Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm fudge obsessed

I didn't do a lot of candy making this year for Christmas.  I had just worked the most hours I've worked in 16 years and I was tired.  The elementary school has been using me as a substitute quite a bit lately, sometimes up to full time hours in a week.  I've been way too tired to actually make extra things.  

However, with the Christmas break being two full weeks and another four day weekend this weekend, I'm all rested up and I'm cooking all the candy I missed out on at Christmas.  This year I'm obsessed with new fudge flavors.  I can't help myself.  The eggnog was such a success, I had to try my hand at a few others I've been thinking about.   

These flavors are super easy to make, especially since I cheated on the maple nut.  I couldn't bring myself to buy real maple syrup for an experiment.  It's so expensive! And fudge is such a frivolous, non-necessary thing. I know, the artificial flavors aren't the same, but it was close enough for me.  

Maple Nut Fudge:

make vanilla fudge only omit the vanilla and add 2 t maple flavoring.  After the fudge is whipped, add 3/4 c walnuts.

See?  Super easy.  Like most fudge, this one tastes better if you can let it sit for at least 24 hours.  This allows the flavors to really blend and strengthen.

This one is my very favorite fudge ever.  I can not rave enough about it.  It was a little bite of heaven.

Orange Dreamsicle Fudge

Make vanilla fudge and this time reduce the vanilla to 1 t.  Add 1/4 t orange oil and the zest of one orange.  Also, you really need to let this one sit a day or so as well.  I have no idea if more than 24 hours makes a difference because, quite frankly, I was lucky this one lasted the full 24 hours.

I've got one more new flavor of fudge to make this afternoon and then I should be all fudged out for the year.


Well see.

Hopefully.  I have gained weight this month, sadly.  Those pounds tasted fantastic though.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eggnog Fudge

I'm a little slow on this one, but I think you can still find Eggnog in stores for a little bit longer.  Run out and buy a quart so you can make this.  You'll thank me later.  Unless you are on a diet.  Then you will curse me.  Whatever.  Eat it.  You're welcome.

The method for cooking this candy is exactly like chocolate fudge, so if you want a step by step with photos try this post on making chocolate fudge.   The sugar measurement looks weird.  I had to adjust the sugar in the recipe because eggnog has sugar in it already.  Basically it's 3 c minus 2 T.   Remember that sweating the pan and not scraping the pan out after cooking are the two most important steps in making sure your fudge does not sugar.    Also make sure you use a clean spoon after the candy has sweat in the pot.  If you stirred before sweating the pan, wash the spoon carefully to be sure no sugar is sticking to the spoon. Do not ignore these steps.

Eggnog Fudge

3 T butter
1 1/2 c prepared eggnog (store bought works perfectly.)
1/4 c light corn syrup
1/4 t salt
2 3/4 c + 2 T sugar
2 t vanilla
1/8-1/4 t nutmeg (to taste)

Combine all except vanilla and nutmeg in a 4 quart pot. Put a lid on the pot and cook over medium heat until the candy comes to a rolling boil. Let it boil for 2-5 minutes with the lid on. Remove lid and add candy thermometer. Cook and stir until mixture reaches exactly 238 degrees. Pour out into bowl of stand mixer; do not scrape out the pan. Just pour out the candy that comes easily and leave the rest in the pan. Let the mixture sit at room temperature until it reaches about 110 degrees. Add vanilla and nutmeg. Beat with the mixer using the flat paddle on medium speed. When mixture begins to lose it's gloss, scrape out into buttered 8x8 baking pan. Let cool until firm. Cut and serve. Makes about 2 lbs.

If you can wait a week before eating this fudge, you'll be even happier.  This fudge really intensifies in flavor as it sits and "ripens."  The texture smooths out and you can really taste that wonderful eggnog flavor.   Have fun with this one.