Christmas is over, you say? BAH! I say. Now that the shopping-and-mailing crunch is over, this is a time we relish at my house. It’s a time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the season. The house is decorated, the deadlines are over, and there are still Christmas movies and music to enjoy, all at a more leisurely pace!
And, confession time: The first chance I had to bake was the day before Christmas. My daughter and I whipped up a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies, perfect for running over to the neighbors on Christmas Day.
Another favorite recipe I plan on getting to this week: Fred and Lindsay’s fudge. When I was writing No Christmas Like the Present a few years ago, my heroine, Lindsay, had a beloved fudge recipe. But I didn’t. I’d never made fudge before! So, to make the cooking process more authentic, I did a little (somewhat fattening) research. I experimented with several different recipes, and when I was done, I consolidated my findings into my own favorite recipe.
In the book, mysteriously, my hero’s batch of fudge turned out to be even better than Lindsay’s – despite the fact that Fred followed her instructions exactly. That’s the way it goes with Christmas magic!
FRED AND LINDSAY’S FUDGE
2-1/4 cups white sugar
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
16 large marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or almonds (optional)
Note: Candy thermometer required!
Butter an 8 x 8” pan.
In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, mix sugar, condensed milk, butter or margarine and marshmallows. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 234-236 degrees. Remove from heat.
Add vanilla, chocolate chips and (if desired) nuts. Stir until chips are melted.
Pour into buttered dish. Let fudge cool completely before cutting the squares.
Merry Christmas … and Happy New Year!