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Breads and Desserts, Candy, Sauces and Dips

Fudge II

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

Total time:  4 hours.
Makes about 2 cups of smooth chocolate sauce.

1 cup cocoa powder
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar, set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, cream together cocoa powder and butter until a smooth paste forms.

In a saucepan on medium heat, combine water and cocoa paste until hot, but not boiling.  Add this mixture to flour and sugar.  Add milk, and mix well.  Remove all lumps, and you should have a nice chocolate sauce.

At this stage, it’s great for fondue, really. It might need a little more sugar (you’ll have to taste it, to see). I was hoping for something a little more solid, though. Even after chilling in the refrigerator, it didn’t become hard. Well, maybe it would have, if I hadn’t immediately dipped my pretzels into it. The pretzels became soggy, and the chocolate stayed soft. These tasted better dipped in candy sprinkles or powdered sugar. They’re slightly bitter by themselves.

When chilled, this chocolate is just like Fudge I in consistency, and while it’s unique and rich, it’s not what I wanted. Solid, it’d be good for chocolate chunk cookies or *inside* something else.

There’s always next year, I guess.

Breads and Desserts, Candy, Cuppylicious!

Coconut Candy

Chocolate Coconut Candy

Chocolate covered coconut candies.

Total time:  1 hour 15 minutes, plus chill time.

Sometimes you feel like a nut…

2/3 c sweetened condensed milk (little less than 1/2 of a 14 ounce can)
1 tsp vanilla
2 c powdered sugar
2 c shredded or flaked coconut
1 bag of your choice of meltable yummy chocolate
optional almonds

In a small food processor or blender, cut up the coconut into very fine pieces.

In a larger food processor or blender, combine milk, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Remove from unit and stir in coconut.

Press coconut mix into a 9×13 pan.  Spread it all out and press down to make it about 1/4 inch thick.  Refrigerate 45-60 minutes or until firm.

Cut firmed coconut mix into small squares or circles or whatever it is you’re looking to slather in chocolate.   Press almonds into the tops if you so feel like it.

Slather in chocolate.  Chill on wax paper in the refrigerator.

You know what these are… I can’t say their names. And I can’t give you an accurate count because I always eat a bunch of the coconut before it ever makes it to the chocolate.

Breads and Desserts, Candy, Cuppylicious!

Fudge I

Soft Fudge

Soft Fudge

Total time:  4 hours.

2 cups white sugar
2 cups miniature marshmallows
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 ounces evaporated milk
4 T butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, toss together chocolate chips and marshmallows. Set aside. Lightly butter or spray the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, salt, milk and butter. Bring to a boil. The contents will DOUBLE IN SIZE when it’s at a “boil”, so be prepared that your pan is large enough to handle it. Start your timer from there.

Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vanilla and mix well.

Pour boiled mixture on top of chocolate and marshmallows. Mix really well for 3-5 minutes or however long it takes for the “glossy” look to fade from the chocolate. (It’ll look shiny at first, but the more you stir [or mix on low to medium speed], the more it’ll take on a faded look.)

Scoop contents into 8×8 dish. Spread evenly across the pan and pat down to make it as even as possible. Chill for 3-4 hours before cutting.

I’ve been trying to avoid corn syrup anything the last 10 years of my life. It’s been that long or more since I last made fudge.

This is my first attempt at fudge without marshmallow creme. Unfortunately, I thought it would make enough to put at least an inch on the bottom of my 9 x 13 lasagna dish – not so much; it maybe sticks up half an inch off the bottom of my glass pan.

This is definitely the sort of soft fudge you’d want in the middle layer of a decadent cake or inside truffles – but not chop up and hand out at Christmas. It is, also, perfect for making chocolate fondue. (Set your pot on low and add milk until you reach the desired consistency.)

Looking for peanut butter fudge? Click here.

Breads and Desserts, Candy, Cuppylicious!

Haystacks (and Canadian Beaver Dams, eh)

Crunchy and chewy goodness

Crunchy and chewy goodness

Total time:  20 minutes or 30 minutes.

Traditional Haystacks

1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup salted peanuts
2 cups dry chow mein noodles

1. Melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter on low on top of a double boiler (takes longer), or in a microwave. Blend together.
2. Stir peanuts and noodles gently into the melted peanut butter mixture.
3. Drop dough by forkfuls onto waxed paper. Cool until set.

Make it a beaver dam:
Replace 1/2 cup of peanut butter with 2 T peanut butter and 2 cups of marshmallows.

For “softer” beaver dams, use the traditional haystack recipe and add 1 cup of marshmallows (shown).

I didn’t have peanuts one day, and so I thought I’d throw in marshmallows – I melted them with some chocolate peanut butter chips. It turns out, when you chill marshmallows with any kind of chip (especially chocolate!), they get REALLY solid. My Canadian friend almost lost some teeth in his enthusiasm. Once they “warmed up” a little bit, no problem. That’s why we called them beaver dams instead of haystacks