. I felt guilty, sort of, because this wasn’t a traditional breakfast. It was sinful and a time to forget I was on an assignment for work and go with the flow.

This year, due to the ongoing roller coaster pandemic, flying to the Hawaiian Islands isn’t happening for me, or perhaps you either. But this decadent fudge – with macadamia nuts, a popular treat and superfood in Hawaii – may give you a taste of that exotic vibe.

CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT FUDGE

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (I used an organic brand)

10 ounces Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Premium Baking Chips

8 ounces white chocolate chips

1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ cup pecans, chopped

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup macadamia nuts,chopped (rough chop)

In a pan, on medium heat milk and chocolate until mixed well and smooth. Remove from stovetop. Add vanilla, and fold in pecans. Use parchment paper and line an 8-inch by 8-inch glass dish. Pour fudge into it and spread evenly. Cover with foil and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours. When the fudge is set, place on cutting board and peel off paper. Top with macadamia nuts. Cut into squares. Makes 16 servings. Or cut more to enjoy mini squares. (It freezes well. Wrap each square in foil and place in an airtight plastic container with a lid.)

The texture is super smooth and super creamy complemented by a nice crunch from the two types of nuts. Savoring a piece with fresh raspberries or strawberries is sweet, naturally. One square is perfect and will provide you with a feel-good jolt. And note, dark chocolate contains mood-enhancing compounds, including caffeine, endorphins, and serotonin. Go ahead — pair a square or two with a cup of hot java in the morning or iced coffee in the afternoon. It’s not Hawaii but it will transport you there in flash without a long flight or jet lag — just happy.

Cal Orey, M.A., is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is www.calorey.com.