Sunday, December 13, 2020

Maw Maw’s Fudge (with Candy Cane Sprinkles) by Amy Pershing

LUCY BURDETTE: I am delighted to welcome first-time author Amy Pershing to our kitchen today. Her fudge looks amazing and I know you'll enjoy her book, A SIDE OF MURDER, coming February 23 to stores near you! Make sure you add a comment to be entered in the drawing for Amy's new book!



AMY PERSHING: I spent childhood summers on Cape Cod, and once a season, my great-grandmother, Maw Maw, would invite me, my sister and three brothers to a fudge-making party.  This was a great honor, and we always arrived with scrubbed faces and wearing our Sunday best. To this day, we all consider ourselves experts in testing for the soft-ball stage. (I now use a candy thermometer, and I have to admit I kind of miss that part of the magic.) If you’ve made fudge before, you know that the only hard part is the hand beating of the cooled mixture (always with a wooden spoon).  Maw Maw cleverly persuaded us, a la Tom Sawyer, that this was the fun part! 

Below is her recipe for chocolate fudge (with my addition of crushed candy canes on top).  Enjoy!


Ingredients 


2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped 

 2 cups sugar

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon corn syrup     

2 tablespoons butter (plus a little more for greasing the pan or plate)

1 teaspoons vanilla extract     

½ cup crushed candy canes (optional but seasonal!)


Directions

Prep: Grease an 8-inch-square pan with butter. (Maw Maw always used a buttered plate, so I compromise with a small casserole because I like my fudge squares fatter.)




Put the milk and chocolate in a heavy saucepan, dutch oven or stock pot (I use this small stock pot my Aunt Nancy gave me for Christmas one year because it is red and it makes me happy).  Stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the chocolate is melted. Add the sugar and corn syrup and continue to stir until the syrup reaches a boil.  While the syrup cooks, gently push down any crystals that form on the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in a little warm water.

At that point, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan, being careful not to let it touch the bottom (most have a guard so you don’t really have to worry about that).




Let the syrup cook, stirring  occasionally, until the thermometer reaches 234° F (or until a half teaspoon or so of the syrup, when dropped in very cold water, forms a soft ball which flattens when removed from the water.) 

Carefully remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture rest, undisturbed. Let it cool to approximately 110° F (or until the bottom of the pan is very warm but no longer hot). Be patient—this may take a half hour or so!




Add the vanilla and butter and begin to stir with a wooden spoon. You need to stir the mixture until it starts to lose its “sheen.” This can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. The idea is to beat it until just starts holding together in a soft mound that can be spread into the buttered pan or plate.




Pour the mixture into the prepared pan or plate and pat it down with your fingers dipped in a little water or a greased spatula. Sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces over the top and press into the warm fudge.

Let the fudge cool completely.  The longer the better, preferably for a few hours or overnight.  Then cut into small squares (this stuff is rich!)




TA DA!!!!  

Definitely worth leaving out for Santa!


And if all this seems like too much work, here’s my husband’s suggested alternative. (Ahahahahahaha! Brilliant!)  




AND WHILE YOU’RE WAITING FOR THAT FUDGE TO COOL…



… you might want to take a moment and pre-order yourself (and maybe your mom, your sister, your best friend?) A SIDE OF MURDER, the first of my Cape Cod Foodie mysteries, as a post-holiday pick-me-up.  Because let me tell you, what we’re all gonna need by February is an ESCAPE. How does Seafood, sand, surf and … murder sound? 

It’s worth a try, right?  After all, the inimitable Lucy Burdette liked it, saying: “An exquisite Cape Cod setting, a shamed but resilient chef, murderous secrets, and a long-buried but still steaming romance… Amy Pershing’s debut mystery will leave you longing for a seaside vacation, complete with fried clams and the next book in her charming series.”

And the amazing Krista Davis was kind enough call it “a delicious mystery lovingly set in Cape Cod featuring a cast of charming characters. Amy Pershing writes with a fresh fun voice that will delight cozy fans. Chef turned restaurant critic Samantha Barnes proves a clever sleuth whose helpful cooking tips will be a big hit with culinary readers.”


Here’s the premise: 

Samantha Barnes was always a foodie.  And when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple.  But then the rising young chef’s clash with another chef (her ex!) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits a house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy.  And the town’s harbor master is none other than her first love.  Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to reviewing the Bayview Grill—and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Sam is certain this is murder. But as she begins to stir the pot, is she creating a recipe for her own untimely demise?

Read more about A SIDE OF MURDER (including the full recipe for Aunt Ida’s Clam Chowder!) on Amy's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram

And leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for a copy of A SIDE OF MURDER...


85 comments:

  1. That fudge sounds delicious. I love fudge and peppermint, so it's win/win, right?

    Looking forward to your debut. (I'll get it from the publisher, so don't enter me in the contest.)

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    1. A total win/win! I hope you enjoy A Side of Murder as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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  2. Since I am from NYC and have lived on Cape Cod year round I am looking forward to this new series. I am planning to check out the clam chowder recipe on your website. lroth(at)pcext(dot)com

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    1. Thank you! And please do check out Aunt Ida's clam chowder. It will instantly transport you back to the Cape!

