Archive for the ‘Candy and Fudge’ Category

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

11 April 2009

 eggsweb1

 
A Note to Readers:
 
 
This blog has moved. For newer posts plus copies of all the old ones (even this one!), please visit me at the All-New IN OUR GRANDMOTHERS’ KITCHENS.
  
Tinky
 
My college roommate Kelly Boyd used to call Reese’s peanut butter confections “staples” of our pantry. Unfortunately for my waistline, she had a point.

 

I don’t know what made Mr. Reese decide in 1928 to put peanut butter together with chocolate, but I have always been glad he did. As a pairing it’s right up there with Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon, dogs and kids, and friends and cooking. The cups make great Easter eggs as well.

 

Here is a homemade (and truly delicious) version of this classic treat.

 

Happy Easter!
Happy Easter!

Ingredients:  

3/4 cup peanut butter  

1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

about 1 pound chocolate—milk, semi-sweet, white, or a combination (you may swirl them together as we did in the photo)

 

Instructions:

  

In a bowl with an electric mixer combine the peanut butter, graham-cracker crumbs, and sugars. Beat until well blended. Carefully shape this dough into 16 or so small egg-shaped pieces (it will be sticky!). Place the pieces in wax paper and freeze them for at least 1 hour but no more than 2.

 

When you are ready to complete the process, put the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. Melt it, stirring frequently.  Remove it from the heat.

 

Dip the eggs in the chocolate, and place them on wax paper or a silicone mat to harden (this will take several hours—be patient!). 

Makes about 16 irresistible eggs. Keep them from getting too warm, and try to eat them within 48 hours. My family had no trouble doing this!

 

eastercard

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Halloween Pumpkin Fudge

31 October 2008

          A note to readers: This blog has moved! Please visit the new IN OUR GRANDMOTHERS’ KITCHENS for new posts as well as copies of older ones (yes, even this post!).  See you around the stove……..

          Tinky

           Halloween has a special place in my heart. I love its colors, its stimulation of the imagination, its sheer fun. I’m one of those appalling people who dress their dogs in costume at this time of year. Luckily, Truffle is a good sport. It probably helps that she knows she looks adorable!

Truffle with her Favorite Boy

Halloween 2007: Truffle with her Favorite Boy

          I also adorn the house with lights, spooky ceramic houses, gourds (real and faux), a plethora of orange plates, assorted stuffed cats and vampires, and a clock that shrieks eerily on the hour. And naturally I cook.

This year my mother and I have prepared pumpkin fudge to give out on Halloween. I know that the parents of trick-or-treaters are concerned about homemade treats. Our solution is to put a return address label on each wrapped piece of fudge identifying the maker. If the parents have a question, they can call us. The children seem to enjoy receiving something a little different from the usual candy corn and chocolate bars. And we have the fun of making fudge without the caloric risk of eating it all!

I adapted this recipe from one on Nestlé’s baking site. Feel free to adjust the spices according to your taste; you’ll want to replicate the flavor of your own favorite pumpkin pie. Next year I’m going to eschew the fluff and make my fudge more pumpkin-y, but this is pretty darn good if rather sweet. Unless you are allergic to the nuts, don’t omit them; they add both flavor and texture to the final product. (We tried it both ways. My photographer and friend Judy Christian, my mother Jan, and I are willing to suffer for our art!)

I know I may have overdone the photos in this particular post, but Judy and I had so much fun arranging them (Judy is a food stylist manqué!) that I felt I had to share several. As you can see, they embody Halloween colors and Halloween spirit.

Happy hauntings……..

MORE SPRINKLES!!!
Finishing Touches: MORE SPRINKLES!!!

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Fudge

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) sweet butter

1 5-ounce can evaporated milk

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 cup white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli) or 6 ounces finely chopped white chocolate

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow fluff

1 cup chopped toasted pecans

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

autumnal sprinkles (optional)

 

 

 

 

Instructions:

          Line a 9-by-9-inch pan with aluminum foil.

          In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the sugar, brown sugar, butter, evaporated milk, pumpkin, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and continue to boil it, still stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage (234 degrees on a candy thermometer, although I always like to test for the actual soft ball in a dish of cold water since candy thermometers can be temperamental). This should take about 10 to 12 minutes.

          Remove the fudge from the heat. Stir in the chips, and let them melt; then stir in the remaining ingredients. Quickly pour the fudge into the prepared pan. Toss on decorative sprinkles if you like. Let the fudge cool completely (outside if the weather is cool or in the refrigerator), covered, before slicing it into squares. Makes 16 to 36 squares, depending on how big you want to make them. Store this soft confection in the refrigerator.