Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Cherry Fudge (Homemade Gifts)

This is the first year that Baby Cakes and I have owned a house during Christmas and because of this we decided to make gifts for the extended family instead of purchasing them. So I began buying all the special magazine publications for homemade gifts, so much for saving money right? The funny thing is after dog earring so many delicious looking goodies I found “the one” in the December issue of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine. The moment I saw it I decided that this was the gift I was hand making and handing out to everyone, all 31 attendees. Only I didn’t know…

When I think fudge I think thick sweet creamy goodness and this recipe reminds me more of divinity than fudge. Once it has been brought up to soft ball temperature and then back down to the needed temperature you have to hand whip it with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes. The only problem? I am a weakling and it is really thick and hard to stir “vigorously”. Perhaps I should have waited for the hubs to be home. Oh well, you should see my guns now. lol.

Even though it isn’t necessarily fudgy, actually it has more of a grainy texture, it is very good and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks about it. If only I could have thought of a different name to call it, something more of a candy than a fudge.

Baby Cakes loves it, but there isn't a sugar the man doesn't love, and has assured me that everyone else will love it too. Oh bless him. XOXO.

Merry Cherry Fudge aka Candied Cherry Opera Fudge

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream
1 Tbsp. light-colored corn syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. amaretto
1/3 cup coarsely chopped candied red cherries
Halved candied red cherries (optional)

Line a 5-3/4x3x2-inch loaf pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil; set aside.

Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In the saucepan combine the sugar, milk, half-and-half, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer to sides of pan.

Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 236 degrees F, soft ball stage, (about 20 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.

Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, vanilla, and amaretto but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 170 degrees F (about 20 minutes). Remove thermometer from saucepan. Beat mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup cherries. Beat mixture vigorously for 1 minute more. Pour into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Let stand until firm. Use foil to lift fudge from pan; remove foil. To serve, top with additional cherries. Cut fudge into thick slices.

To make the tin gifts I simply prepped them with butter and parchment paper and when the mixture was still warm scooped some in and tapped the tin on the counter until smooth and spread out.

I highly recommend this recipe although as I said above it isn’t very fudgy but it is ohhhh so good.

Make some and share. Merry Christmas,

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