Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oh, fudge!

Note to self: if you've already made a recipe and it worked out OK, don't mess with it.I learned my lesson. I decided to make fudge for all of my and Morgan's co-workers this week, a recipe I've made many times successfully, but failed miserably. My thermometer has a candy attachment that I've been dying to use, so instead of cooking the base for five minutes as the recipe instructed, I used my thermometer and cooked it to softball stage, 235F. And I promptly ended up with a separated, oily, crumbly, inedible mess.

Take two.

Followed the recipe to a T and voila! Perfectly smooth, creamy, delicious fudge. I found the cutest little red boxes at the Container Store and now just have to escape the snow storm we're having and make it into the office for delivery!

Ingredients
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Line an 8x8 inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.

Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Makes 48 (read: 17) cookies

I have a baking issue. I have never made cookies and ended up even remotely close to the yield on the recipe. This weekend was no exception -- in fact, Morgan and I only got 17 cookies out of a recipe that supposedly makes 48! We did use an ice cream scoop instead of spoons to drop them on the baking sheets, but they didn't seem that big. They did take a few extra minutes of baking, too, but were worth the wait.
We cozied up to warm cookies with big scoops of vanilla ice cream in front of a Christmas movie while the first snow of the year was falling. And the farm across the street was so pretty (sans the power lines) when I got up this morning, I had to take a picture to share!
Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies (Ha!)

2 cup(s) milk chocolate chips
1 cup(s) butter or margarine, at room temperature
3/4 cup(s) sugar
3/4 cup(s) brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon(s) vanilla
2 1/4 cup(s) unsifted flour
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 cup(s) walnuts, or pecans, chopped

Directions

Heat oven to 375ºF. Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixer bowl, cream butter with sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375ºF for 9 to 11 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Snack Attack!

I anxiously await citrus season every year and am so excited when the Satsumas and Clementines arrive at the market. My gag reflex was triggered when even thinking about eating another apple over the past few weeks. I am [semi] officially on an apple strike until next September. I also seem to have stopped eating “real” meals since we finished off the Thanksgiving leftovers and instead have opted for snack plates filled with Cuties, smoked almonds and light mini Babybel cheese wheels. There’s something about peeling off that red wax … puts a smile on my face every time!

What are your favorite snacks? Please do share!