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  3. The fudge sounds yummy, and welcome to the blog. We should have our Cape Cod protagonists meet up one day! Where did you locate your town?

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    1. Thanks for your kind welcome, Edith! I loved Murder on Cape Cod (wicked good!), and I think Sam and Mac should definitely share a glass of wine (or a ride on the bike trail) together! Fair Harbor is a mash up of Orleans, Eastham,Wellfleet and my own fevered imagination.

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  4. Your fudge sounds delicious. My husband always wants me to make fudge when I start my Christmas cookie baking! Looking forward to reading your new book and series.
    sharonquiltsatyahoodotcom

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    1. Thanks, Sharon! Definitely make the fudge for your husband, but only if he promises to do the beating part ;) Otherwise, you might want to give him my husband's alternative bowl of red and green M&Ms!

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  5. Thank you for your Maw Maw’s Fudge recipe. I love the addition of the Candy Cane Sprinkles. I, too, remember being in the kitchen with my Granny as well as my Mom. Such fabulous memories and a great treat to pass on the other generations.

    Can't wait for the opportunity to read "A SIDE OF MURDER". It's on my TBR list. Thank you for the chance o win a copy! It would be a double win -a chance to read the book and to become more acquainted with a new to me author. Sharing and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected. I would be more than happy to share my honest review on several book mediums as well as sharing those on social media.

    Be safe, stay healthy and have a little adventure along the way - even if through the pages of a good book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Hi, Kay! I'm so glad that my post inspired those happy memories! And I hope you enjoy A Side of Murder -- I certainly enjoyed writing it!

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  6. That fudge looks so delicious. Thanks for the chance.

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    1. Hi Jessica! Give it a try -- it's even better than it looks!

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  7. That fudge looks so delicious. Thanks for the chance.

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  8. I LOVE your husband’s idea!!!! Book sounds amazing. Hope you have a great Christmas and New Year.

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    1. Bill is all about making life simple!!! And Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too.

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  9. The fudge sounds amazing, as does the book. Can't wait to try both!

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    1. Here's an idea: Make the fudge and eat it all while reading the book! Best of both worlds, right?

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  10. This fudge sound looks absolutely delicious and is the perfect treat for the holidays.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

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    1. Hi Christine! It's definitely worth the effort!

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  11. The fudge sounds delicious, and congratulations on your debut mystery, Amy! And thanks for allowing me to experience seafood, sand and surf virtually in culinary mystery in February.
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Grace! I'm actually looking forward to re-reading it then myself ;) We're definitely going to need some seafood, sand and surf in the grey days of February!

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  12. I’d be making your husband’s alternative
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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    1. Ahahahahaha! A girl after my own heart! Who doesn't love a bowl of red and green M&Ms?!

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  13. Brooklynite who loves vacationing on the Cape. We usually stay at a hotel on Canal Road in Orleans. It allows us access to all the major and minor roads and gives us a flip of a coin option of new directions to visit. Chocolate Fudge... Stopped eating it as a child when my dad's new wife became a shrew... But I still love chocolate in any form.

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    1. Yes, Orleans is wonderfully central to so many beautiful spots! And if you haven't tried the Chocolate Sparrow for wonderful homemade chocolate treats, definitely give it a try!

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  15. The fudge looks so delectable. I love fudge and especially during the summer spent at the Jersey Shore. Your books sounds captivating and wonderful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! I hope you enjoy A Side of Murder. Maybe eat some fudge while you're reading it!

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  17. Wow! Some amazing writers recommend this book! The novel sells itself, however. An old house that comes with a dog, a troubled past, a new beginning . . . So much to love about this book l

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    1. Hi, Lisa! Yes, the generosity of these wonderful authors -- Lucy Burdette, Krista Davis and Elizabeth Gilbert -- is amazing! And I'm so glad you like the premise of the book. Enjoy!!!

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  18. Thanks for the wonderful fudge recipe. Fudge is so soothing and indulgent. I need it now. I would enjoy your mystery. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Soothing and indulgent! The perfect fudge description! Hope you love A Side of Murder, too!

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  19. I love making candy for the holidays and always looking for new recipes. I'll definitely be giving this fudge, and your book, a try. Both look great!
    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks, Alicia! My suggestion is to do both at once -- eat the fudge while reading the book! Enjoy!!!

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  20. Oh my gosh! We get fudge every year at the Jersey boardwalk from my favorite candy shop. I've never attempted to make it, but this recipe sounds perfect for the Holidays. I can't wait to try it.

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    1. Let me know how it goes, Tina! (I love Jersey boardwalk fudge, too!)

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  21. Thank you (and Maw Maw) for a fudge recipe that doesn't rely on marshmallow fluff!
    This sounds delicious. Bet it melts on your tongue.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Just the words "marshmallow fluff" have Maw Maw shaking her head in disapproval up in heaven. My husband, on the other hand, eats the stuff by the spoonful;)

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