Christmas Cooking: Fantastic Fudge

FudgeOh Fudge, how fun it is and so varying. I made 5 kinds on the Ninth, only technically two of them were from the same original recipe, I just altered it a bit.

Simple Fudge: Take 1

SimpleFudgeCompliments of Better Homes and Gardens I didn’t make too many changes, mainly I didn’t make my first batch with nuts. There is something to be said about the name: Simple. It may be the name of it, and it was simple, but more importantly even though it may have been more complicated then the three ingredient mint, I think it was my favorite version. The consistency was really nice and the possibilities of variation are endless.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 – 5 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups small marshmallows
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Line a 8x8x2 baking pan with foil, butter lining and set aside
  2. Butter sides of a large saucepan and combine sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. (I put the butter in first and turned on the heat to let the butter melt a bit before adding the next two ingredients). Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 6 minutes. Don’t get sidetracked and decide to eat a clementine during this time, you may burn the fudge the mixture a little if you do.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix until marshmallows and chocolate have melted and everything is fully combined.
  4. Spread fudge evenly in prepared pan. I placed mine in the fridge for twenty minutes before scoring into squares. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 (or until firm).
  5. Once firm use foil to lift out of pan and fully cut fudge (if you didn’t earlier. I had so it pulled apart rather easily).
  6. Store tightly covered in fridge for up to 1 month.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge

CookieDoughFudgeI was surprised that this one had flour in it, that really threw me. Also, this was the recipe that required me to nearly burn my face off to check the thermometer. Also, mine did not look like the one on the blog I found the recipe but that’s okay (obviously).

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half (original recipe called for using 1/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup heavy cream)
  • 1 Tbs corn syrup
  • 3/4 tsp  sea salt
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Spray an 8×8 inch  baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the sugars, cream, milk, corn syrup and salt.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 242 degrees (ie the soft-ball stage).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and flour.
  5. Adding the flour made it crumbly so I skipped some of the other directions, poured it into a dish and covered with chocolate chips, then immediately popped it in the fridge to stop them from melting too much.
  6. Let set for at least two hours, cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge

FunfettiFudgeI altered the recipe, or rather the directions from the original. Mainly because I have terrible luck when it comes to microwaving chocolate. I have a hard enough time not burning the chocolate when I’m constantly watching it in a pot. Anyway yeah, if you want microwave directions check out the original post.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3.5 cups white chocolate chips
  • 3 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  • Rainbow Sprinkles

Directions:

  • Pour milk and white chocolate into pan and heat until chips are melting and blend both until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and almond and combine thoroughly.
  • In the original directions
  • Immediately add vanilla and almond and combine thoroughly.
  • Transfer to an aluminum-foil lined baking pan. Sprinkle fudge generously with sprinkles. Put in refrigerator until set.
  • Once set, cut into cubes (and peel off foil). Store leftover in an airtight container in a cool place.

3 Ingredient Fudge

3 Ingredient MintLikewise with the funfetti I adapted this one to be a stove-top over microwave venture. Backwards huh? Usually people want to go from stove to microwave not the other way around. Original recipe from Made (I like the header)

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 14 oz can condensed milk
  • 1 – 14 oz package of semi sweet chocolate chips.
  • 1 – 10 oz package of Andes mint chips
  • Optional garnish: Crushed Candy Cane (I only used 1 but kind of wish I had used more because I only had enough to cover half of the fudge)

Directions:

  1. In pot combine chocolate, Andes mint chips and condensed milk; mix
  2. heat until mixture is smooth
  3. pour in to lined pan (I poured some, then added some food coloring, did NOT fully mix it in, I liked the marble look)
  4. sprinkle with garnish and pop in fridge to cool
  5. once set, cut into pieces and store in cool place

Simple Fudge: Take 2 – Simple Mint Fudge

SimpleMintLike I said earlier the possibilities for variation are endless. The original post had a peanut butter option, and I was going to go that route but apparently I decided to make more mint stuff. I had planned on using both vanilla and mint (hence both are in the photo) but instead just substituted mint for vanilla. I also added more Andes mints then what I pictured. I had peppermint Andes chips that I topped the fudge with once I was done. I decided to use all white chips and then added a few drops of food coloring to make a swirled white/pink fudge.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 – 5 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups small marshmallows
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon mint extract
  • Chopped candy cane

Directions:

  1. Line a 8x8x2 baking pan with foil, butter lining and set aside
  2. Butter sides of a large saucepan and combine sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. (I put the butter in first and turned on the heat to let the butter melt a bit before adding the next two ingredients). Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 6 minutes. Don’t get sidetracked and decide to eat a clementine during this time, you may burn the fudge the mixture a little if you do.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and add remaining ingredients. Mix until marshmallows and chocolate have melted and everything is fully combined.
  4. Spread fudge evenly in prepared pan. At this time I sprinkled the fudge with chopped candy cane. I placed mine in the fridge for twenty minutes before scoring into squares. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 (or until firm).
  5. Once firm use foil to lift out of pan and fully cut fudge (if you didn’t earlier. I had so it pulled apart rather easily).
  6. Store tightly covered in fridge for up to 1 month.
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41 days of Celebration: Days 16-22

Decorating_2It’s that time again. The roundup of what the last week of celebrating has held for yours truly. It, as time does, has flown right on by. Although it’s been filled with mainly decorating, given the right playlist, it has been an uber blast. So without further ado, the synopsis.

