Monday, December 14, 2009

Sweet Treats

by Tawny

Tis the Season for all those sweet treats. You know the ones - Fudge, divinity, homemade nut brittles and almond toffee. Mmmmmmm, I can feel the sugar rush just typing that.

Today is the second day of The Banditas Twelve Days of Christmas! So to celebrate, I thought we'd talk about visions of sugar plums... or even better, homemade goodies. Fruitcakes, cranberry bread, gingerbread. The once a year, only at the holidays, mom's secret recipe traditions that make this season so extra sweet.

I'm actually the designated candy maker in the family, with the help of my little baking elf: my oldest daughter. My mother makes a divine, to die for caramel (she actually handed over the recipe this year!!!) and both my gramma's are fab pie and 'regular' dessert makers. But they don't do the special holiday candies. So it's always been up to me. And I must say, I strive to live up to the sweet task.

Along with the regular assortment of candies, breads and treats, we always do a cookie decorating day. I'd planned it for today, but was informed by my youngest daughter and my niece that the cookies wouldn't be fresh enough for Santa if they were made this early. In the name of freshness and not offending the jolly fat one with all the pressies, the cookie decorating party has been moved to next weekend.

We also do a gingerbread house each year. Because we never actually eat it (do you eat yours? I always wonder if we're really supposed to), I don't feel bad about buying the pre-baked kits. Pre-fab gingerbread walls make it much easier to focus on the important stuff... decorating!!! how about you? Have you ever made a gingerbread house? Is it one of your sweet traditions?

In the spirit of the season, I thought I'd share one of my sweet recipes -and a secret. I completely suck at making fudge. No matter what recipe, it always ends up grainy and, well, blah. I wish like crazy I could make that smooth, silky fudge but haven't ever been able to pull it off. Well, until I found this nifty little recipe:

Candy Bar Fudge

1 can Pillsbury Chocolate Frosting
2 Snickers bars(3.7 oz.) ,chopped
1 12 oz. pkg. semisweet chips

Line an 8 inch square pan with foil,extending over sides. Spray with non stick spray, and set aside.
Melt chips in a microwave and stir in frosting. Pour half of this mixture in pan. Place all candy except a few pieces to garnish over this. Pour remaining chocolate over and garnish with
remaining candy.Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

LOL - I can just imagine the die-hard candy making Bandita cringes over this recipe. But what's a girl to do when she can't measure up to the holiday fudge requirments?? I can make caramels, divinity, almond toffee and any number of cookies, cakes and a killer pie crust. But fudge? I just can't do it. Until this recipe.

How about you? What's your favorite holiday sweet? Do you make it yourself? Is it a family tradition - a recipe handed down through the generations? Or do you try out new treats each year? Do you want to share any recipes? Anyone who can teach me to make fudge gets their name in a drawing for the 12 Days pressie and a copy of my upcoming January Blaze - YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF FROGS, from the Blazing Bedtime Story anthology!!!


mariska said...


Tawny said...

Mariska :-) The Rooster is yours for the day!! Congrats -but watch out. He's a bit cocky after the trivia yesterday and liable to be on a major sugar high today ;-)

Virginia said...

Hey Tawny don't knock this fudge recipe because I use one like it. I have never tried it with the snickers bar yet but I am going to. I have alway just used walnuts in mine.

I also make a pecan roll which takes us several hours to make but our delish. I make my son help me with this, because when the carmel is ready you have to work fast, you roll divinty logs, you have already made into the warm carmel and then roll them in pecans.

mariska said...

Hi Tawny :)
the Fudge looks delicious, yum..i love chocolate.
my favorite sweet, or i have to say it's a cake, it's our traditional cake from my hometown, somewhere in south sumatera, it's 7 hours cake. yeap, you need to bake the cake for 7 hours, then it'll done.
My mom always made that cake when i was a kid, it's so sweet, i just have to wash it with a cup of tea w/o sugar,since you'll still taste the sweet of cake in your mouth.
the recipe was handed down through her mom, but she hasn't handed down to me. since i'm not that good to bake for 7 hours !:)

i have found on the net, two delicious recipes to share with you ;
Word of caution: the squares need to set up overnight. The recipe says they only need a couple of hours but if you leave them in the fridge overnight, they will stand up better.

Easy Chocolate Fudge


* 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
* 1 can (14 oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Sweetened Condensed Milk
* 1 cup chopped walnuts
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Line 8inch square baking pan with foil (but I just used an 8inch foil pan to save time and effort).

Combine morsels and sweetened condensed milk in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Warm over lowest possible heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in nuts and vanilla extract. Spread evenly into prepared baking pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces.

mariska said...

and the second one :

Almost Fudge Gateau
from Baking: From my home to yours

5 large eggs
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semi-sweet chocolate)
1 cup of sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons coffee or water (I used Frangelico liqueur)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt

For the Glaze (optional)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used dark chocolate)
½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup (I used Frangelico liqueur)

Getting Ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pan n a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a mixer bowl or other large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the chocolate, sugar butter and coffee. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted; the sugar may still be grainy, and that’s fine. Transfer the bowl to the counter and let the mixture sit for 3 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the yolks one by one, then fold in the flour.

Working with the whisk attachment of the mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until the hold firm, but glossy peaks. Using the spatula, stir about one quarter of the beaten whites into the batter, then gently fold in the rest. Scrape the butter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake has risen evenly (it might rise around the edges and you’ll think it’s done, but give it a few minutes more, and the center will puff too) and the top has firmed (it will probably be cracked) and doesn’t shimmy when tapped; a think knife inserted into the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Run a blunt knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan. Carefully turn the cake over onto a rack and remove the pan bottom and the parchment paper. Invert the cake onto another rack and cool to room temperature ride side up. As the cake cools, it may sink.

