fudge

A fudge recipe from Betty's Cook Nook
Oh, Fudge: How Sweet It Is

This recipe is long overdue making its debut on Betty’s Cook Nook.

I was supposed to make this fudge during my big getaway to Italy in 2012-2013 but I wasn’t able to score all the ingredients while in Tuscany so the recipe sat here online without pictures or a story behind it … until now.

Out of all of my Mom’s recipes that I’ve been intimidated to make, I think it was this one takes 1st place because of the special note Mom included on the recipe: “Call Inez for help when making 1st time.” If Mom needed counsel the first time making this fudge, I was surely destined for a foodie fail – especially after my run-in with the red candy apple on a stick disaster from 2011.

Turns out I was right!

foodie tips

  Eureka! I learned something significant that you probably already know – the difference between condensed milk and evaporated milk! I always knew these as “milk in a can” but if you asked me the difference I would have said one is evaporated and one is not. Bad guess.

It turns out that both milks have the majority of water removed from them but condensed milk is sweetened milk (a.k.a. sweetened condensed milk or “SCM”) and evaporated milk is not. Since this recipe calls for sugar, I can create confidently knowing that “cold milk” (per the original recipe below) would have been shorthand for evaporated milk. My culinary cred just rose by +1!

I’m not sure why the recipe calls for the milk to be cold only to heat it up in step one, but hey, don’t mess with instructions, right?

  Even though the recipe doesn’t call for it, I enlisted the aid of my candy thermometer to try and prevent another culinary wreck. Turns out I would need the aid of the entire Justice League to try and save this mess.

I’m not sure what I made but I think it was a cross between a Texas praline, a chocolate crepe, and a brick (translation: FLAT and HARD). After two candy-coated foodie fails I think I’ll be trading in my Sur la Table candy thermometer for something more reliable. Maybe a digital candy thermometer!

Sur La Table Candy Thermometer

  I distinctly remember Mom making this fudge at the holidays when divinity, rum balls and ribbon candy made special appearances. While we had the fudge with chopped nuts, Mom made the fudge with pecan halves on top most often so that’s the way I made them (hint hint).

  Here in Texas “nuts” is an abbreviation for Texas Pecans. Y’all can trust me on this!

  On the next “go” of this recipe I’m going to try it in a deep glass dish then cut it into squares. Seems like many of the modern day recipes call for that technique and maybe I’ll be luckier in the end.

  Fudge Lover? Get in line! Here’s another fabulous fudgey find from Mom’s cookbook.

fudge recipe ingredients

i. ingredients

½ cup | cold canned milk (evaporated milk)
2 cups | sugar
½ cup | karo corn syrup
2 squares | chocolate
2 tablespoons | butter (go big with unsalted Falfurrias Brand)
1 teaspoon | vanilla
a handful or 2 | nuts (a.k.a. texas pecans), *halves* or chopped

ii. what to do

1. Put all of the ingredients (except the butter, vanilla and nuts) into a large pot.

how to make fudge

2. Cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.

3. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, boiling for 3-4 minutes. Cook to the “soft ball” stage (about 235°F – 240°F).

4. Remove the mixture from heat and add the vanilla and butter.

5. Place the molten pot into a sink filled with water. Beat by hand until creamy.

6. Drop by spoonfuls (I think onto a glass or ceramic dish would work best). Top with your pecan halves (if using), let rest… then dig in! Enjoy!

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

your best fudge recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Fudge Recipe From Our Neighbor Inez

Who is “Inez Eversole”?

I grew up living in a house on a corner lot at 2927 Trailend in San Antonio. The house right behind us sat on a large piece of land that was one acre in size; ten houses were neighbors to a slice of this great space. The yard was meticulously beautiful with plush grass and large shade trees that made it look like a plantation dropped in the middle of San Antonio.

Inez and Herb Eversole were a wonderful older couple who lived in a charming 1951 stone house that sat right in the middle of the tiny world all its own. I’d climb our fence and peer over it to see what was going on with our backdoor friends. Mrs. Eversole was always kind to me and I’d often visit to have a chat about the goings on at school and home. Mr. Eversole had a riding lawnmower that I thought was just about the neatest thing I had ever seen.

Looking back I think Inez and Herb were our family’s adopted grandparents – not just because of their geo proximity – but because of their genuine awesomeness and willingness to help us out with time-tested tips and tasty dishes.

So there you have it – this is Inez’s very own fudge recipe! I have one or two other recipes from Herb and Inez in Mom’s cookbook and will gladly add them soon.

Cheers to you, Inez and Herb – Thanks for the sweet fudge recipe! And the great memories.


fudge pie

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook NookOh, Fudge!

