Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Butterscotch Fudge

This was the first week that I didn't know in advance what we were making. I searched the internet Monday night looking for something different. I came across this recipe.

1 cup granulated sugar                          1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream                                1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

1. Combine sugar, brown sugar, sour cream and butter in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugars dissolve and mixture comes to a boil. cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes to wash down sugar crystals from sides of pan. Uncover and cook until mixture reaches the softball stage or candy thermometer registers 240°F, sitting occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool 30 minutes.
2. Add vanilla, and beat with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and begins to lose its gloss. Stir in pecans. Pour into a buttered 8-inch square pan. Cool completely. Cut into squares.

Why do kids like to eat sour cream straight from the container?

Posing so they can begin making the fudge.

"Helping" her put in the butter.

Ready to mix.

Jake hard at work, while Alyssa is sneaking a taste.

This was my first time making non-chocolate fudge. My chocolate recipe is super easy: throw all the ingredients into the microwave, heat until melted, pour into pan. I had no idea what the soft ball stage is, or that you determine it by the cold water test if you do not have a candy thermometer. (I have thought about getting a thermometer, and am determined to now.) I tested the mixture four times because I was afraid of over-cooking it. As it turns out, I think I did anyway. Next time, (unless I have a thermometer by then) I will use a shallow dish instead of a glass cup for the cold water. The mixture falls to the bottom and is difficult to get to unless you stick your whole hand in. It didn't look like a ball in the water, so I kept cooking. Finally, the mixture in the pot started to change and I figured it was time to dump the water and check. Sure enough, I think it was more like the firm ball stage.

Almost done.

Cold water test.

Firm ball?
We ate dinner while it was cooling. I got busy cleaning up and such, and forgot about the fudge. It cooled for 45 minutes instead of 30. It was hardened. I put the pot back on the stove to heat it up a bit in order to beat in the vanilla. It wasn't pretty. I beat it. Leighton beat it. I beat it again. Finally, it was the best it was going to get, and I poured it into the pan.

After vanilla.

Ready to be cooled.

I'm not really sure why the name of the recipe is Butterscotch Fudge. It tastes just like caramel. It is overly sweet. Jake tasted it and said, "Mmm, is this caramel?" And then, "I like this better than regular butterscotch."  (And he LOVES butterscotch!) The fudge itself is crumbly and sticks in the pan. I should have lined it with foil like I normally do. It might have something to do with possibly being over-cooked. I have no desire to make this recipe again, even though the kids LOVE it. I did learn a few things, and that is important. Anyone have a good butterscotch fudge recipe? I would love it try it.
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