To Make the Optional Glaze:
First, turn the cooled cake over onto another rack so you’ll be glazing the flat bottom, and place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper to catch any drips.

Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.

Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave oven – the chocolate should be just melted and only warm, not hot.

Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir very gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Stir in the corn syrup.

Pour the glaze over the cake and smooth the top with a long metal icing spatula. Don’t worry if the glaze drips unevenly down the sides of the cake – it will just add to its charms. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature or, if you’re impatient, slip the cake into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. If the glaze dulls in the fridge, just give it a little gentle heat from a hairdryer.

Natalie Hatch said...

Oh dear I just broke another tooth in half (and not on a Mintie this time). Looking at all those lollies I know I cannot eat them, but I long for them. It's the inner child throwing a tantrum to get out.

Helen said...

Congrats Mariska have fun with him

Tawny great post I have never made fudge either I give anything a go but there is something that never works for me and that is pastry don't know why my Mum used to make the best short crust pastry but I just can't get it right LOL.

I make home made Chritmas fruit cakes and Christmas (plum)puddings every year and couldn't imagine Christmas without them
Melt and Mix Christmas Cake

3lb mixed fruit
1/2 cup sherry rum or brandy
1 green apple
1 tablespoon honey or golden syrup
1 cup brown sugar firmly packed
4 large eggs
8 oz butter
1 & half cups plain flour
1/2 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tablespoons sherry rum or brandy extra

Place mixed fruit in large basin. add apple sherry peeled and coarsley grated apple honey sugar and eggs mix well with wooden spoon or hand to break up any large clumps of fruit. Add cooled melted butter and sifted flours and spice mix thoroughly. Place into deep 9 in round or 8 in square cake tin which has been lined with 3 sheets of greasproof paper. Make sure papers stands up around edge of tin to a height of about 2 in this is to protect the top of the cake during cooking time.
Bake in slow oven 3 & half hours until cooked when tested. Remove from oven and brush evenly with extra sherry cover tightly with aluminium foil leave until cold. Remove from tin leaving lining paper intact. Wrap cake tightly in plastic wrap then in foil store in a cool dark place or if weather is humid in refrigerator. This cake will keep for 3 months.

Have Fun

Minna said...

I intend to try this recipe:

Jane said...

Hi Tawny,
I love the sugar cookies with the Christmas decorations. I don't do the baking, but I do help out with the sprinkles and icing. We try to make a different dessert in addition to the traditional apple and pumpkin pies. This year I found a yummy recipe for Pecan Snickerdoodles and I'm going to convince/bribe my cousin to make it.

Pecan Snickerdoodles

2-1/2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped PLANTERS Pecans
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, slightly softened
1-3/4 cups sugar, divided
2 eggs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Mix flour, pecans, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl; set aside.

BEAT butter and 1-1/2 cups of the sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat until well blended. Add dry ingredients; beat on low speed until well mixed. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Mix remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Gillian Layne said...

My dad would love your fudge!

This is the original Fantasy Fudge recipe from the back of the Kraft marshmallow creme jar. My mom has made this forever, and it's delicious. You just need to beat the living daylights out of it (we make my husband do it)

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 12-oz. (340 g) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 7-oz. (198 g) jar Kraft Marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Traditional method:
Combine sugar, margarine and milk in heavy 2-1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full rolling bail, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate till melted. Add marshmallow creme, nuts & vanilla beat till blended. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Let cool and cut into 1-inch squares.

Microwave method:
Microwave margarine in 4-quart microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) 1 minute or until melted. Add sugar and milk; mix well. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, stirring after 3 minutes. Mix well; scrape bowl. Continue microwaving on HIGH 5-1/2 minutes; stir after 3 minutes. Stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.

Pam P said...

My mother makes a harder candy fudge which is a hit with the whole family. She brings it every Xmas but too many were hiding pieces away to take home and leaving not much for the dessert table, lol. So now she makes more batches ahead of time and everyone gets their own small Xmas tin to take home and are told no hoarding from the dessert table tin.

Mariska, that gateau sounds divine, giving that recipe to my sister the baker.

Here's my mom's fudge recipe:

4 c. sugar
1/3 c. Hershey’s cocoa powder
2 tbs. lt. Karo syrup
1 ½ c. whole milk (do not substitute or flavor changes)
3/4 stick butter (6 tbs)
2 tsp. Vanilla
(Note: Best to use all quality brands, cheaper ones tend to change the flavor)

Combine first 4 ingredients and cook in large heavy pan (make sure it’s high enough as it will foam up) over med. heat, stirring constantly until reaches softball stage (232* to
238* F), or drop a little fudge mix in small glass filled with cold water to see if it forms a ball.

As it boils, it will foam up the pan, keep stirring until mix drops down, continue cooking until it foams up again, then test in glass of cold water for consistency in lieu of using candy thermometer. Be careful and keep stirring, as it can boil and foam up quite quickly.
When the fudge mix forms a ball, remove from heat and add in butter and vanilla, beating until all of the butter is melted. (Note: Do not undercook, nor overcook as it will become too hard and be difficult to bite into.)

Pour into a buttered buttered pyrex baking pan, about 9 x 12. Refrigerate until mix becomes lightly firm, remove and cut pieces through with knife (if you let it harden too much before cutting, you may have trouble cutting the pieces after since it's harder on the outside when done). Leave in pan to finish hardening - can leave on counter or put back in refrigerator.

Laurie said...

I'm not a huge fan of fudge... too sweet & too rich for me.

