My first attempt at candy making came this last Easter. I wanted something special to give to the family and keeping with my traditions of making sure the fairies leave something in Spring this endeavor was my favorite. I started mixing everything for the 3 candies I was making the night before Easter… that’s one of the tricks to slipping in a surprise, make something out in the open and slip your secret dish in the middle.
Here’s what I mean…
The 3 chosen candies were Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge (page 138), Creamy Double Decker Fudge (page 139) and Chocolate Truffles (page 136). I told the kids and My Love that I was making fudge to have after Easter Dinner. They were suitability excited, especially My Love when I showed him the recipe for the double decker fudge. He has very fond memories of his mom making fudge and was excited to have it again. So while they all did there own things to get ready for bed I started pans on the stove.
The first recipe up is the Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge
Since I was making 2 kinds of fudge and only have one small square baking dish I made this in a glass pie pan. It said it was fool proof so I started with it and for once I almost followed the recipe completely.
Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge
3 cups (1 ½ 12-oz. pkgs.) Hershey’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips
1 can Sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
*Line 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil. In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt.
*Remove from heat; stir in Walnuts and vanilla. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.
*Remove from pan; place on cutting board. Peel off foil; cut into squares. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
About 5 dozen pieces or 2 pounds.
I only deviated in one aspect. I used ¼ cup of a bag of nut toping instead of walnuts (as that was what I had on hand) and only in half the recipe. I am the only one who likes nuts and I see no reason I can’t make some just for me.
That was so seriously simple that I felt ready to try the next one with no fear. It really helps to have a good attitude when you are trying a new recipe. It takes a lot of courage sometimes to make something for the first time. It helps to have eaten it before so you have a little idea on what you are going for.
Having gained some confidence I went forth with the recipe that My Love was anticipating the most.
Creamy Double Decker Fudge
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1 cup Hershey’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
I don’t think I was over confidant exactly, I just wasn’t as careful as I could have been… or something.
* Line 8-inch square pan with foil: in a small microwave-safe bowl, place peanut butter chips and 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk. Microwave at high (100%) 1 to 1 ½ minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.
*Stir in ½ teaspoon vanilla; spread evenly into prepared pan. In small microwave-safe bowl, place remaining sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips; repeat above microwave procedure.
*Stir in remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla; spread evenly over peanut butter layer. Cover; refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. About 4 dozen pieces or 1 ½ pounds.
Every thing seemed to go okay, but in the end the peanut butter layer never hardened. I think I didn’t divide the milk carefully enough. It really didn’t matter, My Love thought they were the best I had made! Turns out his fondest memory of his mother’s fudge was a time it didn’t set up right.
Now, while I was microwaving the 2nd layer I started the last and secret recipe. It was rather easy to sneak in as it needed to set in the fridge for a time before I could shape it. It worked perfectly. The two pans of fudge were finished before the kids headed to bed and the pan of Truffle was cooling in the fridge out of sight. They had seen me mix it up, but as I was using the stove for one of the fudge recipes they didn’t notice that it was an extra pot. I set down to read a book… nothing out of usual here, go on to bed, sleep well… just reading a book… It worked so well that My Love even went to bed none the wiser.
After they were all asleep I formed the balls. I was surprised at how simple it was… and I must say it is by far the best chocolate thing I have ever had in my mouth!
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter
¾ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cocoa or powdered sugar
*In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add cocoa; stir until smooth. Blend in sweetened condensed milk; stir constantly until mixture is thick, smooth and glossy, about 4 minutes.
*Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or until firm.
*Shape into 1 ¼-inch balls; roll in cocoa or powdered sugar or a blend of these two ingredients. Refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours. Store, covered, in refrigerator.
About 2 ½ dozen candies.
The recipe has extra instructions for how to roll them:
1. Use a melon ball scoop or a spoon to remove truffle mixture from bowl.
2. Roll spoonfuls of Truffle mixture between hands to form balls. Keep hands and truffle mixture as cold as possible.
3. Roll truffles in assorted coatings and place in decorative candy cups for serving.
I was able to roll about half the mixture before it was to warm to work, so I put it back into the fridge for a bit. There are several variations on this recipe that I hope to try this Christmas! On this try I simply rolled them in powdered sugar. Set them on a pretty tray and stored them in the refrigerator. I made a tiny little note that told about the Fairy present and slipped it in a basket. The next morning found me and the youngest eating magical balls of fairy chocolate in bed and that was the sweetest thing yet!