With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Friday, December 23, 2011

Maple Toasted Pecan Fudge

It seems almost silly that after posting about a healthy recipe like the Frozen Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes that I follow it with such a decadent and unforgivingly bad for you (in the best way possible) treat.

But sometimes that's just the way life goes, and I knew I wouldn't be happy unless I got the chance to share at least one Christmas goodie with you before the big day rolled around.

And these right here are the jackpot of Christmas goodies.

This past summer I was lucky enough to have the chance to travel to Toronto, Ontario not once but twice.  My friends and I went up on a whim, not really knowing much about the city or what it had to offer.  And let me say, I was blown away by how great Toronto is.

I feel as though Toronto is this hidden gem that no one, at least in my area, ever talks about let alone raves about.  The city had so many fun things to offer and truthfully I can't wait to go back.

While we were up there I ate a large amount of all different types of candies and treats, but one of my favorites was the maple flavored candies.  With maple themed things abundant everywhere I felt it was my duty to try each and every one.

And from that moment on I fell head over heels for all things maple.  When I came home maple was on my baking mind for weeks, but with so much going on sadly got pushed to the side for awhile.

When I saw this fudge though, I knew it was time to jump back in.

The night I made this fudge I tried it and I liked it, I really did, but I wasn't wowed.  The next day I ate a piece and it was even better and I was happy and content, that was that.

The third day I came down and had a piece or two for breakfast (notice a trend?) and this fudge was out of this world.  The fourth day it was even better than that.

I'm not sure how it tasted on the fifth day.  Because by the fourth day I had to get this out of my house to stop me from eating the entire pan.  Normally I have a good amount of self control with baked goods, but this fudge was apparently too much for even me.

You see, as I made it I watched the equation of

2 sticks of butter + 4 cups of sugar + liquid sugar

unfold and come together to create this sweet, salty, creamy, heavenly end product.  

Oh my god.

So therefore when I had already eaten half the pan by day four, I knew I was in deep trouble.  Thankfully my friends were more than happy to take some off my hands, and it received rave reviews from everyone who saved me from myself.

It's so easy to make and would make an awesome holiday gift for eating or sharing, as I said it only gets better with age.  Really though, I'd recommend making this for a crowd... unless you have some serious willpower when it comes to this stuff.  In which case, I'm totally jealous.  

Learn me in your ways.

Merry Christmas to you and yours if you celebrate, and if not happy holidays!  If you make this fudge a part of your celebrations I promise you can't go wrong.  As for me, I think I'm going to force myself to wait until next year to make another batch.

..... But if you do make some and feel like bringing it over, my door is always open. ;)


Maple Toasted Pecan Fudge

Servings: Approx 36 pieces

- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 5-8 oz fat free evaporated milk
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp maple extract
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans**

Spray an 8x8 inch square pan with cooking spray and set aside.  In a large saucepan combine sugar, 5oz evaporated milk and butter.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low/medium.  Boil lightly for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar, vanilla, and maple extract.  Stir in without stopping so mixture does not have time to clump up and seize.  Pour into a bowl of an electric mixer and beat until glossy 2-3 minutes.  If your mixture does clump up and seize and turn into dry crumbs, don't panic.  Pour small amounts of evaporated milk into mixture as it is mixing until it becomes a glossy (but not overly wet) mixture. (I used about 2 oz more).  Stir in pecans.  Pour into prepared pan and pat down until smooth.  Let cool at room temperature completely and cut into squares.  Store at room temperature in an air tight container for best results.  DO NOT store in the refrigerator.  Refrigeration dries the fudge out completely and fast.  Enjoy!

** To toast pecans spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Toast in oven for 6-8 minutes, stirring once halfway through until nuts are golden and fragrant.  Let cool ten minutes.  Chop to desired size.

Recipe adapted from:  The Foodie RD

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