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Irish Cream Truffle Fudge

I love Bailey’s and any dessert made with it immediately catches my eye.  Seeing that I’m also a big fan of making candy, especially fudge, I knew that I couldn’t go wrong with this recipe.  It’s pretty simple to make, and doesn’t even require a candy thermometer.  You just melt the ingredients together in two separate steps, pouring the second layer over the cooled first layer.  After a couple of hours in the refrigerator, you cut it into squares and you’re ready to enjoy!  The Bailey’s flavor really came through, but it wasn’t overpowering and went together very well with the chocolate.  If you’re still looking for a St. Patrick’s Day dessert, this may be the answer!

Irish Cream Truffle Fudge
Source: allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Butter a 8×8 inch pan.
  2. In the top half of a double boiler melt the 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup white chocolate chips and 1/4 cup butter until soft enough to stir.
  3. Stir in the confectioner’s sugar and Irish cream until mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts. Place mixture in the prepared pan and lay a sheet of plastic wrap over top; press and smooth top down.
  4. In the top half of a double boiler melt remaining chocolates until soft. Remove from heat and with a fork beat in the butter and Irish cream until smooth. Spread topping over cooled fudge with a knife. If a smooth top is important place plastic wrap over the top. Refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours at least. This fudge can be easily frozen.

Brown Sugar Fudge

I’ve always been a fan of brown sugar.  I love the full, sweet flavor it adds to baked goods.  I was always one to add  lots of brown sugar to my oatmeal as a kid.  So when I saw this recipe for brown sugar fudge, I wanted to find out how it would taste with brown sugar as the starring ingredient.  As I expected, it was delicious!  It’s your typical preparation for fudge where you heat the evaporated milk, butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until it reaches the soft ball stage, but with this recipe, you transfer the mixture to your stand mixer and use it to beat in the confectioners sugar.  This ensures a thick, smooth fudge.  The fudge set up quickly and I couldn’t wait to cut into it.  To my delight, it had a full flavor, very much like molasses or caramel.  It was also gobbled up quickly when I served it to guests during the Christmas season.  I’ll definitely keep this on my baking list for the future!

Brown Sugar Fudge
Source: Gourmet July 2003 via Epicurious

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 cups packed light brown sugar (14 ounces)
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Special equipment: a candy thermometer

Combine milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 238°F on thermometer and a teaspoon of mixture dropped into a small bowl of cold water holds a soft ball when pressed between your fingers (this will take about 30 minutes).

Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Beat in vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed, then add confectioners’ sugar a little at a time, beating until fudge is thick and smooth, about 5 minutes.

Spread evenly in an ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm enough to cut, about 30 minutes.

Cut fudge into 64 squares with a sharp paring knife.

Maple Cream Fudge

I love the taste of maple.  It’s such a perfect fall and winter treat, and I knew it had to be good in the form of this fudge!  I hadn’t really made a dessert where maple was the central flavor.  This fudge was easy to make, and was part of my holiday baking.  After heating up the mixture and bringing it to the soft ball stage, you let the fudge sit and thicken.  After that, you just pour the mixture into the pan, refrigerate it, and wait for it to set.  It turned out to be a little bit on the softer side as far as fudge goes, but it was super creamy and the maple flavor really stood out.  I’m going to make some to use in some maple ice cream pretty soon!

Maple Cream Fudge
Source: Thibealut’s Table

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cream
1/3 cup of butter
1/4 cup of maple syrup
pinch of salt
vanilla

Add the two sugars, butter and cream, maple syrup and salt into a sauce pan. Place over medium heat. Stir while bringing to a boil. Lower the heat and continue to stir slowly while the mixture cooks. After about 7 minutes, test by pouring a small amount into some cold water. You want it to form a soft ball. You might need to cook it for another minute or two. Remove from the heat, add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla and start stirring. It takes about 14 or 15 minutes for the fudge to cool and thicken. Pour into buttered dish. If you let the fudge sit for 10 minutes after removing from the heat and allow it to cool slightly this will reduce the stirring time.


