Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Days of Christmas: A Chocolate family tradition

My Mom was a crazy baking lady for the holidays when we were kids. Lots and lots of cookies. A lot of work for a working of of 3, I still don't know quite how she did it. Lucky for her, she got three kids who don't mind being in the kitchen and cooking or baking. So as we grew up, we helped out.

Cookies, tamales, candy, we helped with it all. Yup, I said tamales. 2 years we did them. We should do them again, there isn't anything like homemade tamales.

I digress.

Another of those family must haves at Christmas is fudge. Good, melt in your mouth fudge. Most of the family prefers it to be nut free, but there are a few that like the nuts.

This recipe is apparently an old and well know one. My mom found it in a cookbook she bought from a family friend as a fundraiser for where the friend worked. Thankfully, the person who submitted the recipe didn't change the name too much, so when I went to make fudge and my mom wasn't sure where the cookbook was, I was still able to find the recipe online.

I think my favorite part about this recipe is that it not only produces a great candy, but it does it without you needing a candy thermometer or needing to know the ball stages for candy making. It is almost completely foolproof. I say almost because I need to make another batch of the plain, I had my heat up too high and the final product doesn't have the right texture.

Beyond that though, there is nothing hard about making this fudge. If you've never made fudge before, give this a whirl, it is a damn amazing recipe. I've been making it for years now, stirring the sugar base the second my mom could get a spoon in my hand.

Red Cross Fudge

Recipe from Wikibooks

4-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 lb. butter
12 oz. evaporated milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups miniature marshmallows
12 oz. real chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts

Combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium low heat.
Cook on medium low heat for 11 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add marshmallows, chocolate chips, walnuts to fudge and mix well. Pour into a buttered pan and let cool. Slice into squares and store in an airtight container.

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