This is from her website:

Heirloom Christmas Fudge-From Cheryl St John

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Butter a 9in foil-lined baking pan and pre-measure miniature marshmallows, semi-sweet chocolate morsels, nuts, and vanilla. Combine butter, evaporated milk, sugar and salt in medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 4 - 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir in marshmallows, morsels, vanilla, and nuts. Stir vigorously for 1 - 2 minutes or until the marshmallows and morsels are melted.

Pour into buttered foil-lined baking pan. Sprinkle with additional nuts, if desired. Chill until firm.

For milk chocolate fudge, substitute 2 cups milk chocolate morsels for semi-sweet morsels.

For butterscotch fudge, substitute 2 cups butterscotch flavored morsels for semi-sweet morsels.

For mint-chocolate fudge, substitute 1 1/2 cups mint-chocolate morsels for semi-sweet morsels.

For thicker fudge, use 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Stephanie J said...

Yuuuum. I want some of that caramel! I'm the designated Swedish Rice Porridge maker of the family but I leave the cookies up to my mum and grandmas. My favs are pecan tassies (like mini pecan pies but better!) and kolacky - the northern variety.

Gillian - anything with marshmallow creme is good in my book! ;)

Gannon Carr said...

Tawny, I made that candy bar fudge last year and everyone loved it! :-D I can only eat small amounts of fudge--too rich--so I don't make it. But I think the "cheater" version is pretty good, especially with Snickers!

Deb said...

Good morning, Tawny. Thanks for such a sweet treat of a post! I make either Danish Puff or Scottish Shortbread for my neighbors for Christmas. I love fudge and have used the candy bar recipe with Milky Ways--yum! I do not like Divinity, never have.

Joan said...

I'm blaming this blog. Yes, when I return to Weight Watchers, this is where I'll claim I gained the extra pounds.

I don't do candy too much. Several years ago, I found this cool mocha ball receipe in Southern Living magazine which worked beautifully the first time...similar to bourbon ball base only with coffee and drizzled with chocolate. But the next two times I tried they flopped!

As to fudge, I grew up with my Mom making it like Gillian's reciepe. I can only eat TEENY pieces of it at a time as it makes my teeth hurt! (um, sorry Natalie)

Silvia said...

I LOVE Brownies and have made them several years for the Holidays. And I LOVE Fudge, I have never tried my hand at those. Recipes for fudge scared me a little in the past, all those calories. I also love raspberries. So I am going to indulge this season and make the best of both (well, three) worlds and bake raspberry fudge-brownies. I found a recipe for them on and they sound delicious. Sinfully so. Maybe you’d like to try them as well…

Maureen said...

I usually bake different things each year. I like finding new recipes and think I will try Mariska's easy fudge one because my most favorite recipes are the easiest.

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Tawny! What a timely post! I just made a pile of chocolate covered pretzels last week. Then I gave them all away because I was making myself sick eating them. SEriously. I have no self control.
NOrmally, I'd rather have a little really good chocolate than a bushel of bad, but come Christmas all bets are off. I'll eat anything at Christmas, and like it. :-)

The girls & I have made a gingerbread house for the past couple of years and are perfecting our strategy. I love the bulk candy aisle because you can buy just a few gum drops instead of a half pound. (Did I mention that I'll eat anything around Christmas?)

Happy holidays! And now, of course, I have to try your fudge. Thanks. Thanks alot. :-)

MsHellion said...

I don't make candy at Christmas time...mainly because we don't give it out. *LOL* My friend Pam does--and even makes homemade chocolate covered cherries. She was trying to plan far enough in advance so the cherry fondant would "melt" around the cherries.

When I was little, my mom would make homemade fudge and I remember it taking a LONG time. And it was made with cocoa and evaporated milk and lots of sugar...and it was cooked for what seemed half a lifetime before she said it was done enough, and we'd beat in a jar of marshmallow creme and pour it into a pan. The fudge would set up right about half the time. The other half of the time we ate it with a spoon. I never cared; it was always great.

Some years we'd make popcorn balls. This was jello, sugar, water, and some corn syrup boiled until it "threaded" and then poured over popcorn. Usually red or green.

I think mom tried to make peanut brittle one year, but I wasn't interested in that so I probably went and read a book instead.

Later when I was in college, I went home with my roommate and we were making caramel corn--basically the brittle candy part, poured over popcorn, then baked in an oven. And I was designated to stir the candy as it cooked. My roommate's mom put in the baking soda--which is what makes brittle foam, incidentally--and suddenly all this candy tried to climb out of the pan we were cooking it in. (She should have honestly done this in a larger pot.) And she started screaming, "Whip it! Whip it!" and I did! I whipped it as fast as I could--and for the rest of my life, every time I visit this family, they point at me and go, "Whip it, whip it!"

My friend Holly and I made a gingerbread house. We always try to do something crafty or culinary at the holidays. We're secret Marthas. We weren't satisfied to do graham crackers, no we wanted the real thing. And we wanted an ELABORATE house. What a dumbass idea. We had this three story house and icing all over creation and every candy known to man decorating this stupid engineering feat...and we VOWED we would NEVER make another one again. And I won't. If I ever have children, they'll be getting KITS.

Donna MacMeans said...

Tawny - I think I gained weight just reading this blog!

We tend to make a lot of cookies for the holidays, but not fudge or other candies - too much refined sugar. I've made gingerbread houses from scratch and the prepackaged ones are so much easier. Neven actually eaten one though. I used to make gingerbread cookies as Christmas ornaments for the tree - but that stopped when my dog started eating them. We'd wake up to a tree with just little ribbon holders left on the branches (grin).

Love all these recipes! Now I have an urge to find an apron.

Anna Sugden said...

