Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Something a little different: Pumpkin Fudge

Hi friends,

My pumpkin craving this season has explored just about every aspect of the food genre! Pumpkin beverages, pumpkin appetizers, pumpkin seeds with a variety of spices and seasonings, pumpkin chili, pumpkin bread, and you know pumpkin desserts were included; from tiramisu to mousses with cakes and cupcakes layered in between!! I love pumpkin! I just came across this delicious recipe for PUMPKIN FUDGE! I just had to share... it is a little bit different but don't shake your head. I know what you are thinking... because I thought the same thing.

Pumpkin fudge?! Just imagine: creamy fudge with the delicious seasonal pumpkin flavor dancing on your taste buds! This combination works and it is just a little different! You are substituting the pumpkin in place of the chocolate for the fudge, otherwise it is your basic fudge recipe.

The final fudgy creation is a gorgeous golden color, speckled with deep brown pecans. It almost reminds me of the trees at this time of year. I like to sprinkle the top of the fudge squares with a teeny bit of allspice. It tastes luscious! If you make the fudge thin enough you can also cut them out with seasonal shaped cookie cutters after it sets, wrap the pieces in a little bit of cellophane and ribbon. Makes a fun gift to be given!

Whether you decide to give, share or keep this tasty fudge all for yourself; I assure you, it will not be a disappointment. A nice twist would be to make another 3-pounds with squash! Hmmmm…. that sounds good!

Best,

Wendy

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Pumpkin Fudge

Makes 3 1/4 pounds

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 (5 1/3 oz.) can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice

1 (12 oz.) package butterscotch morsels (2 cups)
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp pure vanilla

Directions

1. Line a 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan with parchment paper. Allow the paper to extend over the two short sides and hang over both ends. This makes it so easy when it comes time to remove the fudge from the pan! Trust me on this one. Foil works well, but I prefer parchment paper.

2. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, canned pumpkin, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg, ground allspice. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil while stirring constantly. Reduce heat. Boil over medium-low heat until the mixture registers 234 (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer. Stir constantly; about 20 - 25 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the butterscotch morsels until melted. Add the marshmallow creme, pecans and vanilla. Mix until blended well.

4. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan, spread evenly. Cool at room temperature on a wire rack for about 2 hours so the bottom of the pan cools completely. Wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator.

5. To cut, lift edges of parchment paper and lift pumpkin fudge from the pan; remove paper and cut into squares.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Great news! Culinary Arts College; "78 Mouth-Watering Baking Blogs"

Hi friends,

I know it has been a while since my last post and so much has happened in that time. I have much to catch you up on, new recipes, the latests from my kitchen and of course updates on what I have been up to! I will begin with the good news I received last week in an email from Chef Cindy Cullen who maintains the Culinary Arts College website along with Chef Joseph Morris. The Culinary Arts College is a non-profit site dedicated to elevating American cuisine by encouraging a new generation of chef's to attend a culinary art's college.
You can seed the list here and how it has been broken up into sections:

1) GENERAL BAKING BLOGS
2) BREAD BAKING BLOGS AND WEBSITES
3) BAKING COOKIES BLOGS AND WEBSITES
4) CAKE BLOGS AND WEBSITES
5) CUPCAKES BLOGS AND WEBSITES
6) BAKING 101 and
7) ADDITIONAL BAKING TIPS

It was an absolutle thrill to open "78 Mouth-Watering Baking Baking Blogs" and then to see (#55) The Cupcakery blog recognized as one of these! Every blogger wants to know they are being read or has even made some kind of a difference. I have been reading many of the blogs listed for quite some time and they have inspired me with pictures, recipes and often times the stories associated with the food! It feels wonderful to be among such a talented group of bloggers and bakers but to know I am inspiring someone else, well let's just say it makes me feel like the sprinkles on top! Click here to see the full list.

While I have never been formally schooled in baking, I have had lots and lots of practice over the years. I have loved to be in the kitchen since I was about 6 years old and realized the sweet reward you get when you mix sugar with anything! Practice, experimenting, lots of spilled flour and smiles on the other end of those experiments has made me want to get better, make more and live up to the expression "Enough to feed an Army!"

I am back to blogging! I have missed you!

Best,
Wendy