Butter Pecan Fudge

My dad has always been a fan of butter pecan ice cream.  We always made sure there was a carton of butter pecan ice cream in the freezer because it is his favorite.  My mom and I sometimes teased him for liking such a boring flavor, but it is a good, simple flavor.  When I saw this recipe for butter pecan fudge, I immediately thought of my dad and wanted to make it to take with me when I visited my parents for Christmas.  I put this in his stocking Christmas morning, and he was surprised to see his favorite ice cream in fudge form.  I really liked this fudge.  It had a nice, buttery flavor and I loved the texture of the pecans.  It is great on its own and I think it would be a great add-in to some butter pecan ice cream.  It would certainly boost such a “boring” bowl of ice cream 🙂

Butter Pecan Fudge
Source: Sweet Nicks, originally from Taste of Home Holidays 2007

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the butter, sugars, cream and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Stir in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in pecans.

Spread into a buttered 8-in. square dish. Cool to room temperature. Cut into 1-in. squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 1-1/4 pounds.


Butterscotch Pralines

I’ve always liked pralines, but have never tried making them at home.  Several years ago, in the summer of 2003, my parents took my sister and I to New Orleans, where they used to live.  I’m glad I got to see the city pre-Katrina, and I really enjoyed the food there.  For a seafood lover, New Orleans is incredible, and the sweets are pretty incredible too.  One day my mom and I saw a cooking demonstrating where we saw them making pralines.  I was immediately hooked and wanted to try making them on my own.  Of course, a couple months later, I started college and pretty much forgot about it.  I recently flipped through some of my cookbooks and found this recipe for butterscotch pralines.  I also had a Christmas party to go to the next day and thought pralines would be the perfect thing to take along.

Pralines are so simple to make, especially with the use of a candy thermometer.  I was surprised at how quickly they set up.  After pouring the mixture on the baking sheets, it took about 5 minutes for the pralines to be ready.  I sneaked a few bites that night and they were a big hit at the Christmas party.  Many people had never eaten homemade pralines before!  The butterscotch was a tasty twist on a classic treat and I will be sure to make these again!

Butterscotch Pralines
Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

¾ cup water

¼ cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup butterscotch morsels

1 ¼ cups pecan pieces

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper of aluminum foil.

In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar, vanilla, and salt.  Bring to a boil, without further stirring, until the mixture reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Remove from the heat.

Immediately transfer the hot mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat in the butterscotch morsels on medium speed until the morsels are melted and the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Stir in the pecans.

Immediately drop by tablespoonfuls (a cookie scoop works really well) onto parchment paper or aluminum foil.  (If the mixture in the bowl gets too firm, you can put it back in the saucepan and melt it carefully while stirring over low heat).

Let the pralines stand at room temperature to set, 5 to 10 minutes.

The pralines keep in an airtight container at room temperature, layered between sheets of wax paper, for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Peppermint Bourbon Walnut Fudge

This recipe caught my eye when I got the cookbook I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas by Marcel Desaulniers.  I loving making fudge and other candies during the Christmas season, and this looked like the perfect recipe to try.  I decided to make it this year to take with us when we went to visit my husband’s family.  This recipe has a lot of chocolate and a lot of sugar, so it is very rich. It yields quite a bit of candy, so you can get many servings out of this recipe.  The mint flavor was definitely present, but not overpowering.  I liked how it tasted with the chocolate.  My only complaint is that you really couldn’t taste the bourbon.  Next time (and there will be a next time!) I will increase the bourbon so that the flavor comes through a bit more.  This is probably my favorite of all the fudge recipes I’ve tried.  It was definitely a hit with David’s family and we enjoyed snacking on it after dinner as we played games and watched movies and football!

Chocolate Peppermint Bourbon Walnut Fudge
Source: I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas by Marcel Desaulniers

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, plus 1 tablespoon, melted
3 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup walnut halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 tablespoon peppermint extract

Lightly coat an 8x8x2-inch nonstick baking pan with the melted butter, then line with plastic wrap.