Wow! Yummy post, Tawny. Not sure how many WW points it was - but it was worth it (besides who can watch their diet at Christmas?!)

We haven't got round to making Christmas sweets - puddings, cakes and mince pies - but not sweets. Your fudge sounds fab and if it works, who cares?!

The one recipe I'm looking forward to making is a peanut brittle that one of hubby's workmates made us one year. It was the best I've ever tasted - so buttery and not too sweet.

Anna Sugden said...

Oh, and I never eat gigngerbread houses either ... don't like ginger ... but will eat all the decorations! LOL

Virginia C said...

White Christmas Fudge:

One 5-ounce can evaporated milk
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
One 12-ounce package white chocolate chips
One 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and butter. Over medium-high heat, bring mixture to a rolling boil and boil 5 minutes or until candy thermometer reads 234 degrees. Remove pan from heat. Add vanilla and white chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Blend in marshmallow cream. Blend in walnuts and dried cranberries. Pour mixture immediately into an ungreased 13 x 9-inch pan. Cut when firm. Keeps well when stored in an airtight container.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

jo robertson said...

Yummy, yum, treats, sweets, and candies! Great topic, Tawny.

I have a killer pumpkin bread recipe that I made every year in those small loaf pans and pass out to friends and family.

My MIL always made carrot pudding the old-fashioned way, steaming in used coffee cans. And my fave recipe of hers -- Heavenly Pie, a sweet/tart concoction that's very time intensive, but delish!

Sarah said...

My mother's christmas cookies! Each year, when I was growing up, we would have cookie decorating parties and my mother would make huge batches of sugar cookies and all different colors of frosting. Now she makes vegan ones just for me. I can't wait t pass the tradition on to my one kids;)

Happy Holidays!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

FUDGE!!! I love me some fudge, Tawny. I confess that while I didn't cringe over the fudge/SNickers recipe, I did have to think long and hard as to whether that would my taste. Grins.

Gingersnaps are a must.

We make gingerbread houses and extra gingerbread gets eaten, but the houses don't. Tooooo much stuff on them. Ha!

Hmmmm, what else? Oooh, great deal on the Blazing Bedtime Stories. Gotta love that. Good luck to whoever wins today!

Mariska, the hens are starting to talk about you, and about Lime and that wily rooooooster!

Christie Kelley said...

Hey Tawny, I have a fudge recipe but honestly, it tastes more like candy than fudge. I like it but true fudge connoisseurs wouldn't like it.

I have two holiday favorites that I make. One is a gingersnap cookie that is the best I've ever tried (if you don't like too much snap in your gingersnap). They're softer and chewier than most. And my eggnog cookies. They are great with some afternoon tea.

~Drew said...

Tawny, my fudge recipes are the same as yours, the less ingredients the better. The less fuss! I suck at making the real old-fashioned fudge too, I tried!

Here is one of those short cut ones, anything butterscotch and I am SO there!

1 (12 oz.) pkg. butterscotch chips
1 can Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Caramel Pecan Frosting
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup almond brickle bits (Or I have used Skor bits)


Line an 8 inch square pan with foil,extending over sides. Melt butterscotch pan in a saucepan over very low heat,stirring until smooth. Add peanuts. Remove from heat; stir in frosting. Add brickle chips and stir well. Pour in pan and refrigerate 1 hour.

I also love Mars Bars Squares, I make this every Xmas, again, no fuss!

4 x 50G (or 1 3/4 oz Mars choc bars (red and black label)

1/2 cup Butter or margarine

3 cups of Rice Krispies

Topping: 1 cup semi sweet choc chips
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Heat candy bars and butter in lg saucepan, stirring often until melted, remove from heat. add rice cereal, stir to coat. Pack into greased or foil lined 9x9 inch pan

for the topping, combine choc chips and butter in small saucepan on low heat stir often, spread over all. Cool. Cut into 36 squares.

Happy Holidays!!

Anna Campbell said...

Mariska, congrats on the chook! He's got a really sweet tooth so watch out, he may try to fly the coop if the recipes here are too tempting.

Tawny, I laughed about Santa not wanting stale cookies! Sounds like your girls have really put some thought into this.

Wow, loving the recipes. Actually at this time of year, I used to make batches and batches of my chocolate slice. We've spoken about it before in the lair and I'm going to die with that recipe pinned to my kidneys. The worst part of that recipe is cutting it up as it's so dense and heavy, you really have to shove the knife through. Every year, I'd get a blister on my knife finger, I'd done so much cutting. I used to take it in for people at work. These days, I do it the easy way (and I don't have a crowd of people to cook for). I go to the supermarket and buy chocolates. Yeah, I know - how slack am I?

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I can't compete with my mum's pastry either! It was buttery and just melted in your mouth.

Oh, Lordy, my teeth are falling out just with reading this blog! Actually I love home-made caramels (Russian caramels are yummy - although you might call them something different in the States) but fudge is just too sweet for me. I love a good rum ball!

Deb said...

This is a good candy for any time of year, but I do make it the most around the holidays.

Maple Nutty Bars

12 oz. chocolate almond bark (1/2 pkg. + 2 squares)
1- 12 oz. pkg. butterscotch chips
1 1/4 c peanut butter
1 c butter or margarine
1/2 c evaporated milk
3 c dry roasted peanuts
1 small pkg. vanilla cook-n-serve pudding mix (do not use instant)
7 to 8 c powdered sugar
4 1/2 tsp. maple flavoring

Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips in saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Lightly spray or butter a jelly roll pan and spread half of chocolate mixture in the pan. Put in refrigerator to harden.

