Sunday, December 18

MAKE IT: Traditional Fudge

Fudge, do I need to say anything else? Who doesn't like fudge? I don't like chocolate and I love fudge! it makes a great holiday gift, is a great way to show off some kitchen skills, and really impresses people! It also sells amazing at bake sales and fundraisers.

This is a standard chocolate fudge recipe, I like to top it with crushed nuts, candy, or craisins.

This will make 1 1/2 pounds of fudge
Full time: 2 1/2 hours (includes set time in refrigerator)
You will need:

5 oz can evaporated milk
12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Let us begin:

In a large pot combine sugar, vanilla, and evaporated milk. Stir until sugar dissolves into milk

Drop in butter and turn on heat, over medium high heat

Bring to a boil, stirring often

Once boiling, (set a timer for this) boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly

Once timer goes off, drop in marshmallows and chocolate chips. Turn off heat

Stir thourally until all melts, this takes a little elbow work but, don't stop stirring until everything melts down

Pour into a dissplosible 8 x 8 pan

Sit in refridgerator and cool down/harded for 2 hours

Cut into pieces roughly 1" in size, serve and enjoy!

For extra fun try some of these classics:

Peanut butter fugde:
Replace chocolate chips with peanut butter baking chips
Cut vanilla amount inhalf

Peppermint fudge:
Replace chocolate chips with mint baking chips
Replace vanilla with peppermint extract
Spinkle 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies onto top and gently push down into surface before cooling

White chocolate raspberry fudge:
Replace chocolate chips with white chocolate baking chips
Replace vailla with raspberry extract
Incorporate 1/2 cup dried raspberries into mix

Cookie Fudge:
Replace chocolate chips with white chocolate baking chips
Incorporate 1 cup crushed sandwich cookies into mix
Sprinkle 1/2 cup crushed sandwich cookies onto top and gently tap into surface before cooling

Monday, December 12

BAKE IT: Twinkies

Ah, the "Twinkies"-this all American sugar filled confection is a treat of legendary proportion. Sparking great debates from shelf life to sugar content and let's not forget the filling flavor argument. Which by the way was banana in the beginning not vanilla. Trouble with this dessert is the dessert itself, can we say calories? Sugar? Fat? Any of which can scare you away. But if you go homemade, you can cut all three in half and get rid of those scary shelf-life stabilizing ingredients. Here is to eating your cake and enjoying it too!

Makes 12 Twinkies
Full time 1 1/2 hours (includes cooling time)

The needs-

For Cake:
1 box pound cake mix, trust me use a mix it works better
4 egg whites
2/3 cup water

For Filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, slightly melted
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, slightly melted
1 tsp vanilla extract (or banana for a way back authentic flavor)

The know-

Preheat oven to 350'.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until they are nice and stiff.

Beat in cake mix and water.

Heavily grease you cake pan, if you do not have a fancy cake pan for this shape. You can easily make the same shape. By wrapping a large spice bottles half way with aluminum foil and grease it well, repeat this to create a total of 12 cake cups.

Evenly divide batter into the cake pan or cake cups.

Bake in oven for 20-24 minutes or until nice and golden.

Allow to cool in pan for a few minutes, until you can easily handle the pan.

Then tap cakes out carefully onto a cutting board to finish cooling.

You need to allow these to fully cool for a good 20 minutes or until completely cool. This next part I do because I like the perfect shape, but it is not 100% needed.

Using a really sharp knife to cut the bottom puffed dome bit off and to create a flat surface. Just work gently to not break the cake.

Lastly the best part, making the filling. Heavily mix the shortening and butter together until smooth.

Add in the powder sugar and vanilla stirring heavily until it is smooth and even in texture.

Place filling into a pastry bag or a zip bag and snip the tip off.

Gently insert tip roughly 1/2" from end of cake and squeeze to fill the cake. Repeat this on the other end and then repeat this right in between the two. This will create that famous 3 filling spot on the bottom of the cake and ensure an even distribution of filling.

You have now created the famous classic cake in your own kitchen, Cheers!

Saturday, December 3

Twice Baked Loaded Potatoes

Twice baked to perfection. These potatoes will warm you up on any night!

Serves 6
Full time 1 1/2 hours

The needs-

6 large white potatoes
1 tbsp vegetable shortening
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper

For filling-

1/4 cup bacon, crumbles or chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sour cream 
2 tbsp fresh chopped chives
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

For topping-

6 slices Munster cheese

The know-

Preheat oven to 350'.

Coat potatoes with vegetable shortening and season with salt & pepper. Pierce a few times with a fork.

Bake in oven for 45 minutes.

Once baked, cut top third of potato off and scoop inside of potato into a bowl.

Combine potato tops, insides, and butter in a bowl.

Return hollowed potatoes to baking dish.

Mash potatoes with butter into a smooth, but slightly chunky texture.

Add in chives, bacon, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Mash to combine.

Stuff filling into potato skins and top with cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and turns lightly golden.

Remove from oven and let rest 2-3 minutes prior to serving.