Combine the remaining butter, sugar, cream and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to completely dissolve the sugar. Turn the heat down (so the mixture does not boil over) and continue to boil while stirring frequently until the mixture reaches 230 F, about 6 minutes. Use a digital thermometer for an accurate reading.

Remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate and stir carefully with a whisk. Stir until the chocolate has melted and been completely incorporated. Add the walnuts, bourbon and peppermint extract and stir with a rubber spatula until incorporated. Pour the fudge into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with the spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

To serve, remove the top layer of plastic wrap. Flip the pan upside down on top of a cutting board. Remove the plastic wrap. Cut into pieces of desired size. Store in tightly sealed plastic container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

The fudge will retain the peppermint flavor for several days if stored in the refrigerator. For long-term storage (up to several weeks), freeze the fudge in a tightly sealed plastic container to prevent dehydration and to protect it from refrigerator or freezer odors.

Makes 3 pounds.

Homemade Peppermint Patties

Several years ago, my mom found a recipe for homemade peppermint patties and suggested that we try them.  We got to work one December afternoon, making dozens of peppermint patties.  They turned out beautifully, and it became a yearly event for us to make them.  We gave them as gifts and had them around the house to serve when guests came over.  It was quite magical to see people’s reactions at the idea of homemade peppermint patties.  They are really quite easy to make, although they can get time consuming with the dipping involved.  It’s fun to make these with someone or have a good movie going while you work.  The end result is worth it, and these have become a tradition for me.  In the past I’ve also colored the filling green for a more festive touch, but this time I decided to leave them plain white.  Peppermint patties also make a good addition to peppermint ice cream, which will be posted very soon!

Peppermint Patties
Source: Adapted from Ceramic Canvas, originally from Gourmet

2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (less than 1 pound), divided

1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (preferably trans-fat-free)

pinch of kosher salt

10 ounces 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Make filling: Beat 2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar with corn syrup, water, peppermint extract, shortening, and a pinch of salt using an electric mixer (with paddle attachment if using a stand mixer) at medium speed until just combined. Knead on a work surface dusted with remaining 1/4 cup confectioners sugar until smooth. Roll filling into small (about 1 inch) balls; flatten with your fingers.  Let dry on cookie sheet for an hour, then turn them over and let sit for another hour.

Temper chocolate and coat filling: Melt three fourths of chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove bowl from pan and add remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth. Cool until thermometer inserted at least 1/2 inch into chocolate registers 80°F.

Return water in pan to a boil and remove from heat. Set bowl with cooled chocolate over pan and reheat, stirring, until thermometer registers 88 to 91°F. Remove bowl from pan.

Balance 1 peppermint round on a fork and submerge in melted chocolate, letting excess drip off and scraping back of fork against rim of bowl if necessary, then return patty to sheet (to make decorative ridges on patty, immediately set bottom of fork briefly on top of patty, then lift fork straight up). Coat remaining rounds, rewarming chocolate to 88 to 91°F as necessary. Let patties stand until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.

Makers about 4 dozen candies

Peanut Brittle

When I was still living with my parents, our neighbor used to bring over a platter of Christmas goodies every year.  One of my favorites was the peanut brittle.  It also happened to be my dad’s favorite and we would each sneak pieces when we could.  This year I decided to try my hand at making my own for the first time.  I was looking through some cookbooks for holiday baking ideas and realized that one of my favorite cookbooks already had a recipe in it.  Peanut brittle is actually very easy to make.  You have to cook the  mixture to a very high temperature, so you do have to be careful, but the directions in the book made it so easy.  I would suggest using the longest wooden spoon you have to make sure you don’t burn yourself.  Once the mixture is combined, you need to work quickly to pour it over the baking sheet because it does set up quickly.  This peanut brittle came out just right- it had the hard, crunchy texture I was looking for, but wasn’t too hard to break into pieces.  This was the perfect treat to have around during the holidays!

Peanut Brittle
Source: The Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda, sifted

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup light corn syrup

2 cups sugar

½ pound shelled roasted peanuts

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch pieces

BEFORE YOU START
Lightly butter a jell-yroll pan or lined cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and salt.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil.  When it is boiling, cover for 3 minutes (this will melt any sugar crystals stuck on the sides of the pan, which will prevent crystallization).