Day 16: Friday, December 7: Movie Night
I decided to go ahead and skip the surprise and watch While You Were Sleeping (since, indeed, it had been left out of the bag). I really enjoy that movie, and it’s all about Christmas time. 

Day 17: Saturday, December 8: Decorating (will it ever end)
Decorating_1Spent the day just chillin’ and decorating the apartment. It was nice to get it almost done (needed to print some stuff to actually finish). I was able to use up most of the ornaments though (I only have about 8 left) so that made me feel unnecessarily accomplished. I was also happy to have a use for all of the random glassware that I have acquired.

Day 18: Sunday, December 9: Cooking and a Classic

It was a fudge-filled day on Sunday. I woke early (for a weekend at least) and started with the first of five batches of fudge. After two I realized I messed up when I went grocery shopping, not getting enough white chocolate chips. I also ran out of sugar. That’s a staple in the kitchen, how did I run out? Anyway, I popped off to the store (stopping in at work for a short while-yeah, I’m cool) and returned ready to knock out three more types. I had only planned on making 4, but decided the Simple Fudge recipe was so easy (obviously, apparently the name wasn’t enough of a give away) that I decided to alter it a bit and make another mint variety.
In the photo above, clockwise starting with the white with sprinkles, I made Funfettif Fudge, 3 Ingredient Mint, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge, Simple Fudge & Simple Mint Fudge. It was fun making it because with the various recipes they all came out with different textures. For instance the cookie dough fudge is more crumbly then the simple mint which is more chewy. Always a learning experience.

Better Way

Better Way

Wrong Way

Wrong Way

Something I love about cooking is that since I’m such a novice (apparently that beginning foods class I took freshmen year in high school didn’t make me a pro) that I do a lot of learning by experience. For instance one of the recipes told me to use a candy thermometer. The pot I was using was too short for the thermometer to properly clip to the side and be perfectly upright. At first I attached it to a tumbler and put it next to the pot. That notion was quickly dismissed and I just angled it in the pot. However I was afraid to check it. In order to read it I had to put my face over the bubbling boiling sugar. Sugar burns are the worst (if past memory is accurate). Luckily I came out of this episode of cooking unscathed.

Every time I almost forget to mention the classic. Any road, this week it was The Phantom of The Opera. I love musicals in general, but the notion of being so overcome with emotion (both positive and negative which this movie has a LOT of) that the only way to expel it is through song is foreign to me. SO fun and it came out around Christmas which may be why I felt the need to include it. (I enjoy how some movies, that have absolutely nothing (or very very little) to do with Christmas are inextricably linked with the holiday. Personal examples include Harry Potter (that one scene in the first movie apparently pulls them all into holiday season, even though most of them came out in the summer), Lord of the Rings and (of course) Sherlock Holmes thanks to Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.) It is so easy for me to forget that Gerard Butler is the Phantom in this movie. It was done long enough ago (and introduced) before he started doing all of the action/rom-coms that it really seems like its two different people. Just a side note.

Day 19: Monday, December 10: Story time (and yes! done decorating)
PostersFINALLY DONE DECORATING! I had some Christmas posters that I ‘needed’ to print before I could sign off on the holiday decorating. L->R: The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear” From Elf; “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” from Luke: 2; and “What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I also enjoyed listening to A Christmas Carol, narrated by Patrick Stewart – love! He certainly makes a good scrooge (in both the video and audio format).

Day 20: Tuesday, December 11: WHO Tuesday (doesn’t have the same ring to it as WHO Wednesday). Ever the flexible person I watched Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned. As always, I really enjoyed the Doctor. However I do forget that Astrid is  Kylie Minogue. For whatever reason I have a different picture of her in my head. Oh well, obviously not important. 

Day 21: Wednesday, December 12: No Christmasy stuff
I had some non-Christmas family stuff tonight. Nothing major, but it did take me away from home for the entire night.

Day 22: Thursday, December 13: Red & Green Supper
RedGreenSupperThis idea was mentioned on some blog or another and I liked it (obviously). I did cop out a bit though and just had a salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I didn’t really have time to do anything fancy since I headed out for a night of volleyball. However, elaborate or not, just knowing it was all green and red made me almost giddy, weird.

More celebration and Christmas to come as well as the recipes from fudge week! ~ Q