Over a Cup: Christmas candy | CraigDailyPress.com

Over a Cup: Christmas candy

Diane Prather

Sometimes while I'm at the grocery store, I meet up with people who can't help but notice some of the items in my cart and then wonder why I'm buying fast-to-fix meals such as a pizza that's ready for the oven. They remind me that I have lots of recipes, and I know they wonder why I'm not using them. The answer is that I lack the time. I do make meals from scratch sometimes, even pizza, but a lot of my evenings during the week are spent at work, and I opt to fix a fast supper.

Lack of time is the reason I often use chocolate candy coating and a can of mixed nuts to make some of our Christmas candy. It's fast — 10 minutes, tops — and the family loves the candy. But I have made candy — and cookies and popcorn balls.

One of my favorite fudge recipes has a chocolate bar in the ingredients, and I think it makes the fudge taste rich. So this week I'm featuring two candy recipes. I found both of them in my cookbook without a cover.

I have always heard that the barometric pressure affects candy making. Does anybody know for sure? If you have recipes that you would like to share, please call me at 970-824-8809 or write to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO 81626. Happy holidays!

Quick Chocolate Fudge

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces (6 ounces)

1 milk chocolate bar (4 1/2 ounces), broken in pieces

2/3 cup marshmallow crème

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/3 cup chopped nuts

2/3 cup undiluted evaporated milk (5 1/3 ounces)

1 1/2 cups sugar

To make 6 pounds:

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate pieces (three 6-ounce packages)

3 milk chocolate bars, broken into pieces

2 cups (1 pint) marshmallow crème

1/4 cup butter

4 cups chopped nuts

1 2/3 cups (14 1/2 ounces) undiluted evaporated milk

4 1/2 cups sugar

Put chocolate pieces, broken candy bar, marshmallow crème, butter and chopped nuts into a mixing bowl. Combine the evaporated milk and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes (or 225 degrees on a candy thermometer), stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over the other ingredients. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour the smaller recipe into an ungreased 8 or 9-inch square pan and the larger recipe into an ungreased 13 x 9-inch oblong and an 8 or 9-inch pan. Allow to cool before cutting into squares. Recipe makes 2 pounds.

Toffee Fudge

1 cup pecans, chopped

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces or a 4 1/2-ounce milk chocolate bar, broken in pieces

Sprinkle the pecans on the bottom of a greased square pan, about 9×9 inches. Combine sugar and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; boil 7 minutes. Remove from heat and pour it over the nuts. Sprinkle the chocolate pieces or chocolate bar on top. Cover the pan so the heat will melt the chocolate. Then spread evenly over the top. Cut into squares while warm. Refrigerate to set.