During the summers when we were kids, we spent a lot of time on the beaches of Cape May. When we got there and headed for the boardwalk, my sister and I would make a beeline for our first fudge purchase. A quarter-pound would last us all week, and we would each choose a different flavor and share. Our favorites were the peanut butter and maple walnut varieties. Finishing off the week with a little bit of obligatory salt water taffy, it made for some very sweet summer memories. No pun intended.
I met up with an old high school friend at the farmer’s market last weekend, and that presented the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe… to bring her sweet treats, of course! When it comes to making candy or fudge, I pass by a lot of recipes, particularly the ones that require a candy thermometer. I have one, somewhere, most likely buried in the drawer that holds kitchen gizmos that I’ll likely never use (note to self: that’s the next spot for the big purge). It would probably take longer to find the thermometer than to actually make the recipe, and frankly, I can’t be bothered. I want it quick. And now. It’s all about instant gratification these days, baby.
So when I spied an uber-easy recipe for Butter Pecan Fudge in a holiday issue of Taste of Home magazine that didn’t require the use of a candy thermometer, or any other fancy gadget for that matter, I was sold. Seriously, the recipe took no longer than 10 minutes to make, start to finish. It was all I could do to wait for it to set up.
About an hour later, I headed back to the kitchen to give it a try. I cut off a small piece and popped it in my mouth. Commence heavy swoonage. As the sugary crystals quickly became heat-seeking missiles for any cavities I might have, I closed my eyes to savor the sweetness. This one is a keeper. It’s creamy. It’s buttery. It’s caramely. It’s everything you want in a piece of fudge, and then some.
With ingredients you likely already have on hand in your very own kitchen, you are just a short hour (from beginning to the fudge setting) from savoring these babies in your own mouth. What are you waiting for?
Butter Pecan Fudge
Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home Holidays 2007
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
In a large heavy saucepan, combine the butter, sugars, cream and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Stir in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in pecans.
Spread into a buttered 8-in. square dish. Cool to room temperature. Cut into 1-in. squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: 1-1/4 pounds.Butter Pecan Fudge, Cape May, Taste of Home