Showing posts with label Fudge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fudge. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The World’s Best Fudge

 LESLIE BUDEWITZ: My mother was a tremendous Christmas cookie baker. Quite literally, she’d make a dozen varieties each December, and friends and neighbors would eagerly await the trays she brought: Date Pinwheels, Russian Teacakes (aka Mexican Wedding Cakes and Pecan Sandies), Bourbon Balls, Date Coconut Balls, Spritz, Pfeffernus, Berlinkranzer, Peppermint Candy Canes (perfectly shaped, unlike my poor imitations), and more. Some she made every year; others moved in and out of rotation. A few were recipes she was given by two neighbor women, always referred to as the Frank girls, in the small German farming community where she was raised in Minnesota.

None of these cookies appeared any other time of year.  They were Christmas cookies.

And one kind of fudge. She occasionally tried a hard candy or a brittle, but those recipes rarely earned a second year.

Some years, I have attempted to follow her example and cookie up a storm.

This is not one of those years. While I may get a few batches of cookies in, as research for the next Food Lovers’ Village book, little flour has been spilled on my kitchen counters this year. I have managed a few batches of Glazed Spiced Nuts and Pretzel Mix, and went a little overboard with barks—white chocolate, dark chocolate, mocha, and more. And we threw our annual holiday brunch this past weekend---the opening photo is a peek at our table.

But I’ve given most of those away, and still wanted a little sweetness to share with Mr. Right. So—fudge. I find her recipe, made with marshmallows, too sweet. This version is a classic, made with sweetened condensed milk. If you’re nut fond of nuts, leave them out—that leaves more for me.

The title of this post is a tribute to our late brother-in-law, who swore he made the world’s best fudge. I kinda think I do. In truth, we probably used the same recipe, which sums up our relationship pretty well!

Classic Dark Chocolate Fudge

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (3- 6 ounce packages or 1-1/2-12 ounce packages)
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
dash of salt
½ to 1 cup chopped nuts (I prefer walnuts, but pecans work, too)
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Line an 8" or 9" square pan with foil and spray or butter generously.

Melt the chocolate, condensed milk, and salt in a heavy 2 or 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat.

Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla.

Spread evenly in the pan—a rubber spatula works beautifully.

Cool 2 hours or until firm. Turn onto a cutting board and cut in 1-2" squares.

Store in a sealed container at room temperature.


From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming soon!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Irma’s Killer Kahlua Fudge from Guest Duffy Brown #recipe #giveaway

Please welcome our guest today: the effervescent and always entertaining DUFFY BROWN with a mouthwatering recipe that has a special link to her books. 

While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy Brown longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. Today she is a National Bestselling author and conjures up who-done-it stories for Berkley Prime Crime. She has two series, the Consignment Shop mysteries set in Savannah and the Cycle Path Mysteries on Mackinac Island

Duffy has TWO giveaways today: make sure to read carefully!  Now, heeeere;s Duffy!

Braking for Bodies is the second book in my Cycle Path mystery series. 
It’s set on Mackinac Island, a chunk of land where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. The island has two main directions...up and down and with no cars that means everything is hauled by horses or bikes or on foot. If you live on the island for any stretch of time you’ll be in the best shape of your life from walking the hills or riding your bike because these are some hills! 

And this is a really good thing so you can walk off all that fudge!

The town is mainly two streets, Main Street and Market Street. Main faces the water and the one street back is Market. There are the usual tourist shops of t-shirt etc but the one thing that will capture your attention right away is that there are 18...yes 18!...fudge shops in town. Ryba’s, JoAnn’s, Murdocks, Mackinac get the picture

Inhale the mouthwatering aromas. Partake in the deliriously delicious confectioneries. Revel in the experience – your palate will think it won the lottery! The Island doesn’t claim to have created fudge. But after one taste, you’ll agree that it was perfected here. The flavors are to die for.
The tourist center says…Born in the years following the Civil War, the tradition of fudge making is stronger than ever and fudge remains the Island’s most popular and tastiest souvenir.  
I think they sell TEN tons of the stuff a year. That is a LOT of fudge. And of course there are a bazillion kinds of fudge. In addition to perfecting recipes, the art of fudge making also plays an important role on the island besides eating can watch it being made. There is actually a Fudge Festival every year. Holy cow! Nothing better than a fudge festival!
All the fudge shops have big windows where you can watch men…usually it is the guys doing this ‘cuse tossing fudge is hefty work. They throw big kettles of fudge onto big marble tables then use a thing that looks like a canoe paddle to flip the fudge up onto itself. This creates one big huge loaf of fudge. Then they toss in nuts and chocolate bits and bits of maple and toffee and cookie and peppermint etc…you get the picture on to the loaf as they flip it over and over and over as it cools. Once it does cool they cut the loaf into half-moons and sell it to the salivating customers lined up at the counters.