In another saucepan, melt margarine and add evaporated milk and vanilla pudding. Cook until somewhat thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add maple flavoring, peanuts, and powdered sugar. Spread (or pat) onto cooled chocolate layer in jelly roll pan. Pour and spread remaining chocolate mixture (may have to reheat to spread better) over top of peanut mixture. Because these are so rich, cut into small squares that are slightly larger than a postage stamp. (Yield: 40 to 55 pieces.) The flavors of maple, peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch really taste great together!

These bars are hard to get out of the pan, so let the pan sit out for awhile before cutting.

~Drew said...

Don't you just love squares or desserts or fudge that you need a chain saw to cut through? LOL! My Mars Bars squares are the same way.
*Handing Anna C a band-aid for that knife blister*

Deb, as soon as I saw 'butterscotch chips' I could not resist copying your recipe! Sounds sinful!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna, that chocolate slice sounds divine. :> Cookies and pie are my favs - but ya'll knew that, right?

Cassondra may call the bar-thingies the unevolved cookie/pie/cake wannabe combo, but I like them too. 7 layer cookie bars. Slurp!!! (You gotta like coconut for those, though!)

Wow, great recipes everyone. I'm noting them down...

Tawny said...

Ohhh, no way am I knocking it, Virginia :-) Its my only avenue to homemade fudge LOL. Its awesome, and so easy I can kick out four batches in one evening .

Oh man, I'd love your pecan roll recipe. It sounds divine!! I'm a fan of anything caramel and nuts *g*

Nancy said...

TD, you make candy? I'm impressed. That's majorly labor intensive.

As I have said before, I do not make fudge because the Evil Soft Ball stage totally defeats me. My mom made really good marshmallow cream chocolate fudge every year.

Of course, one year, she tried the variation on the jar, "Hawaiian fudge." I'm sorry, but fudge is, by definition, NOT green and NOT pineapple-laden. CHOCOLATE!

Mariska, congrats on bringing home the rooster.

Becke Davis said...

You're blogging here AND at Blaze Authors today? Good grief, woman, you're going to make the rest of us look like slackers!

Tawny said...

Mariska, a 7 hour cake? Oh man, that has to be amazing.

I love the fudge recipes, too. The first one looks right up my alley- have you tried them yourself? Which do you recommend most?

Tawny said...

*handing Natalie's inner child a sweet treat and a hug*

Natalie, I'll bet this is the hardest time of year to have to watch your sweet intake. Do you find substitute treats to keep that inner child happy?

Minna said...

I love chocolate, but if none is available, I make some sweets that are easy to make. But as I don't always have cream, that many recipes seem to require, Suzanne McMinn's recipe might become my new favorite. Just add some diffrent spices and you've got different kind of candies. Like if you add some ground cardamom and cinnamon, you'll get candy that tastes like cinnamon buns.

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, Drew ;-) Now I just want a gladiator to kiss it better and we're set!

Tawny said...

Mmmmm, Helen.

My mouth is watering at that recipe. It looks amazing - what kind of fruits do you use for mixed fruit?

Tawny said...

Wow. Talk about simple and yummy, Minna. That looks great and what a fab blog/recipe :-)

Have you tried it yet? Is it delicious? I'd imagine it tastes similar to the caramel you pour over cinnamon rolls. Its the same ingredients I use, except I add a dab of milk.

flchen1 said...

Tawny, I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never made fudge before in my life. I did get a delicious sounding recipe this weekend though, and plan to try it :) Here's the recipe:

© 1997 T. P. Skaarup, original recipe. May be copied unaltered. All
rights reserved.

1/4 cup butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
2 1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (or small 5 ounce can)
10-12 ounces vanilla chips
2-3 ounces neufchatel cheese or cream cheese
5 ounces Marshmallow Creme (more than half but not all the jar)
1 1/2 cups dried blue berries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter flavor (imitation)

Previously set aside 1-2 cups of blueberries washed in lemon
juice. Make a small cut or hole in each berry and let dry on waxed
paper for 1 day (until roughly the consistency of fresh raisins). The
drying is important since fresh fruits (which contain lots of water)
can ruin a fudge.

Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and set aside. Let the
cream cheese come to room temperature.

Heat milk at medium setting until warm then add sugar. Bring to a
rolling boil (medium-high) while stirring constantly with a wooden
spoon. Add the Marshmallow Creme and butter. Bring back to a
rolling boil for 5 1/2 minutes by the clock (start timing once the
rolling boil resumes). Add the cream cheese to the boiling mixture
about 1 minute before the end of the boil. Cut into small sections to
allow easy melting.

If you get brown flakes in the mixture then turn down the heat a little. Remove from heat and add vanilla chips and blueberries. Stir until creamy and all chips are melted. Now stir in vanilla extract and butter flavor. Mix thoroughly and pour into prepared pan. Cool.
Remove from pan, remove foil, cut into squares.

Stand back!!!!!!!!

Variation: use dried cherries or apricots

Good luck, and happy eating! I imagine even the failures would be quite delicious... ;)

Tawny said...

Mmmmmm, Jane. I adore snickerdoodles so I'll bet these are even better with pecans. They look delicious.

We don't really do a big dessert for Christmas. We have a roast and all the fixings Christmas eve but don't have any kind of after-meal treat, other than the plethora of sweets (fudge, cookies, breads) that are already around. But this makes me want to do something fun. Maybe a trifle??

Minna said...

No, haven't tried it yet. But I will soon. I have sugar, butter and vanilla or whatever other spices I might use for the candies. And I really like Suzanne's blog and recipes.
I actually don't pour caramel over cínnamon rolls, but I have made candies that taste like cinnamon rolls.

Joulu Peruutettu (Christmas has been cancelled) by Mamba:

Tawny said...

