Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's been awhile!

I've been so busy here sewing up things for Christmas gifts and making Christmas goodies that I have hardly even looked at my computer!   I am here well and alive even if I haven't posted for a whole week!  

Today I'm making up party mix to fill our big can to go with the popcorn stuff I've already made up.  I've made up my Mom's fudge and will do up my cream caramels as soon as dinner is done.  So today I give you candy recipes.

My Mom's Million Dollar Fudge

4 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
18 oz. milk chocolate bars
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 jar or tub marshmallow cream
2 cups walnuts (optional)

Break chocolate bars into little pieces and put into a bowl and set aside. Put sugar, butter and milk in a large pan.  cook to boiling on high heat, stirring constantly and let boil 5 minutes.  Turn to low and add all the chocolate and marshmallow cream and nuts.  Stir until melted and well blended.  Pour into a lightly buttered pan (about 13"x 9")   Makes 7 pounds.

My Mom's Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 jar Marshmallow Cream
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar and milk in large saucepan.  Cook to soft ball stage (234 degrees)  I cook it a little longer because it ends up very soft and on the runny side at 234 degrees.  Add  remaining ingredients stirring until blended.  Pou into a buttered 9" square pan.  Cool.  Cut into 2x3 inch bars and wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper.  Yields 2 pounds.

Cream Caramels

Many years ago I bought a cookbook called "the Holiday Candy Book" by Virginia Pasley.  No ISBN listed.  It's long out of print but I bought 5 of them a couple years ago and got each for $1 plus shipping online. I gave them out for Christmas gifts.  It is the best candy making book I have ever found!  If you are into candy making it is worth tracking it down and getting your own copy.

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
2 cups heavy cream, warmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Measure 2 cups sugar and 1 cup corn syrup into a 4 quart saucepan.  Blend with a wooden spoon, and place over low heat, stirring continuously until the thick mixture begins to dissolve.  Continuie stiring until mixture boils, then put in your candy thermometer and boil without stirring over high flame until the thermometer registers 305 degrees.  Have ready 1/4 cup butter which as been broken into small pieces and the warmed cream.  Remove the candy from the stove for only a moment and put in the first bit of butter and return to the stove.  Continue cooking and stirring well and adding bits of butter.  The mixture will bubble up and steam.  Add the cream slowly, never allowing the candy to stop boiling hard and continuing to stir vigorously so that it will not stick or burn.  Continue cooking until the thermometer registers 246 to 250 degrees depending on how hard you wish it to be.  This whole process  should not take more than 30 minutes and will take less if the heat is kept high enough.  When the desired degree is reached, remove from the stove immediately.  Let stand 5 minutes and then add the salt and vanilla.  Stir only enough to blend and pour into a lightly buttered pan- 8x11 inches is a good size- and allow to cool for several hours.  Turn out of the pan, cut into squares or oblongs with a heavy knife.  wrap in waxed paper or cellophane and store in a tin box.  Caramels keep well for weeks in a cool place if they are not exposed to other types of candy.

You can make chocolate cream caramels but using this recipe but reducing butter to 2 Tablespoons and after the caramels are cooked stir in immediately 2 squares of melted bitter chocolate. 

Happy Holidays!

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