Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Goodies Vol. 1

I've decided to chronicle my Christmas Baking Extravaganza 2010. I have about 14 treats I'm making this year. I was supposed to start on Monday but we had some other obligations. My start date was pushed back to Thursday. Since I'm going to be gone this weekend and we leave for home next Friday, I have to bake/candy make like mad!

Yesterday I ATTEMPTED my Grandma Rex's fudge recipe. Now I'm a pretty good baker and cook. I'm not afraid to try something difficult or even a little crazy. You're talking to the woman who balanced a 3 tier wedding cake on wine glasses. A little fudge recipe can't scare me!

WRONG! This isn't your average fudge - or at least it hasn't been since the invention of marshmallow fluff. This fudge is old school. The recipe calls for fresh cream for Pete's sake! Since my access to fresh cream ended when I was too old for 4-H, I had to settle for store bought cream.
The recipe was also very vague. I'm not a candy maker so I was unfamiliar with 'medium ball stage', which is apparently essential knowledge. I did my best to educate my self via the Internet and my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. The medium ball stage is really something you have to experience first hand.
Another key factor in candy making...PATIENCE. For those of you who know me well, you'll understand patience is a virtue that I do not possess. In short, I did not cook it long enough. I did not beat it long enough - scratch that - I didn't make TYLER beat it long enough. I did not wind up with Grandma Rex's fudge.

You know that saying, "looks like a rat, smells like a rat, must be a rat"? That doesn't apply to fudge. What I wound up with tastes a lot like fudge. It looks a lot like fudge. It smells like fudge. It's not fudge. It's somewhere between a glorified ice cream topping and fudge.
I learned a lot from this experience. Hopefully enough that the Penoche I'm making next week (to be covered in a future post) WILL turn out the way Grandma's did.

I was so close! Unfortunately, almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

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