Oh, Fudge!

20 Dec

The kitchen is clean so of course we must mess it up again right away. Why wait for the kids when you can do something yourself, right?

This recipe is from a book I stole from my mother when I left the nest. I could soft coat that, but it’s Christmas and Santa knows all anyway. It’s from an old HER Realty cookbook. It requires no candy thermometer, no marshmallow cream, and no fancy ingredients. It doesn’t even require a stove. This recipe was created using the new fangled machine of the time: the microwave. Man, I used to sit in front of ours convinced the radiation would kill me like Spock in that one movie. Ah, those were the days!

The ingredients are simple:

Peanut Butter Fudge

1 lb. Confectioner’s sugar (have extra on hand)

2/3 c. Chunky peanut butter

½ c. Unsalted butter or margarine

¼ c. Milk

 1 ½ t. Vanilla

 

Chocolate Fudge

1 lb. Confectioner’s sugar (have extra on hand)

½ c. Butter or margarine

1/2 c. Cocoa powder

¼ c. Milk

 1 t. Vanilla

¼ c. Nuts, broken (optional)

That’s it. For both fudges. Nothing fancy, nothing that takes hours, but something that will win over the boss and get your Christmas bonus after all. Hey, we can dream of more than just sugarplums, right?

First up: Peanut Butter Fudge

Soften a stick of butter and sift the confectioner’s sugar. Even if you think it doesn’t need it, sift it. You don’t want lumps or you’ll be in the kitchen all night and Santa won’t come ‘cause a creature is stirring. And stirring, and stirring.

Except for the vanilla, put all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. I use a casserole dish with its handy dandy lid for the task.

 

Nuke it for 2 minutes.

While it’s radiating itself, prepare your pan. Spray the pan or a piece of foil with nonstick spray. For the first time ever, I used wax paper. Don’t do that. It will be nearly impossible to get the fudge out of the pan. Always livin’ and learnin’ over here.

When the ding dongs it will look something like this:

Stir it for a bit so it looks something like this:

and then nuke for another 2 minutes. Stir again until it looks like this:

It will be hot, so don’t burn yourself like I usually do. Take it out and stir it until it’s smooth. Add the vanilla, and stir again.

It should look like this:

It will be thickish, but how do you know it’s thick enough? Experience. Don’t have any? I’ll lend you mine. Rarely is 1 lb. of confectioner’s sugar enough. Sure, you could give it a whirl. If it doesn’t set up, use it as a topping for ice cream or something.

If it’s not sheeting, it’s not thick enough. Add more sugar and stir it in. By not sheeting, I mean it shouldn’t run off the spoon:

Like a certain someone drooling over Clooney, huh?

If yours look like mine, add more sugar and stir it in.

Awesome one handed action shot, huh? I have the greasiest camera in town, hands down. One hand, anyway.

That’s better. It should cling to the spoon- kind of like stiff buttercream.

 

Plop the goop onto the foil.

(Pretend that’s foil. Sheer foil. My newest invention.  I’ll make scads of moolah, doncha think?)

Pick up all four corners and put the package in the dish.

Spread it around as needed.

Stick in the big cold box for at least 20 minutes. It’s done. You can freeze this, so feel free to make it at the beginning of December and pull it out Christmas Day. Because you have enough to do as the month flies by, that’s why. Do what you can, when you have time to do it.

Onto the fudge version. The process is a little different, so pay attention.

Put the butter into the microwave safe dish, and nuke it until it bubbles- about a minute or so.

Clean up tip: use the same lid you did for the peanut butter fudge. Odds are it’s still clean and it will be one less thing to wash if you use it again. Not stylish, but practical.

Working fast at this point (so the butter stays hot and it doesn’t get too stiff to work with), sift the cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar into the bowl.

Add the milk.

Now add the vanilla.

Stir it until it’s smooth and perty.

Stir in the nuts, if using.

Add more confectioner’s sugar if it doesn’t look like this:

Like before, scrape it out of the bowl and onto the foil. Pick up the corners, and place the package in the dish.

Spread it around as needed, fridge that puppy until it’s firm. If you want something with more zing!, crush candy canes and press them into the top before it sets. You could also substitute chopped candy canes for the nuts or even sub mint flavoring for the vanilla. I’m more of a purist. I like chocolate and mint, but it’s hard to eat a whole pan of it. A couple of pieces, yes. A whole pan, no. What’s the point of cooking if you don’t want to shovel down the whole batch? That would be, I dunno, normal or something. *Shudder*

Done. One hour, two fudges. No fussing with equipment. Simple. Yummy. Freezable. Why not? Santa eats it whether it takes 2 hours or 2 minutes. It’s sugar. Eat it.

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