New Castle News

Lugene Hudson

December 8, 2012

Culinary Conversation: Chocolate confection goes great with Christmas

NEW CASTLE — A little sweet talk seems appropriate this time of year.

Candy has always been a great gift. Opening up a box of assorted chocolates and pondering which one to sample is a moment of pure indulgence.

My husband’s preference is maple creams. My mother loved chocolate-covered nuts. In this area, buckeyes — that irresistible meld of peanut butter and chocolate — are extremely popular. As for me — anything remotely associated with chocolate creates happiness.

Each year, I try to do some candy making on my own. Sometimes, it’s molded chocolate. On a few occasions, I’ve made truffles. And this year, I decided to go with fail-proof marshmallow creme fudge — a recipe that has been in the family for years.

Creating fudge has been somewhat touch-and-go for me. If the sugar particles aren’t completely dissolved, the result is a grainy substance that certainly isn’t appealing. Nobody likes tossing messy goo into the garbage, especially with the soaring costs of ingredients. But this one comes out great every time and includes another of my favorite ingredients — peanut butter.

Today’s offerings are not only easy, but they also make a fantastic, straight-from-your-kitchen gift that most anyone would appreciate.

There’s still time to submit your favorite holiday recipes to Culinary Conversation.

And I’ll enjoy my visit to candy land.

Microwave fudge

  • 1⁄2 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 1⁄3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 cups (18 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3⁄4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsps. vanilla
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

Line an 8-inch square pan with plastic wrap.

In a 3-qt. bowl that can be used in the microwave, stir corn syrup and milk until smooth. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Stir in chocolate chips until melted.

Add powdered sugar, vanilla and nuts, if using. With wooden spoon, beat until thick and glossy. Spread in prepared pan.

Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

*For double peanut butter chocolate fudge: Prepare as directed above. With the powdered sugar and vanilla, stir in 1⁄3 cup super chunky peanut butter. Spread in prepared pan. Drop additional 1⁄3 cup peanut butter over fudge in small dollops. With small spatula, swirl fudge to marbelize. Chill and cut as above.

Truffles

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lugene Hudson
  • Hudson.jpg Lugene Hudson: Celebrate Easter like Helen Martin

    What’s cookin? That’s one of our favorite questions at Culinary Conversation. We love when readers share some of their favorites. This week, Helen Martin of New Castle stepped up to the plate to answer that question regarding Easter dinners.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: From main dish to dessert, some recipes for your holiday table

    We all have our favorite memories of Easter dinners.  While bunnies, chocolate eggs and peeps show up in the kids’ Easter baskets, the dinner table gets to showcase all of those wonderful spring delights that have finally come out of winter hiding including asparagus, sugar snap peas, broccoli and carrots.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Go on; give someone the raspberries

    It was my first bowl of red raspberries for the season. And I was jubilant. Plump, juicy and delicious to the last bite, those little nuggets of sweetness satisfied. After this stretched-out, dismal winter, I was ready for a little taste of spring.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Greens, cakes among reader’s recipes

    Weeks always start out better when something pleasant arrives in the mail. No, I didn’t win the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Add Girl Scout cookies to your recipes

    Usually, this time of year, I have a secret stash in my freezer. It doesn’t usually remain a secret for long, though. But when the Girl Scout cookie shipments started arriving, this house had no deliveries.

    March 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Give your meals an Irish accent

    It’s a new month. And it’s time to be thinking about replacing the snowblowers with lawn mowers. But March can be brutal. There’s a saying that in western Pennsylvania, we can’t breathe easier until we get past St. Patrick’s Day. Still, I’m thinking positively and considering all things new.

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Take the cake and pass the pie

    It’s a new month. And it’s time to be thinking about replacing the snowblowers with lawn mowers. But March can be brutal. There’s a saying that in western Pennsylvania, we can’t breathe easier until we get past St. Patrick’s Day. Still, I’m thinking positively and considering all things new.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Yes, soup for you! Try some!

    The groundhog said six more weeks of winter, and nobody is going to argue with his assessment. The upside is — we’re closer to daffodils, the swallows returning to Capistrano and sooner rather than later, gardening. There’s already been a glimmer of spring’s promises this week.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: Cherries can help make Presidents Day sweet as pie

    Monday is Presidents Day. Granted, most of us don’t celebrate like we do on the Fourth of July and Christmas.  Some get the day off, though, which is a mini-celebration in itself.

    February 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hudson.jpg Culinary Conversation: It’s time for some Valentine’s Day sweetness

    After only a few seconds of thought, I’ve come to a conclusion. There’s isn’t anything in the food world much more wonderful than chocolate. My love affair with chocolate began at a very young age.

    February 10, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Are you concerned enough about the Heartbleed bug on the Internet to change all of your social media and website passwords?

Yes. It’s always a good idea to change passwords regularly anyway. I just have so many, I’m not sure where to start.
No. From what I’ve read, companies are still trying to figure out how to fix the flaw. The bad guys will just have access to my NEW passwords, too.
Not sure, but I blame Al Gore. He invented the Internet, right? How’s he going to get us out of this mess?
     View Results