12/16/11

Baking on Friday: Classic Fantasy Fudge


This must be my year to do things the way my mother did them.  She made the best fudge.  In fact, I think my husband married me because of her fudge recipe.  She taught me to make it, and then I made it for him.  One year for Valentine's Day, I actually individually wrapped each piece and gave it to him as a gift.  She always made the old Kraft Marshmallow Creme recipe using a jar of marshmallow creme.  She gave me her recipe at some point in time, which actually was the recipe on the label of the marshmallow creme jar.  Then the unthinkable happened.  The size of the jar changed along with the recipe.  I've been grieving the loss of her fudge ever since.

Over the past few years, I've tried several different recipes.  All have been disappointing.  I grew up with my mother's version, and honestly, aren't the recipes we grew up with the best?  My mother wasn't a gourmet cook, but she was a good cook.  And where candies and cookies were concerned, she could cook with the best of them.  (I inherited my sweet tooth from her, in case you haven't figured that out by now.)

So after conquering the Divinity challenge, I set my sites on finding an acceptable fudge recipe.  I was all set to try a different recipe until I read this part of the instructions:

 Beat mixture vigorously with a clean wooden spoon until fudge just begins to thicken; stir in the 1/2 cup nuts. Continue beating until fudge just starts to lose its gloss ...
Okay, so that had failure written all over it.  Any recipe that expects little out-of-shape me to beat something "vigorously" by hand, no less, is bound to end in tears.  So I filed that recipe in the proper receptacle and continued my search, finally ending at the Kraft website.  I don't know why I haven't looked there before because there it was:  my favorite "Classic" the-way-my-mother-used-to-make-it Fantasy Fudge.

I tried it this afternoon and handed a piece to the ultimate fudge taste tester, Mike, who I swear wouldn't have married me except for my mother's fudge recipe.  He declared it good.  Yess!!

Classic Fantasy Fudge
recipe courtesy Kraft Foods

3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup)  (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)
1 bag (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides.  Bring sugar, butter and evaporated milk to a full rolling boil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cook about 4-5 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 234°F. (soft ball stage), continuing to stir constantly.  Remove from heat.

Add chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until melted and well incorporated.  Add nuts and vanilla; mix well.

Working quickly, pour into prepared pan; spread to cover bottom of pan.  Cool completely.  Use foil handles to lift fudge from pan before cutting into squares.

My notes about the recipe:  I didn't bother with the foil.  We just cut it in the pan and remove it a piece at a time.  If you're wanting to give it as a gift, the pieces on the edge might be prettier if you lift it out of the pan with the foil, but it isn't really necessary.

Also, I wanted to update you on my second try with the Pistachio-Cranberry Biscotti.  When I made this a few weeks ago, I was unhappy that so many pieces had broken as I tried slicing them and moving them from the baking sheet to a wire rack.  I had suggested a few different methods to have less breakage.  For one thing, I covered them with a towel while the logs cooled prior to slicing them.  Then, I used a very sharp butcher knife to slice them, and I didn't use a sawing motion.  I just leaned into it and cut straight through.  I'm happy to report that it worked perfectly.  Almost all my pieces are intact, and beautiful for gifting.  I'll do this whenever I make biscotti now.

5 comments from clever and witty friends:

Loretta said...

This look soooo yummy! I can't have it...boo-hoo...no fair Barb!

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Could one substitute a bag of butterscotch chips for the chocolate ?~! My dad used to make a recipe that included Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder in that really dark brown can. I have never found the perfect duplication and now cannot eat choc. Butterscotch has become my friend.

Not Lucy said...

I use this recipe and use peanut butter chips instead for peanut butter fudge - so nice and creamy!

Dirt Road Quilter said...

Today is fudge baking day at the end of the dirt road and we use the same recipe. I haven't started baking yet because it wouldn't be around come Christmas, but the list is log and my baking buddy is finally home. Yay!

AlessandraLace said...

today I baked too, I would be happy if you come to my blog and have a look at "torta angelica" hugs