Mom’s Fudge

This was the one recipe I did for Christmas this year that I was sure about. The rest I found online and I just had to hope that they would turn out, but this is the fudge that my mom used to make all the time so I knew it would good.

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The recipe is a bit weird, but trust me.

4 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup margarine*
1 package chocolate chips ( 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Mix sugar milk and margarine. Cook to soft ball stage**. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate and marshmallows till melted. Stir in vanilla. Pour 9 X 13 pan lined with tin foil or parchment paper overlapping the pan. Cool and remove from pan using the paper to lift fudge out and cut into squares.

*I’m a big butter advocate. I haven’t bought margarine in years, but this time I decided to use it for my baking. Mainly because it’s super cheap and easy to work with, but also because two of the recipes called for it.

**Soft ball stage is when you drip a tiny bit of whatever you are making into a glass of cool water and it turns into a ball on the way down, if it isn’t ready it will just sort of go everywhere and make the water look gross.

My mom does it in the microwave, but I did it on the stove.

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For all of the confidence I had in making this, things got a little hairy for a while. I read online that soft ball stage is 235 degrees and the mixture simple wouldn’t get there. I waited, and stirred, and made a batch of cookies, and waited…..Then when I was melting some of the margarine in the microwave for another recipe, we discovered the problem. I took the measuring cup out from the microwave, there was a layer of margarine at the top, and a layer of water at the bottom. Turns out I had bought vegetable spread (whatever the heck that is) which contains a lot of water.

Luckily, everything turned out in the end. The fudge finally got to the correct temperature and it tastes just like when my mom makes it. It just took a lot longer to get there.

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Some final advice: once your marshmallows and chocolate is melted in, it hardens very quickly so you need to act fast. I tried sprinkling walnuts and candied sunflower seeds on top, but when I was cutting the fudge up most of them fell off, so I would advise adding any extras into the pot, or pressing them in on top.

Christmas Baking In One Day (Mostly)

Last Saturday I decided to do all of my baking for Christmas. It actually worked out really well. I chose four recipes that looked good, but that didn’t require any weird ingredients or a lot of hands on time. I also tried to choose things that I could freeze. They were all simple enough that I did it all in one afternoon and clean up was fairly simple.

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I will do a post for each recipe, but I thought I would just do an overview of my plan of attack.

The recipes I did were: chocolate fudge, gingerbread men, ginettis, and pretzel bark. Saturday morning I went through the recipes and wrote them all down. Then I went through and wrote down any ingredients that I didn’t have. After we hit the store I got started.

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I started the fudge because that had to cook for a while on the stove. While I was doing this I made the dough for the gingerbread men and popped it into the fridge. I finished up the fudge, then left it to cool and did the ginettis. While they were cooling I cut up the fudge. I iced and decorated the ginettis next. The last thing was the bark, since it was a super quick recipe and needed to be watched I did it all in one shot.

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The only thing left to do on Sunday was break up the cooled bark into pieces roll out, cut, decorate and bake the gingerbread.

It was really nice to get it all done quickly and only have a messy kitchen for one day instead of several. I will definitely do it this way again next year.