Monthly Archives: December 2015

Holiday Fudge

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I have a tradition at my mother’s house, that every Christmas, we always make fudge together. I have continued this long after I have left, and as the holiday season approaches I always look forward to making this recipe.

This recipe is very easy to follow, however it does take some time.

Recipe

  • 1 16oz. jar of Marshmallow Cream. I like Jef Puff Marshmallow Cream myself
  • 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 5oz. jars of evaporated milk (not sweet condensed milk)
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Over medium heat, in a large pot combine butter, evaporated milk and sugar. Don’t faint at the 6 cups, it sounds like an exorbitant amount, but as I told my stepdad long ago when he tried to cut and trim, that if you’re going to do something wrong, do it the right way.

Stir coninuously until it reaches a rolling boil while stirring. Once you reach this point, continue stirring for 4 minutes, or until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees.  Then remove from heat and add the marshmallow cream, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Stir until the remaining ingredients have both melted and fully incorporated. Pour right away into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Chill either on the counter, or in the fridge until solid, about 2 hours. Enjoy!

 

Squash Harvest Bread

This bread makes me miss Seattle. My last couple of years in Seattle, I was lucky enough to be walking distance to Macrina Bakery, a gem of this city. I would walk down the street with my then boyfriend, and we would stop in for a quick pastry and coffee before the work day. I loved these mornings walking through Queen Anne. When I moved, I made sure to buy a copy of their cookbook as I knew how much I would miss this bread.

It’s much warmer in LA of course, but now that fall is here I love making this bread, and the recipe calls for 2 loaves, which my office mates are always quite happy about. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

*I was too lazy to hunt down all of the nuts needed so this is a modification of their original recipe

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Recipe

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (or roasted squash purée)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and oil two 9 x 5 loaf pans. Spread the walnuts and pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes. You can also do this on the stove by putting them over medium heat in a pan stirring frequently so they do not burn. You can tell when they are finished by the fragrant toasted smell and they will start to turn slightly golden, beyond of course their normal nut color. Let the nuts cool and roughly chop them into smaller pieces and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and half of the chopped nuts. The remaining half will be for garnish. Mix together.

In a stand mixer, combine oil and sugar and beat with the paddle attachment for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the pumpkin or squash purée and mix for another 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and add in the flour mixture in small amounts, waiting until it is full combined. Mix in the buttermilk until all of the ingredients are just combined. You do not want to over mix or it will make the bread dense.

Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top of each loaf.

Bake loaves on center rack for one hour, or until golden brown. Test the center to make sure it is fully cooked with a skewer or thin knife, it should come out clean when the loaves are finished. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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