Hand-Stirred Homemade Chocolate Fudge, with S’mores and Toasted Coconut Almond Variations


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Rich and creamy fudge, melting in your mouth with every bite. This is my Grandma’s recipe with my variations. It takes a little patience, but it is well worth it!~Amy

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This is my Grandma and Grandpa. My Grandpa was in the Navy, and stationed in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was attacked. During the war we had food rations here, but one thing my Grandma said they could always get, was a little bit of sugar and cocoa, to make fudge. This is her recipe, and it is the best! ~Amy

Hand-Stirred Homemade Chocolate Fudge, with S’mores and Toasted Coconut Almond Variations

Classic Chocolate Fudge:

3 cups sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 12oz can evaporated milk
3 tbsp butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan, whisk together, cocoa, sugar and salt. Add evaporated milk, and stir until smooth.
Cook over medium heat until soft ball stage, or keeps a shape when tested in cold water.
Remove from heat and pour onto a platter, place butter and vanilla on cooked candy. Do not stir! Cool to lukewarm.
With a wooden spoon, stir until candy starts to lose its shine, and thicken. Lift candy as you stir to lighten.
Pour into parchment lined pan or form into a roll. When fudge has set, cut into pieces and store covered.

S’mores Chocolate Fudge
Variation:
3 full sheet graham crackers, broken into pieces
1 cup miniature marshmallows, homemade or store bought

Gently mix in marshmallows and graham crackers as the fudge is losing its shine. Pour into pan, or form into a roll. When fudge has set, cut into pieces and store covered.

Toasted Coconut Almond Chocolate Fudge
Variation:
1 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Gently mix in coconut and almonds as the fudge is losing its shine. Pour into pan, or form into a roll. When fudge has set, cut into pieces and store covered.

*Toasted Coconut:
Place a thin layer of coconut onto baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees, stirring every few minutes until coconut is golden brown. Let cool

Recipe by Amy Richardson and Grandma McCrea

Lavender Herbs de Provence, Lemon, and Almond Brittle


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This beautiful almond brittle has a hint of spring! Sweet lemon and French lavender herbs, gives this classic confectionery a delightful new twist! ~Amy

Lavender Herbs de Provence, Lemon, and Almond Brittle

I cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp baking soda, sifted
1/4 tsp crystallized lemon, True Lemon

1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tsp Lavender Herbs de Provence*

Butter a large baking sheet, set aside.

Butter the sides of a heavy bottomed saucepan. Over medium high heat, stir together, sugar, water, corn syrup, and butter. When boiling, lower heat to medium and cook to a hard crack, using water method, or color method*. Remove from heat and stir in soda and crystallized lemon. Add almonds and herbs.

Pour onto prepared sheet and working quickly, spread candy evenly into a thin layer using a metal spatula. Cool completely.
Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Recipe by Amy Richardson

*Every blend of Herbs de Provence is unique. Look for complementary sweet herbs and spices.

*The method that works the best for me, since I live at a high altitude and candy thermometers need to be adjusted, is to put a jar of peanut butter next to the pan. When the candy color matches the peanut butter, I remove it from the heat and test the hot candy in cold water, to a hard crack stage. It works every time! ~Amy

White Chocolate Peppermint Egg Nog with Whipped Vanilla Cream


This is my favorite twist on my Dad's Classic Holiday Egg Nog! With the crushed candy canes, and whipped cream on top, I could drink this all day.  ~Amy

This is my favorite twist on my Dad’s Classic Holiday Egg Nog! With the crushed candy canes, and whipped cream on top, I could drink this all day.
~Amy

White Chocolate Peppermint Egg Nog with Whipped Vanilla Cream

Nog:

2 quarts purchased egg nog, chilled
5 cups whole milk, chilled
3 cups evaporated milk
4 oz Lindt or other European White a Chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Nielsen Massey Pure Peppermint Extract
Crushed peppermint candies

In a small sauce pan heat 1 cup of evaporated milk. When hot, whisk in white chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in peppermint and vanilla extract. Chill.

In a large bowl, whisk together egg nog, whole milk, remaining evaporated milk, and peppermint milk mixture. Whisk until well mixed. Chill until ready to use.

Makes 1 gallon

Whipped Vanilla Cream:

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla

In a medium sized bowl, using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients on high until soft peaks form.

Makes 4 cups

Serve chilled egg nog with whipped cream, and garnish with crushed peppermint candies

Recipes by Amy Richardson

He Said She Said


It seems that lots of foods have taken to gingerbread this Christmas season. So treats that normally are perfect, just that way they are, have gotten a gingerbread makeover. The Great Taste Buds spotted a few of them and decided to give the Gingerbread M&Ms a taste test to see if they are worth the transformation.