My friend texted me the other day wondering about the need for a candy thermometer when making Eggnog Fudge. I know that certain recipes like fudge and my personal favorite, English Toffee, pretty much require a candy thermometer. It took me an entire day and about 6 pounds of butter to finally produce an acceptable toffee. It’s no easy task – it’s an art, and it’s not possible without a candy thermometer.
Basically, I only use my candy thermometer in December. Literally.
Baking and sweets are just not my strong suit.
I’m not good at following recipes as they are written. I like short-cuts and low-fat ingredients.
It doesn’t always work.
Last week Wednesday I was teaching my monthly diabetes cooking class. I had trialed both the snickerdoodle and peanut butter cookie recipes…twice. Both turned out great…both times. During my class, however, I was trying to speed things along to keep within my 1 hour class and I failed to refrigerate my snickerdoodle dough long enough. The cookies ran together into a flat SHEET of cookie. They were paper-thin and just…not snickerdoodles.
Last month, I broke eggs all over myself trying to show off egg tricks and this month my cookies were a flop. Next month, I must save face. Good thing I’m not easily embarrassed, but ideally, I wouldn’t mess up a recipe every class I teach.
Some recipes require patience. They are written with specific instructions for a reason. Candy thermometers exist…for a reason. One of those reasons being fudge – a favorite holiday sweet of mine. There’s something uniquely special about an almost too-sweet piece of melt-in-your-mouth goodness that can feature one of many flavors. I’ve made Peanut Butter Fudge, Egg Nog Fudge, White Chocolate Cranberry-Pistachio Fudge, and now, White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge. Don’t make me choose a favorite!
- ¼ cup + 2 tsp unsalted butter, softened, divided
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup low-fat sour cream
- 12 oz white baking chocolate, chopped
- 1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow cream
- ½ cup crushed peppermint candy
- ½ tsp peppermint extract
- Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease with 2 teaspoons of butter, coating the bottom and sides; set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, sour cream and remaining ¼ cup butter. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rapid boil; cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234° (soft-ball stage), about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat; stir in white chocolate and marshmallow creme until melted. Fold in peppermint candy and extract. Pour fudge into prepared pan and using a spatula direct the fudge evenly to the sides and corners. Refrigerate fudge until firm, about 1 hour.
- Cut fudge into 1-inch square pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Weekly Menu: December 15th – 19th
- Sunday: Harvest Festival Chili
- Monday: Winter Salad with Pear Vinaigrette and seared scallops
- Tuesday: leftovers
- Wednesday: out for dinner with my team
- Thursday: Crab-Stuffed Portabellos
I had nothing on the agenda yesterday. I have nothing on the agenda today. 🙂