Tag Archives: brown eyed baker

Day 2 of Bakers Dozen: Fudge

Fudge. And that’s all I need to say about this post.

Kidding. Sort of. I love fudge. Really love fudge. But only good fudge. The kind you can get at a really good chocolate store. Rich and creamy and melts in your mouth (not to be confused with that *candy* that melts in your mouth, supposedly). And when it comes to fudge, I am a purist. Just chocolate for me please. Sure, I’ll try the others, with nuts, egg nog, pumpkin, cookies. They are all fine. Even made peanut butter for this post since hubby loves peanut butter. But I just want to savor my chocolate fudge. That’s all I need.

And this was the first time I had made fudge the way it is supposed to be made. No marshmallow fluff. No condensed milk. I’ve made those versions before. They are quick and easy. But not the real thing.  And not nearly as tasty. I did the old fashioned way of cooking the chocolate mixture to 235F and then waiting. And waiting. And waiting for the full 24 hours for the chocolate to completely set so you can then start nibbling. One piece here, just one more there. Oh fudge.

My hubby also loves fudge as much as I do, but his love is split between chocolate and peanut butter. The peanut butter fudge turned out good, but not amazing. It was a bit dry (but got better as the days went on) and I think that was because I used fresh ground hippy, dippy, and trippy peanut butter instead of those awful brands Skippy, Jif, and whatever other company dares to call their “product” peanut butter. I’ll spare you the ingredient list this time, but those products have  who knows what else added to the peanut butter. The product I used just had peanut butter. It had great peanut butter taste, just was a bit dry.

The perk about this peanut butter fudge is that it is really  easy to make. I actually made the peanut butter fudge while waiting for the chocolate fudge to cook. Yup, that easy. Just melt the butter and peanut butter together, make a mess while adding powdered sugar, and voila! Peanut butter fudge!

Meanwhile, you’ll still be waiting for the chocolate fudge to rise to the proper temperature. It will be worth your wait. Might as well clean your kitchen, since if you are like me, you will have powered sugar everywhere.

And who doesn’t like to receive fudge as a gift, all wrapped up and pretty?  It’s a sweet gift and from the heart.

Both recipes came from Brown Eyed Baker, who subsequently got the recipes from Joy of Cooking, which, sadly, I do not own. It’s a classic and I should have it. Maybe for Christmas. Thanks, Brown Eyed Baker for the fudge inspiration!

Chocolate Fudge

Yield: About 64 1 inch pieces

Difficulty: Easy to Medium

Prep Time: 1 hour | Chill Time: 24 hours

Ingredients

2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup half-and-half
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil that extends over the sides. Butter the foil and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, half-and-half, heavy cream, light corn syrup and salt. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook, without stirring, for 1 minute. Brush down the sites of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water to remove any sugar crystals that may have formed, and remove from the heat. (Do not do this repeatedly – you will be adding extra water if you do this over and over again. Just once is fine.)

3. Stir in the chocolate until melted and completely smooth. Set the pan over medium heat and place a candy thermometer in the pan. Cook the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches 238 degrees F, the soft-ball stage. Remove from the heat.

4. Add the butter and vanilla but just let float on top – do not stir in (stirring at this point can cause graininess).

5. Cool the candy to 110 degrees F by placing the bottom of the pan in cold water to stop the cooking. This will take awhile, especially since you can’t stir.

6. When it is cool, stir the fudge in the pan with a wooden spoon just until it “snaps” and begins to lose its sheen.You will notice that it will be really shiny, and then almost dull. That’s when you are done. (Alternately, transfer the cooled fudge to the bowl of a heavy duty mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the fudge on low speed until it begins to thicken and lose its sheen, 5 to 10 minutes. Watch the mixture carefully or it may thicken too much and become unworkable.)  I used my handheld KitchenAid mixer and it worked great…but…it has a very low speed 1. If your handheld does not have a low speed 1 (and many of the “bargain” ones don’t) I would not recommend this.

7. Stir in the walnuts if you are using them. Turn the fudge out into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula, moving quickly and keeping the spatula on the chocolate until you are done spreading. This will minimize the mess. Let stand for at least 1 hour.