Remove the cover and cook until it reaches 348 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts.  Stir in the baking soda mixture.  (Be careful!  The mixture will bubble and is really hot).  When the mixture starts to settle, stir in the vanilla and butter briskly, until it disappears.

Pour the mixture into the prepared jelly-roll pan.  Spread evenly with a buttered spatula.  Let cool to room temperature.

Makes about 2 pounds peanut brittle

Chocolate Espresso Toffee

I just love toffee.  I like the sweetness of the flavor and the crunchiness.  I’ve always been a fan of toffee in things like ice cream, but I’ve never made toffee just for eating.  I can’t remember how I came across this recipe, but I’ve had it bookmarked for a while and couldn’t wait to add it to my Christmas treat list.  Adding espresso to it made me want to make it even more.  I made coffee toffee ice cream last year, and was pretty sure I would like this as well.  This recipes takes toffee to a whole new level.  With the addition of cinnamon and espresso powder and the combination of chocolate and white chocolate for the topping, you really can’t go wrong.  It’s also insanely addictive!  It might be a good idea to plan to share these so you don’t eat it all yourself!

Chocolate Espresso Toffee
Source: Orangette

2 cups walnuts
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
2 tsp instant espresso powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup water
1 Tbs dark unsulfured molasses
4 ½ ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Valhrona 64%)
4 ½ ounces fine-quality white chocolate, finely chopped (I used Callebaut)
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, about 5-10 minutes, making sure they don’t burn. Allow to cool for ten minutes; then coarsely chop. Remove 1 ½ cups to a bowl. Finely chop remaining ½ cup; then place in a separate bowl.

Prepare your mise en place: in a medium bowl, combine sugars, espresso powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine water and molasses. Place chopped chocolates in their own separate bowls.

Butter a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Melt butter in a heavy 2 ½-quart saucepan over low heat. Add sugars, espresso powder, cinnamon, salt, water, and molasses; stir until sugar dissolves. Attach a clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium; cook until thermometer registers 290 degrees (and no less!), stirring slowly but constantly and scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spatula, about 20 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, and quickly stir in 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped nuts. Immediately pour mixture onto prepared pan; do not scrape saucepan. Tilt sheet so that toffee spreads to ¼-inch thickness. Sprinkle chocolates by generous tablespoonfuls atop toffee, alternating bittersweet and white chocolates. Let stand one minute. Using back of spoon, spread chocolates slightly. Using the tip of a knife or the tongs of a fork, swirl chocolates to create a marble pattern. Sprinkle with ½ cup finely chopped nuts. Refrigerate until toffee is firm, about one hour. Break toffee into pieces.

Makes about two pounds. Can be made two weeks ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Peanut Butter and Butterscotch Fudge

Peanut butter and butterscotch is not a combination I would typically put together, so I was intrigued when I saw this recipe.  I love peanut butter and I love butterscotch, but I wasn’t sure how they would be when combined in one recipe.  The best way to find out would be to just try it!  This is an extremely simple recipe.  All you do is melt butter, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips in a pot, remove from the heat, and then stir in the marshmallows.  Does it get any easier than that?  When you add the marshmallows, and entire bag seems like a lot, but it works really well.  I loved having the marshmallows, but I’m sure it would work fine if you want to add less.  The flavor combination was phenomenal.  The butterscotch and peanut butter balanced one another very well.  Neither flavor was overly dominant, and I would love to find more desserts with the unexpectedly delicious combination!

Peanut Butter and Butterscotch Fudge
Source: adapted from The Crepes of Wrath

1/2 cup butter

1 cup peanut butter

1 package (11-12 ounces) butterscotch chips

1 bag mini marshmallows

Directions:

1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot.

2. Add peanut butter and butterscotch chips; stir until melted.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes so you don’t melt the marshmallows.

4. Stir in the marshmallows gently yet quickly

5. Pour into a greased 9×9 pan, and put into the refrigerator until set.