Sooooo, after all this talk about fudge, what is your favorite? Chocolate-chocolate, maple, Oreo, lavender (yep, it really tastes like lavender) peanut butter, pumpkin pie, turtle, raspberry, blueberry (it’s really blue!)

Tell me your fave flavor and share this blog on FB or twitter and I’ll give away two Braking for Body totes from the answers.

Here is a recipe from Irma who owns The Good Stuff fudge shop in the series.

        Irma’s Killer Kahlua Fudge
        From her fudge shop...The Good Stuff...on Mackinac Island
1 teaspoon butter
3/4 cup butter
3 cups sugar
1 can (5 ounces only) evaporated milk
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons brandy
1 cup white baking chips
2 tablespoons creme de cacao or Kahlua (coffee liqueur)

Line 8-in. square pan with foil and grease with 1 teaspoon butter.

  In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, milk and remaining butter. 

Boil over medium heat so as not to burn the chocolate, stirring constantly.  

Cook and stir for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
 Divide marshmallow creme between two small bowls.
 Pour half of the above sugar mixture into each bowl. 

To one bowl, stir in semisweet chips until melted and stir in brandy. 

 Into the other bowl, stir in white chips until melted, stir in creme de cacao or Kahlua.

  Spread chocolate mixture into prepared pan. 

Top with white mixture; cut through with a knife to swirl. Cool to room temperature. 

Chill until set completely.

  Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Discard foil; cut fudge into 1-in. squares or rectangles.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: about 3 pounds.

Irma says… Once you add the chips to the mixture, work really fast as the fudge sets up quick

We say: Thanks a million, Duffy (and Irma too!) for a great post.  Check out Duffy's website and sign up for her newsletter.  And visit Mackinac!


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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Fudge and Fried Chicken as Christmas Traditions by Cleo Coyle

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal featured a story on a popular modern Christmas tradition in Japan--fried chicken. And not just any fried chicken. Apparently, Kentucky Fried Chicken is the place many go for their holiday meal. The tradition is so popular customers must make reservations months in advance. According to WSJ, Japan’s "Christmas-chicken tradition" dates back to the early 1970s when a non-Japanese customer came into a KFC store in Tokyo to buy fried chicken as a turkey substitute. 

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For Italian-Americans like my husband and I, the Feast of the Seven Fishes has been part of our Christmas celebration. And so are cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. Many of the holiday treats in our childhood homes were laced with anisette or rum. While I enjoyed those flavors as a child, my husband and his brother were bigger fans of their mom's chocolate fudge. Her recipe was simply the one found on the Marshmallow Fluff jar with a few exceptions. Every year she would vary what was added. Some years there were walnuts or cashews, other years salted peanuts or pecans, and then there were maraschino cherries, raisins, or M&M candies.

Our parents are no longer with us, and the holiday is a little less bright because of it. Naturally, with December 25th approaching, Marc longed for a batch of his mom's chocolate fudge. And since I was scheduled to post a recipe here for Christmas week, I thought I'd combine the two while trying my hand at my mother-in-law's "add-in" tradition. My choice--macadamia nuts.

The results? Marc said the macadamia nuts tasted better than any of the varieties he'd eaten in past years. High praise indeed. 

So let's get that fudge going...

Marc's Mother's Chocolate Christmas Fudge*

*Recipe slightly adapted from a jar of Marshmallow Fluff made by Durkee-Mower, Inc.

Makes enough fudge to fill a 9x9 pan (for thicker fudge use 8x8)


4 tablespoons butter 
2 ½ cups white, granulated sugar
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk 
7.5-ounce jar of Marshmallow Fluff 
½ teaspoon table salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips 
1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts (measure after chopping)

(1) First line a 9x9 or 8x8 pan with parchment or wax paper, allowing a little extra to hang over the sides for handles. (You will use the handles to lift the fudge block out of the pan for easy cutting.) Lightly butter the paper to prevent sticking.

(2) In a medium-sized saucepan (non-stick, if possible), over low heat, melt the butter. Then add the sugar, evaporated milk, Fluff, and salt. Stir over low heat until ingredients are well blended. 

(3) Increase the heat until the mixture is boiling. (Not simmering or burping but truly boiling.) Continue to boil while slowly stirring constantly, for about 6 minutes (do not cut this time short). Remove from heat and let cool for about about 2 minutes. (Why? If the mixture is still boiling when you add the vanilla, the intense heat will destroy the extract's full flavor.) Now add the vanilla and chocolate chips and stir until chips are melted and everything is blended. Fold in the nuts. 

(4) Pour the mixture into your prepared pan and let cool at room temperature, uncovered, for at least two hours before cutting. Store the fudge in an airtight container at room temperature for up to ten days. (That's in theory. Ours is always eaten long before then!)

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Free Recipe PDF

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~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

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