8. Use a large knife to score the fudge into 1-inch squares (optional – it will still cut nicely when set) Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.

9. Remove the fudge from the pan and peel off the foil. Use the knife to finish cutting the fudge into squares. The fudge can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. It can also be stored at room temperature if it won’t last long. And it won’t. Serve at room temperature.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Yield: 64 1 in pieces (1½ pounds)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy!

Ingredients

1¼ cups (10 ounces) unsalted butter
1¼ cups smooth peanut butter
Pinch of salt
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4½ cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. Butter an 8-inch non-stick baking dish (or line with buttered parchment paper) and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter and peanut butter until the mixtures comes to a boil. Remove from the heat. (It will all fit in a medium saucepan, but using a large one will help minimize the powdered sugar mess.)

3. Add the salt and vanilla extract, then stir in the powdered sugar until smooth and no lumps remain.

4. Pour the fudge mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the fudge and refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve. Fudge can be stored at cool room temperature in an airtight container.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under chocolate candy, peanut butter

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

I don’t even know where to start with these. “Oh My God, so Good”. “The definition of yumminess”. “Little bites of Heaven”. All of these describe these cookies, yet just don’t seem like the right words. I do know that these are my new second favorite cookie, being second only to The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Ever. They aren’t even really second. They are more like 1b. I had no idea I would like these so much. I’ve had whoopie pies before, I’ve had pumpkin before, but these just blew me away! I actually had to make two batches and the second batch was even better than the first because the icing was better. And they turned out much prettier the second time.

The second batch with smooth filling.

The first batch I used mascarpone for the filling. I had 8 oz of mascarpone and only 4 oz of cream cheese. So I went with the mascarpone. Now, I’ve learned this painful lesson before but apparently it wasn’t painful enough the first time because I did the same thing again. Do not let mascaparone come to room temperature the same way you would with cream cheese. It becomes grainy and starts to separate. Cream cheese does not do this but I just wasn’t thinking apparently. Thankfully, they still tasted amazing even with the less than pretty icing. See the graininess?

The first batch with the grainy icing.

I also made them too big the first time, which explained the initial confusion over making 2 1/2 dozen verses the 4 dozen the recipe said. Again, my mind just wasn’t clear this day! The next day I made a half batch since the first batch was devoured in a very short period of time by my husband’s students. So the grainy icing didn’t matter too much! The first day I used a scoop that was about 1 1/2 TB. The second day I made them with the 1 TB scoop. This size was much better. The bigger ones were quite big, too big for whoopie pies in my opinion.

I got the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker who got it from a friend, but several commenters said it was the same recipe from Matt Lewis, which is also credited on Martha Stewart’s Whoopie Pies. So this recipe has been around the block, and with good reason. The flavors are very intense and feel as though you have the holidays melting in your mouth. These could even be your Thanksgiving Day dessert, with a bowl of cinnamon ice cream? Oh yeah. Now we’re talking.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

The cookies:

  • 3 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TB cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar (if you don’t have turbinado, just use all granulated)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 cups chilled pumpkin (about 1 1/2 cans)
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.

3. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the oil and sugars together until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined. Add the vanilla.

4. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until combined and fairly smooth.

5. Using a tablespoon scoop, scoop level amounts of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat. These won’t spread much, but keep them about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake about 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly before moving to a cooling rack.

The icing:

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups powered sugar
  • 3 TB maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla

1. With a mixer, whip the butter until smooth.

2. Add the cream cheese and mix until smooth.

3. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until fluffy.

4. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and mix.

To assemble:

Here again a piping bag will be your friend. No fancy tips needed, no coupler, just the bag. It makes filling the cookies much faster. To assemble, flip half the cookies over once they are cool. Pipe about a tablespoon of filling in each.

The cookies halves.

Then simply place the top on the cookie and press lightly so the filling spreads to the edges. And then eat!

Note: Since these have a cream cheese center, make sure you chill them.

4 Comments

Filed under cake, Cookies, whoopie pies