Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pumpkin Fudge and Apple Cider Fudge!

Hi guys!  Is it still crazy hell-fire hot where you are even though it is October 2nd?  It is supposed to be 91 here today….which is ridiculous.  But it does cool off at night, so at least I don’t wake up in a pool of my own sweat at night anymore.  TMI?  Sorry.  It’s just that I feel so close to you.

Last weekend was the Candy Dance in Genoa, NV.  It isn’t really a dance at all, but actually a kick ass craft fair.  Wait, there is still a dance one night, but the craft fair is what it is all about.  I have been to it twice before and it is amazing.  It really is the biggest and best craft fair I have ever been too.

I guess the story behind it is…..a long, long time ago, like 1919…..the women of Genoa made and sold candy, and had a “Candy Dance” to earn money for the town to buy street lights.  Somewhere along the line, it evolved into a craft fair, but they do still sell candy.

I didn’t get to go this year.  I was pissed.  So I made my own candy to make up for it.  I might sell it for streetlights.  What kind of candy, you ask?  I made fudge.

It seems like everywhere you go in Northern Nevada, they make their own fudge.  Virginia City, Scheels, The Chocolate Nugget, even the candy store in the Grand Sierra makes their own fudge.  They always have crazy flavors too.

I have never made my own fudge the “real” way.  I have made fudge the cheater way which involves marshmallow crème, but never the authentic way which involves a candy thermometer.  It was easy, but it did take some time.

The flavors I chose were Pumpkin Spice (duh) and Apple Cider Fudge.  I am going to be honest here….the Pumpkin Fudge recipe is not mine.  I poached it right off the interwebz.  I used Allrecipes.com.  Here is the link: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pumpkin-fudge-2/detail.aspx.  Fudge is very scientific, and I just wasn’t comfortable coming up with my own recipe.  I don’t excel at science.  But…..I did come up with the Apple Cider version.  Sort of.  It is based on the Pumpkin Fudge recipe….You’ll see.


For the pumpkin fudge, I used milk, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, canned pumpkin, butter and my own little touch was mini chocolate chips.  The recipe called for walnuts.  Gross.


The recipe starts with putting the milk, pumpkin, sugar and corn syrup into a pot.  This will boil up, so use a pretty big pot.  I’m not saying you have to use a pot that you would boil lobsters in, but a pretty good sized one is a good idea.


So I brought this to a boil over high heat, stirring the whole time.  Then, I reduced the heat to medium and let the mixture come to 235 degrees, which is “soft ball” stage.  Don’t try to do this the old-fashioned way….use a candy thermometer.

And oh yeah, during this part, you don’t stir. 

This took a good 30 minutes to come to temperature.  The good news is that since you aren’t stirring, feel free to go do something else.  I watched Homeland. 


Once the mixture came to 235 degrees, I removed it from the heat and whisked in some butter, and the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  Now, the mixture has to sit until it is down to 110 degrees.  This took FOREVER.  So, I watched another episode of Homeland.


Once the mixture was lukewarm, I beat it with a hand mixer until it was thickened and less shiny.  The mixture will come together in a big mass in the middle of the bowl.  It won’t stay loose like cake batter.

This takes about 5-10 minutes.


Lastly, I stirred in my mini chips.  Since the mixture was still slightly warm, the chips melt in and get all swirly and pretty…..


Like so.  I poured this into a greased 8x8 pan.  This will harden within a couple of hours.


Yum.  Those ladies in Genoa could sell a ton of this and buy a boatload of lights with this stuff.

I decided to try another version of this, using my own ingredients.  I decided to mimic the flavors of apple cider.  It was probably one of the best ideas I have ever had.  Let me show you my version.


For my version, I used sugar (but ½ cup less than the pumpkin version), milk, corn syrup, apple sauce, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, butter, dried apples and cinnamon chips.

Cinnamon chips are pretty readily available near the holidays.  I got mine at the Walmartz.  If you can’t find cinnamon chips, try butterscotch chips.  That would be pretty good too.


I started the same way, with milk, corn syrup, sugar and apple sauce.


I brought this to a boil over high heat while stirring, then I reduced to medium and brought the temp to 235.  And I watched more Homeland. 


Then, I removed it from the heat and whisked in the butter, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  I had to let it sit again to get it to 110.  I would have watched more Homeland, but by this point I had finished the first season.  So….I took a nap.


I woke up to chop my dried apples.  These are sticky little buggers, so be careful.


After the mixture had sat and cooled off, I beat it with the hand mixer until it was thick and less glossy. 


Then, I stirred in my dried apples and cinnamon chips.  I almost ate the whole thing right here because it smelled amazing.  Like Christmas, Thanksgiving and fall all rolled into one.


Greased 8x8 again…..and this sat for a couple of hours.


No offense to Ginger from AllRecipes….this one was better than the pumpkin.  The Pumpkin Fudge was no slouch, but this one was rad.  I’m trying to bring that word back.  Is it working?


Yum!  Who’s coming over since I now have two pans of fudge?

Please click on the link I posted above for the Pumpkin Fudge recipe;)

Apple Cider Fudge

2 ½ cups sugar

1 cup whole milk

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

½ cup apple sauce

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

½ cup butter (one stick)

½ cup dried apples, chopped

¼ cup cinnamon chips

In a large sauce pan, bring milk, sugar, apple sauce and corn syrup to a boil over high heat, stirring the entire time.  Once the mixture boils, reduce heat to medium and bring mixture to 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Do not stir mixture.

Once mixture hits 235 degrees, remove from heat and whisk in butter, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.  Let mixture sit until it reaches 110 degrees.

After the mixture has cooled to 110, beat with hand mixer until mixture is thickened and loses shininess.  Stir in dried apples and cinnamons chips and pour into a greased 8x8 pan.  Let sit for 3 hours.


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