Gillian, my mom's made that fudge a few times and it's always amazing when she does. I've made it and its never amazing. I just don't get it :-(

Tawny said...

Pam!!! I used to do that with my mom's caramels. She'd send a batch, I'd hide them away *g* They are soooo good. So she started sending two batches. One for everyone, and one for me to hide in the freezer (which the kids had total access to, but very little patience waiting for the caramel to be chewable LOL).

WOW, what a yummy looking candy. I'm going to have to try this.

Tawny said...

That looks delish, Laurie.

What sweet treats do you prefer over fudge? I'm a big caramel anything fan, myself.

Tawny said...

Becke said: You're blogging here AND at Blaze Authors today? Good grief, woman, you're going to make the rest of us look like slackers!

LOL Becke. I'm really only keeping an eye on the Blaze blog today. Vicki's our guest author and she's running the actual show.

Tawny said...

Stephanie I want caramels too, now. I shipped off all the ones I'd made as gifts this morning and am having ugly withdrawals. Not that I've been actually eating them (hit overload around Thanksgiving) but darnit, they were HERE. You know, just in case I wanted some.

The cookies sounds yummy. We used to have a cookie exchange party in the court I lived in. Everyone brought a dozen of their homemade cookies for each guest and we all went home with baskets filled with different sweets. It was fabulous. I thought about it this year, but time isn't on my side.

Tawny said...

Gannon, I'm with you. I can only do small bits of any of it. One piece will do me for hours, usually days. If its really good, that is.

The bad thing is when there are SO many good things to have one taste of LOL. At least, its bad for my waistline.

Tawny said...

Good Morning, Deb :-) I haven't tried the fudge with Milky Way, but I have with peppermint patties - its always good.

What is a Danish Puff? I've had shortbread (its my mom's favorite) but never a puff, which sounds deliciously intriguing.

Beth said...

What a tasty blog! Now I'm dying to start my Holiday baking. But first, we need to finish the banana bars (with yummy cream cheese frosting) I made yesterday *g*

We're not huge fans of fudge so I don't make it. And as I've probably mentioned a dozen times, our favorite treat at the holidays is White Trash. And this year, my son has requested Kibbles 'n Bits.

I have a few new candy recipes I want to try - I made chocolate truffles last month and my daughter LOVED them so I'll be making those again as well :-)

Gillian Layne said...

Tawny, I can't make it either. I swear it's the man beating the living daylights out of the mix with a good old fashioned wooden spoon. Kind of Christmas magic. :)

I've got to try that white fudge. Yum!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Tawny!

I am the family baker and candy maker for the Christmas, too.

It is a tradition among my family, friends and co-workers that I make Buckeyes. (I think we talked about them last Christmas.) Peanut butter and confectioner's sugar balls dipped in semi-sweet chocolate to resemble the poisonous Buckeye nut.

Since I was born and raised in Ohio, these are a must for my family. And as my kids say, "They're crack!"

Last weekend I rolled and dipped 9 dozen.

Pat Cochran said...

Tawny, I'm tops in the group that
is not successful in candymaking!
This fudge recipe seems simple
enough for me to attempt, perhaps
even end up with a good product!
I'm definitely going to try it!
Thanks so much!

Pat Cochran

Deb said...

Danish Puff is a pastry that has two layers. It is a baked pastry that has an egg yolk-sugar mixture on top. After baking, I frost it with almond icing and place sliced almonds on top.

Drew, hope you enjoy the Maple Nutty Bars. My husband loves this candy.

Tawny said...

Shhhhhh, JoanieT. Lets not mention the WW thing. I'm pretending the sugar fairy is siphoning off all the weight while I enjoy the holiday season!!!

With your mocha ball recipe, did you notice a weather change between your first making and your others? We've had divinity fail to set, candy separate, etc when its too humid or wet out. We actually blew up the motor of our mixer one year making divinity because of the rain LOL

Tawny said...

Silvia, Brownies rock!!!! Raspberry brownies would rock even more :-) Those sound definitely yummy. I'd love to see the recipe!!

My daughter found a recipe a few years back that she's now required to make at Thanksgiving *g* Its a raspberry cheesecake chocolate pie type thing that is amazing. The raspberries really add the kick.

Tawny said...

Maureen, its fun to try all the new recipes and ideas, isn't it?

I'm going to try Mariska's fudge, too - we'll all have to compare notes.

Tawny said...

Susan, you might be on to something there. DO you think its like the spirit of the holiday that makes us go a little crazy? Eat, drink and be merry and all that jazz? I know I'll try sweets this time of year that I'd normally ignore.

How were the pretzels, btw?

We're doing a house and a train in gingerbread this year (pre-fab *g*). My girls dared each other to somehow turn those prefab creations into Hogwarts and the Hogwarts Express. Should be interesting to see if they pull it off.

btw, what's wrong with eating pounds of gumdrops? Aren't they one of the major food groups?

Tawny said...

Ooops, forgot to say.

Susan :-D You're welcome


Jane said...

Yes, you should make a trifle, Tawny. It reminds me of that Friends episode where Rachel attempts to make a trifle, but she added in meat because the pages in the recipe book were stuck together.

Tawny said...

ROFL Ms. Hellion. I'd have to agree with you on the gingerbread. Prefab is much MUCH easier. You might not have as much structural control (house instead of a castle) but you do get to concentrate on the decorating fun a lot more :-)

The candy DOES take forever at standing over the stove, doesn't it? I remember when my gramma used to make us colored popcorn balls each year. Hmmm, she's coming to spend Christmas with me next week. Maybe I can talk her into walking me through it - you've given me the craving!!

Tawny said...

