Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Easy" fudge

During the holidays, someone brought a giant vat of marshmallow fudge to the library. It was wicked good. I made an offhand comment about fudge and my coworkers assured me it was easy to make and virtually foolproof.

You know what this means.

I found an easy recipe via carnation evaporated milk and it took me three tries to produce one batch. The first two came out like a fudge sauce. Here is the recipe:


Ingredients

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

LINE 8-inch-square baking pan with foil.

COMBINE sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

STIR in marshmallows, morsels, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces.

FOR MILK CHOCOLATE FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE 1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels for Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.

FOR BUTTERSCOTCH FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels for Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels.

FOR PEANUTTY CHOCOLATE FUDGE:
SUBSTITUTE 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Morsels for Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels and 1/2 cup chopped peanuts for pecans or walnuts.

Cook's notes:

The reason my fudge refused to set in those initial batches was because I used double the amount of evaporated milk. I wasn't paying attention to the size of the can and dumped the whole damn thing in twice. Whoops.

This is a great gift to give once you master it. People assume you slave hours over it when in reality it's like a minute (or 10).

Easy granola

The October 2009 issue of Health Magazine had Jamie Oliver's easy granola as a feature and encouraged readers to "steal this dish." So I did and have been gifting it like crazy. I've since modified it to include whatever I have onhand. Here's the offical recipe!

Ingredients
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)
1 heaped cup mixed nuts
1/4 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, poppy, pumpkin, sesame)
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons maple syrup
About 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups dried fruit


Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°. Put oatmeal, mixed nuts, mixed seeds, coconut, and cinnamon on a baking sheet. Stir well; smooth out. Drizzle with maple syrup and olive oil; stir. Bake 25-30 minutes. Every 5 minutes or so take out and stir, then smooth down with a wooden spoon and put back in oven. When granola is golden, remove from oven, mix in dried fruit (roughly chop any large pieces); let cool. Serve with milk or yogurt. You can keep leftover granola in an airtight container about 2 weeks, but it's so delicious we'll be surprised if it lasts that long!


Cook's Notes:

Triple this recipe. Trust me, everyone will rave about it and it is inexpensive to make.

In terms of dried fruit, I like the dried cranberry and pomegrante seed misture the best, but dried blueberries and raisins work well too. As for nuts, skip the chopping and buy walnut pices and sliced almonds.