Monday, December 14, 2009

Thanksgiving in the Desert (Part 1: Fudge)

My in-laws traveled from Pennsylvania and Georgia to join Mike and I for Thanksgiving. We were beyond excited. It was the first Thanksgiving we were able to spend with family in several years, and since this is a family that loves food, we spent several days preparing.

On the menu: Turkey (duh), Pennsylvania Dutch potato filling, apple-sausage stuffing (a family recipe from our friend Mike, who makes it every year and watches as everyone fights over the leftovers), my Grandma's apple sauce, some veggies and rolls.

Mike was in charge of all things meat, potato and vegetable. And, boy, can that man cook a turkey.


And here we are, contentedly stuffed around our tiny table:

For the main dessert, I made a pumpkin roll. But, of course, I couldn't stop there. I figured we might want some sweets to snack on throughout the five days they were in town, so I also made my first-ever batch of fudge, some candied pecans, and my festive mini-chocolate covered pretzel sticks. I'll blog all this week about each treat I made.

First up: the fudge. Why is that first? Because it was amazing. You must make this. You just MUST. It is easy, it is quick, and if you share, you will be loved.

My husband is not a huge sweets person (an abomination, I know), and he couldn't stop eating this. He says it is his new favorite thing I bake.

Macadamia Nut Fudge


1-1/2 cups sugar
1 jar (7-oz.) marshmallow creme
1 can (5-oz.) evaporated milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
2 bags (8-oz. each) Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips and Macadamia Nuts
1/2 tspn vanilla extract


1. Line 8- or9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.

2. Combine sugar, marshmallow creme, evaporated milk and butter in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat; add macadamia nut mix and vanilla. Stir just until chips are melted; pour into prepared pan.

4. Refridgerate 1 hour or until firm. Lift fudge out of pan using foil. Place on cutting board. Cut into squares. Store tightly covered in a cool, dry place.

Source: Hershey's Recipe Collection

My notes

I couldn't find the bags of chocolate chips and macadamia nuts, so I bought two large Hershey's Special Dark bars (4.25-oz. each) and 1/2 cup of chopped macadamia nuts. I broke the chocolate bar up into small chunks. It was just the right amount of chocolate and nuts.

As you're cooking the marshmallow creme mixture, you might start to see a little bit of the creme start to brown a bit. That's ok. Mine did that, and I worried that it was getting burned, but I just kept stirring it constantly, and it turned out great.

Also, I scored some lines into the fudge right after I poured it into the pan, while it was still warm. That made it easier to cut into nice pieces later, once it had hardened up.

This fudge would make a great homemade Christmas gift. I bought some pretty tins from the dollar store, and I'm going to fill it with this fudge to send to family and friends.


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