OMG ROFLMAO Donna about your dog eating the ornaments -what a sight that must have been :-D

One year my kids made applesauce ornaments to decorate a little kitchen tree we'd done up. It also had strands of popcorn and cranberries. I can imagine the dogs having a total heyday with that.

Tawny said...

MMMMM, Anna. One year I made a to-die-for nut brittle. I haven't ever found the recipe again, though (no idea how I lost it). Because I'm not overly fond of peanuts, I made it with cashews *g*

One of the reasons I don't eat the gingerbread houses (besides the screaming accusations of sacrilege from my children) is that they sit out and get sorta dusty. Ick *g*

Tawny said...

Oh man, Virginia that looks amazing. I'm definitely going to have to make the white fudge next weekend before the family arrives!!!

Delish :-) Thanks for sharing.

Nick said...

Happy holidays and thanks for the good recipes - I love the holidays because they are an excuse to over-eat good food.

A gift idea for everyone looking at last minute gifts - rents books like netflix rents movies and they have gift cards so its an obvious gift for the reader in your life.

Have a great holiday everyone!

Tawny said...

Jo :-) I do the same - make small pans of bread as gifts. I tend to go with cranberry bread, though. I made a few of pumpkin bread around Thanksgiving, but, um, well... they all got eaten before I could give any away. Bad family. Bad.

The carrot bread in cans sounds so fun and the Heavenly Pie intriguing :-)

Tawny said...

Sarah, thats so fab that your mom found a vegan recipe to keep the tradition going for you. And isn't that a wonderful memory.

Thats what I hope my girls remember, all the cookie fun and baking and, well, laughter. We do something similar -I'll make a huge batch of sugar cookies with just the girls, along with a bunch of buttercream and royal icing in different colors. Then we have all the cousins over for a decorating party. Very fun :-)

Tawny said...

LOL that is so diplomatic, Jeanne :-) Its actually really good - you should try it *beg*

I don't think I've ever had homemade gingersnaps. I might have to do something about that...

and thanks on the Bedtime Stories :-) It's mind boggling to be in a book with Tori Carrington since they are so simply amazing. I'm really excited.

Nancy said...

Jane, I do so love trifle! I don't associate it with the holidays, though I see how it could fit well. I just love it for its own sake. :-)

Kate Carlisle said...

You are the devil, Ms. Tawny!! With very cute horns and a fetching tail, but the devil nonetheless! I gained six pounds reading your post and another eight pounds just getting through the comments. Good grief, I'm puffing up like the Blueberry Girl in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. :-)

I don't bake so I must depend on the kindness of others at this time of year. Especially a lovely woman in my area named Gramma Mina, who makes the most incredible, melt-in-your-mouth fudge brownies you've ever tasted. She also makes toffee to die for and a lemon cake that is sinful.

Okay, I just gained four more pounds. This is so not fair!!!

Gillian, my girlfriend makes that fudge and it's yummy!

Mariska, congrats on snagging the chook!

Tawny said...

Christie, I think you nailed the issue I've had with my fudge. Its yummy, but it doesn't have that 'true' fudge thing going on. That hasn't stopped me from eating it, of course :-)

The cookies sound wonderfully delicious. I like both soft and snappy cookies (although, again, I don't recall eating gingersnaps so need to do something about that). Have you already started your holiday cookie baking?

Tawny said...

Drew!!! I just made this 'fudge; on Saturday :-D

Its so yummy simple and fun. The Mars Squares look great, too. I'm a fan of anything with rice crispies.

Tawny said...

LOL Anna - I think my girls are quite concerned with treating Santa well, in hopes the thoughtfulness is reciprocated ;-)

MMMMMMMMM on the chocolate slice. How's this for a deal... you come here to visit, you make your slice, I don't watch what you use (your recipe is still secret) AND I do the cutting, saving your finger from pain. Good????

Tawny said...

What are Russian caramels like, Anna?

Tawny said...

Mmmm, Maple. Deb, that looks really good. My kids would love it.

Isn't it funny how most of these recipes aren't specific to the holidays -we really CAN make them any time of year. Yet, this seems to be the RIGHT time of year.

I do make my almond toffee in August to send to my dad for his birthday, though.

Tawny said...

Jeanne, I'm with you. I adore bar goodies. I don't know why, but they always appeal to me. Maybe its the layers of yumminess. a cookie layer, a gooey layer, a crunchy layer. Its an all-in-one treat LOL

Tawny said...

Nancy, I do make candy :-) I have a deeply hidden domestic side that comes out to play at the holidays LOL.

I mastered soft ball in high school (hahahahaha- only the candy kind) when I went on a three month caramel corn after school treat binge. My step-moms recipe for caramel corn is to-die-for, very soft, very caramelly and sinfully delicious. But to get past soft ball stage, I had to finally invest in a candy thermometer. A good one.

btw, I'm shuddering at the Hawaiian fudge. I love pineapple, but, um, ick!!!

Tawny said...

Minna, I think thats intriguing to add spices to candy. Someone sent me gourmet chocolates for my last birthday with different spices and salts on them. They were... interesting (I have the palate of a peasant when it comes to chocolate, I admit it).

I think cinnamon bun candy would be fun to try, though.

Tawny said...

Oh man, Fedora. That recipe made my mouth water. Anything with cream cheese is thumbs up in my book but blueberries too? Ohhhhhhhhh baby!!!

When you make it, you have to let me know how it is, okay?!

Tawny said...

Beth, I've tried your yummy white trash before and it rocks. If you were in the mood to share your yummy truffles this year, I'd be happy to try those too ;-)

Or you could share your recipe and I'll put my kid to work LOL.

Tawny said...