When things go wrong I’m not quite sure why “oh, fudge” became synonymous with its less appropriate saying but to me “oh, fudge” is a great thing!

Even though one of my favorite movies wasn’t created until 1983, one of the most famous of “oh, fudge” scenes was created in this passage from A Christmas Story. Before we make fudge pie let’s enjoy a bit of this timeless classic:

foodie tips ~

 In the 1970s we would likely have enjoyed whipped cream from the can. Thank you, Reddi-wip! These days I use my gourmet whipper that I scored at Williams-Sonoma – it really creates a great whip. When you make your own whipped topping you can flavor the creams but for this recipe we chose to go with the standard recipe.

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook
i. ingredients

1 stick | unsalted butter (my Mom’s Mom “Nanny” insisted on Falfurrias brand butter)
3 squares | unsweetened chocolate
| cage free eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons | white corn syrup
¼ teaspoon | salt
1 teaspoon | vanilla
1 ¼ cup | sugar
| unbaked pie shell
to serve | fresh whipped cream

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler.

2. To the eggs add the corn syrup, salt, vanilla and sugar.

3. Temper the eggs by adding the chocolate mixture in thirds. Turn then pour into the unbaked pie shell.

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

This Fudge Pie Is Ready For The Oven

4. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (we cooked our pie for quite a bit longer – we were using our new gas oven). The pie’s center will be moist and fudgy.

To serve: Let the fudge pie rest until cool. Slice and top with some fluffy whipped cream.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Fudge Pie Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom’s Fudge Pie Recipe – Compliments Of Mrs. Henry Cohen


rum balls

delicious rum balls... YEAH!Aside from the Grinch, who celebrates the holidays without rum balls?

Exactly!

Rum balls are a nostalgic favorite.

This no-bake recipe will surprise you with its super-amazing taste; a nutty, chocolatey mouth-watering sweet that tickles your tongue with the delightful dismount from a pleasing punch of rum. Yeah. Makes me want to “scarf” a dozen.

Let’s roll!

i. ingredientsgetting ready to mix it up

1/2 cup | evaporated milk
1 cup | semi-sweet chocolate morsels
3 tablespoons | corn syrup
1/3 cup | light rum
1/2 cup | powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup | finely cut nuts (I used Texas pecans)
2 1/2 cups | vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup | powdered sugar (for coating)

ii. what to do

1. Stir evaporated milk, chocolate morsels and corn syrup in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat until the chocolate melts.

2. Remove from heat and mix in the rum and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until smooth.

3. Stir in the nuts.

making these rum balls is a messy project. but clean-up is easy. 4. Add the vanilla wafer crumbs about ¼ at a time, mixing well after each addition.

5. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

6. Shape with wet hands into 1-1/2 inch balls.

7. Roll balls, one at a time in 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar.

8. Chill at least 1 hour.

Yields about 3 dozen rum balls and up to 3 dozen fans, depending on how generous you are with their serving size.

Enjoy these yum balls! Er, rum balls!

Foodie Tips ~

Don’t be stingy with the rum. If you feel the need to add a bit more, I won’t tell.
To make the wafer crumbs, I put the whole cookies in a ziploc bag and used a rolling pin. Don’t pulverize the wafers into powder; small chunks add texture to these tasty treats.
Make sure and keep your hands wet (like the recipe calls for). I left the kitchen sink water running and wet my left hand before rolling each ball.
After rolling the balls, they may be a little deformed. No worries. I popped them in the fridge for about 10 minutes and they firmed-up. Then I rolled them in the sugar and was able to get them shaped perfectly round. If they still aren’t to your liking, you can put them in the fridge to chill again, then roll and coat with more sugar.
Use plenty of powdered sugar for the coating; I used 1 cup (vs. 1/2 cup).

mom's yum yum rum balls recipe


bohemian-creole pralines

pralines in the makin'    Being a native Texan guarantees you certain inalienable rights; using “crutch words” like y’all and “fixin’, wearing jeans and boots for any occasion… and the insatiable love of the praline.

For me, Christmastime was trimmed with midnight mass, tamales, the yearning for snow and the sweet, sweet treats that mom would make. It was a season of indulgence for the tummy.

This recipe is from Elouise and Frank Kallina’s kitchen. Mr. Kallina was one of dad’s great friends in the oil and gas biz. I remember visiting their house on Oak Park Drive more than once. Good people.

i. ingredients

3 cups | light brown sugar
1 cup | heavy cream
¼ cup | butter
2 tablespoons | light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon | salt
1 teaspoon | vanilla
1 1/2 cups | toasted texas pecan halves

ii. what to dopralines in the oven

1. In a large, heavy saucepan, mix sugar cream, butter corn syrup and salt.

2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally ’till the mixture reaches a soft ball stage (about 234 F on a candy thermometer).

3. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

4. Add vanilla and pecans.

5. Beat until the praline mixture looses its gloss.

6. Spoon onto wax paper to form patties. Let cool.

Enjoy!

Foodie Tip ~

Make sure and heat the mixture to the soft ball stage. I was in a rush to eat these and the sugar was a bit gritty because I didn’t heat it up all the way.

elouise and frank's bohemian-creole praline recipe


red candy apple on a stick

Red Candy Apples On A Stick From Betty's Cook Nook

#FoodieFail

I was really excited when I found this candy apple recipe in Mom’s cookbook.

After making my first batch, I was less than excited (more deflated) when I realized that I’ll need a little more practice before I become a master of the red apple makin.

While my failed attempt at creating the ultimate delight on a stick, give this a whirl and see if you can make a go if it.

Treats for eats rule!

i. ingredients

12 | small red eating apples
3 cups | sugar
¾ cup | light corn syrup
1 cup | water
few drops | oil of cloves
a few drops | red food coloring or 12 red cinnamon candies

ii. the *special stuff*

12 | wooden skewers (or popsicle sticks)
1 | candy thermometer
few pieces | parchment paperMy New Candy Thermometer... Yeah! From Betty's Cook Nook

iii. what to do

1. Wash apples in hot water, removing stems, then dry.

2. Insert skewer into the blossom end of each apple (the side of the apple opposite the stem side… a.k.a. the top).

3. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, mix sugar, corn syrup and 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

4. Add the oil of clove and a little red food coloring.

5. Continue cooking without stirring until a small amount of the mixture forms a hard piece that cracks when dropped into cold water (when it reaches 290°F on a candy thermometer). Don’t cook over 290°F!

6. Remove from heat and set pan over a larger  pan of boiling water. Dip each apple into syrup, The Red Candy Apple Syrup Is Almost Ready . . . From Betty's Cook Nookremove and swirl apple until syrup covers it completely.

7. Stand apples on a parchment covered tray to cool and harden.

Foodie Tips ~

  Scare-up the best of Halloween foodie fusion ~ Drizzle or dip melted caramel on top of the apples for a doubly-delicious creation. Did somebody say caramel?

  Not sure how to clean your pot of the red sugary mixture? Don’t do what I did and leave it sitting out overnight; it’ll harden into a brick. Re-melt the mixture if necessary on the stove and empty it into a plastic bag and discard. Don’t pour it down the sink unless you want to invite clogs into your home.

  Go fresh. Use fresh eating apples and eat them soon after making them. I made the mistake of buying my apples before I had found my oil of clove, popsicle sticks and my new candy thermometer. A week later, the apples were s-a-d, making my finished treat a little meek.

  Don’t substitute your candy thermometer with a meat thermometer! The candy thermometer registers and calculates much higher temperatures than it’s meatier kissin’ cousin.

  I have a new appreciation for the love of candy apples. I’ll think twice about making vs. buying them next time! Truly a labor of love.

A Red Apples On A Stick Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook


pecan clusters

This recipe is dedicated to my special niece Lizzie ~
the twinkle in her eyes reminds me of mom.

Lizzie and I also share the same birthday.
Shazam!
“Happy Birthday To Us”
~      ~

tasty pecan clusters

The Call Of Fall

If the Texas praline had a kissing cousin, the pecan cluster would surely be it.

I stumbled across this easy-to-make recipe in mom’s cookbook and since it’s fall, I thought it was the perfect time to share the toasty taste of pecans for fall foodies.

Besides, who doesn’t love things made with Texas pecans? Yee HAW!

i. ingredientsstirring the pecan cluster "goo"

1/2 cup | evaporated milk
1/2 cup | sugar
1 tablespoon | corn syrup
1 cup | semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup | pecans
to prepare | waxed paper

ii. what to do

1. Mix evaporated milk, sugar and corn syrup in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and is bubbly all over the top. Boil and stir 2 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate morsels until the chocolate melts completely.

3. Mix in the pecans.pecan clusters... dropped and ready to cool

4. Using 2 teaspoons, drop the mixture onto waxed paper and chill until set.


Creates : 20 ~ 24 clusters

Fun Foodie Fact ~

  Lizzie’s grandmother “Lou” was a whiz in the kitchen come holiday time. She would make hundreds of sweets that she would plate-up and share with friends and family. I miss those treats a lot, and this pecan cluster recipe reminds me of something Lou might have whipped-up.

The original pecan cluster recipe clipping