National Fudge Day

Happy National Fudge Day, folks! That’s right. Today, June 16th, 2013, is National Fudge Day. Is there a better day than today to make a mini batch of fudge? No. I’m pretty sure there isn’t.

IMG_0266

Peanut Butter Fudge

based on Alton Brown’s recipe

You’ll need:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Put the butter and peanut butter in a microwave safe container. Cover with Saran Wrap. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir, recover, and microwave for another 2 minutes.

2. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir. You want a stiff consistency; think thick cookie dough. Add a little more powdered sugar if it isn’t quite there yet.

3. Find a tupperware container that is roughly 4×8 or 6×6 or….it doesn’t really matter. Spray the top side of parchment paper with oil, and line the bottom and sides of the container. Push the fudge into the container, and level the top.

IMG_02534. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

5. Cut into roughly 1 inch x 1 inch squares. Devour!

IMG_0264Happy Fudging!

P.S. A double batch will fill a regular 8×8 dish.

 

 

 

Graham Crackers

Graham crackers. Because the marshmallows needed them. Obviously.

If you’re going to go to the effort of making your own marshmallows, might as well throw some graham crackers in their as well. This is getting crazy here.

I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Same as the marshmallows. Her recipes are just so well written, and the photos gorgeous. I can’t help myself. These graham crackers will ruin you for their store bought kin. They are full of flavor, with a satisfying crunch to them. Like any good cracker should have! Perfect for dipping in a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of joe.

To make these delectable treats, start with 7 tablespoons of COLD butter. Cut it in half lengthwise. And then in half lengthwise the other way. the end result will be a stick of butter in long quarters. Chop the quarters in small cubes.

Put your little cubes of butter in a bowl, and slide it into the freezer for safe keeping.

Mix your dry ingredients with a hand held pastry cutter or a food processor. I went the former route.

Once thoroughly blended, add the butter cubes. You want to take it from big chunks, down to really fine, almost imperceptible chunks.

After your dough chills, take half an roll it out to about 1/8th inch thick. Cut into desired shape. I made mine 3×3 inches. Don’t be afraid to whip out a ruler!

Transfer squares onto a cookie sheet and dust with cinnamon sugar topping. Put the tray in the fridge, and repeat with the other half of the dough. Once the first tray has chilled for 15 minutes, take it out and use the blunt end of a skewer to poke holes in the cracker. Be sure not to poke all the way through! While the second tray is chilling, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

After each tray has been cut, topped, chilled, and poked, bake for 15-25 minutes. My oven needed about 19 minutes to bake them to perfection!

See the original recipe for more thorough instructions.

Enjoy!

 

Apple Dumplings

Apple dumplings just scream down home cooking. Nothing gets more authentic. It’s like apple pie, taken to a higher level of awesome. I’m not sure why. It’s just the way it is. Try it for yourself. I dare you.

Apple Dumplings

Based on The Alternative Consumer

Serves 3

First, make your dough. This is easy.

You’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup butter, chilled
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Cold water, about 6 Tbs.

1. Chop 1/3 of a cup of COLD butter into small pieces. Cut the stick the long ways so it’s cut in half. Then flip the stick and cut it in half the long way again. Now, the stick is in long quarters. Cut through, resulting in small cubes of butter.

2. Mix 1 cup of flour with 1/2 tsp. salt. Use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the butter into the flour. The ultimate goal: little bitty chunks of butter coated in flour.

3. One tablespoon at a time, add COLD water to the dough. You want to add just enough water to bind the butter and flour together into a ball. I used about 5 Tbs. to make this happen. You may need more or less. Once mixed, form the ball into a log, and cut into even thirds.

4. Move the chunks to the fridge to chill.

Second, prepare your apples. Small granny smiths are best, but any baking apple will suffice.

1. Peel.

2. Core. If you don’t have an apple corer, follow steps 1 through 3 of this wikihow.

Third, assemble your dumplings.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 2.5 Tbs. butter (the leftovers from the stick of butter from the dough)

1. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Cut the butter into thirds.

2. Remove dough chunks from the fridge. Roll each chunk into approximately a 6 by 6 inch square.

3. Put an apple in the center. Fill the core with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Put one of the thirds of butter on top of the filled core.

4. Pull the dough up around the apple. Dip your fingers in water if you’re having difficulty getting the dough to seal. Transfer to pie tin.

Repeat steps 2 through 4 for remaining apples.

5. On stove, dissolve half cup sugar in 1 cup water. Pour mixture over apples.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until apples are golden brown.

Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top and serve with a hearty scoop of ice cream.

There you have it! Delicious. Heavenly. Apple. Goodness. You won’t be sorry.

Just for the record….

…it still tastes fine.