I swear it's the man beating the living daylights out of the mix with a good old fashioned wooden spoon. Kind of Christmas magic. :)

ROFL - Gillian, I love this image!!!!

Tawny said...

Suz, the amazing Lindsey Brookes sent me buckeyes a few years back and I can still recall how delicious they are. I don't blame your family for wanting LOTS!!!

Tawny said...

YAY!!! I'm glad you're going to try it, Pat. Let me know how it comes out, okay :-)

Tawny said...

Danish Puff is a pastry that has two layers. It is a baked pastry that has an egg yolk-sugar mixture on top. After baking, I frost it with almond icing and place sliced almonds on top.

*drool* Oh man, that sounds so good.

Tawny said...

LOL Jane, thats one of my favorite episodes of Friends.

Thanks for the nudge :-) I think I will do the trifle. Now to decide -chocolate or gingerbread???

Tawny said...

Nick, it definitely is a time for indulgence, isn't it?

Tawny said...

Kate :-) You mean Violet who turned violet?

My apologies for the unintended weight gain :-) You know, Trish runs a wonderful Healthy Writer blog filled with diet and exercise tips. Maybe reading that will have a weight loss effect? I plan to try it *G*

And wow that your local lady does such amazing treats!!! I want a Gramma Mina nearby!!! I'd cook much less and eat much more :-D

Kate Carlisle said...

Ooh, thanks for reminding me about Trish's healthy blog! I'm sure that'll help me get through the holidays without gaining too much weight.

Oh, who am I kidding???? Pass the brownies!! LOL

(But seriously, Trish's blog is great! I'm bookmarking it right now.) :-)

mariska said...

Actually Tawny, i haven't tried them both :)

but if you see the pictures of the second fudge recipe, you'll definitely try the second one, here's the link ;

i just loveeee a cake with very generous chocolate frosting on top of it..Yummy !

Pat Cochran said...

Hey, Tawny,

I was so proud of myself this
morning, my scale said I was down
five pounds! I just finished
reading al1 the comments. I think
I just put that weight right back
onto my hips!!

Pat Cochran

Tawny said...

Oh, who am I kidding???? Pass the brownies!! LOL

ROFL- yeah, I hear you. I almost cried tonight when my mom told me that my gramma had made treats to send but mom forgot to include them in our package. Darn it!!! But that wasn't the crying point - that came when mom told me she'd send them for AFTER-holiday treats. Noooooooooooo...

I can only be out of control until midnight on the 25th. Then the holiday eating frenzy is over and I have no excuse to indulge. Not even gramma's latest sweet treat :-(

Tawny said...

Oh man, Mariska!!! WOW that looks amazing.

It'd make an awesome birthday or fancy dinner dessert.

Tawny said...


I'm so proud of you and so happy FOR you :-) That is AWESOME.

Now -quit reading this post. Its bad for the scale *g* Next month I'll blog about audio books to listen to while exercising or how to read on a treadmill or something *ggg*

Helen said...


We buy packets of mixed fruit which have sultanas raisins currants orange and lemon peel and some glacied cherries green and red and it is awesome

Have Fun

Virginia said...

Tawny here is the recipe! Have fun and it may help to have an extra pair of hands when you go to make these


2 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 large or x large egg whites (stiffly beaten)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup water

Carmel covering
1qt coarsely chopped pecans

Combine sugar, corn syrup & water in saucepan. Cook to hard-crack stage or 300 degrees. Pour slowly over egg whites, beating constanly. Add vanilla. Beat until very stiff and cool enough to handle. The recipe says to shape into 5 or 6 logs, or rolls, but I do more like 20 to 25 about candy bar size. let cool

I double this recipe because I make smaller logs so it takes more carmel and nuts. Its best to have two bags of chopped pecans on hand.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup cream
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
Combine all ingredients in heavy sauce pan. Cook to firm ball stage or 240 degrees. Beat with mixer until smooth. Cool slightly before using. Roll devinity logs into carmel and then into your pan of nut. This is where the extra hands come in handy, and you will have to butter your hands to keep it from sticking to you. Place these on waxed paper as you do them. Sometime the carmel and nut will try to come back off, but just re-roll them in your hand as they cool. If the carmel gets to stiff to work with you may have to warm it back up or add a little milk. When cool wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap. If you want to decorate them you can tye ribon on each end!

Linda Henderson said...

I have to admit I don't make my own fudge any more. My youngest daughter's MIL works for a candy company and she is always bringing home some kind of treats. My favorite that she brings are the chocolate covered strawberries. YUM.

Tawny said...

Thanks, Helen - I'll have to see if our stores have the same and I've just missed it :-)

Tawny said...

Oh man, Virginia. I'm drooling. Seriously drooling.

thank you!!! I'm making this for the weekend. We have one last birthday celebration on Saturday and I think these would be a welcome treat :-)

Tawny said...

Linda, the first time I had chocolate covered strawberries was my honeymoon and they have forever after been a favorite. How awesome that you have such a great source!!!

Silvia said...

Hey Tawny, here's the recipe for the Raspberry Fudge Brownies ( As I found it on the web.)

1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg yolk
4 ounce semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar, 2 whole eggs and vanilla until combined. Mix in butter. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; stir into butter mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool pan on wire rack.
Whisk together the evaporated milk and egg yolk in a small saucepan. Heat over medium low, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very hot and thickens slightly; do not boil. Place the 4 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate in a medium bowl, and slowly pour in the hot milk. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the filling over the cooled brownies; refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Beat the cream cheese with the raspberry jam in a large bowl until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Top the cooled brownies with the frosting. Cut brownies into 16 squares.

(Planning on making it this weekend)