Favorite Things, Day 4: Good Recipes


During  the month of December,  I am setting a goal to post each day with one  of my favorite  somethings. It could be a favorite food, a favorite  thing, a favorite  person, a favorite blog, a favorite handmade thing, a  favorite place...  really a favorite any and everything!   Join me as I review my favorites during December 2010! I'd love to read about your favorites too!

I know you'll be shocked to know this, but I love to cook. Really - I do. I love, love, love it.

While, there are many parts and facets I love about cooking (accoutrements, ingredients, processes, science and don't even get me started on enjoying the bounty/benefits!), it's all important to have a good base starting recipe (for whatever it is that you're making). Over the years, I've relied on my mothers (she is an amazing cook!) recipes as my base/starting recipes, and then I've made them my own. It's not even that I've improved them or anything, it's that I worked to make them "mine". They're not better, just different.

It's the holiday season, and everyone seems enjoy fudge during the holidays. So, when I knew I'd be bringing refreshments for my classes this weekend at Paper Crown in Oklahoma City, fudge was the first thing I knew I'd be bringing with me. I made Peanut Butter Ribbon Fudge, Creamy Chocolate Walnut Fudge, and  White Candy Cane Fudge.

They were a hit!

More than thought they'd be too!

And I was thrilled! (More about how fabulous my classes have been later!)

I had loads of compliments, and several requests for the recipes. So, I knew I had to share them here.

I hope you enjoy them - and even MORE importantly, that you try to make them for yourself! The recipe's can all be halved, and made in a 8"x8" dish, rather than making a 9"x13" pan full ('cause, let me tell you. That is a LOT of fudge!!)

Peanut Butter Ribbon Fudge
 Ingredients:
1 cup butter
4-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup milk       
1-1/2 cups peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions:
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth; pour into an 9”x13”  inch dish. Chill until firm and cut into squares.

Candy Cane Fudge

INGREDIENTS:
4 (10 ounce) packages vanilla baking chips
2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1-1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups crushed candy canes (approximately 24 regular candy canes)
2 dashes red or green food coloring

Directions:
Line an 9”x13” baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease the foil.  Combine the vanilla chips and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until almost melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until smooth. When chips are completely melted, stir in the peppermint extract, food coloring, and candy canes.

Spread evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill for 2 hours, then cut into squares.

Creamy Chocolate Walnut Fudge


INGREDIENTS:
INGREDIENTS:
2 (7 ounce) jars marshmallow creme
2-1/2 cups white sugar
1-1/4 cups evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk chocolate chips
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
Line a 9”x13” inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.

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