December 28, 2012

Mike's Fabulous Fudge

I belong to a garden forum that that been a huge help to me as I grow my little Mimi's Greenhouse business. The forum is one of Mike McGroarty's  offerings. Anyone can subscribe free to the newsletter and it is chock full of good gardening tips and information. This year as a Christmas gift to all the subscribers Mike sent us this video and recipe for his Dirt Farmer Fudge. I copied the recipe from Mike's sight for you and below is the link to his video of how to mix it up. I think you will get a kick out of the video.

Dirt Farmer Fudge

Okay, here are the ingredients:

6 cups of sugar
1 and 1/3 cup of Hershey's cocoa
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3 cups of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups of smooth peanut butter
1 stick of butter or margarine
1/2 to 3/4 pound of walnuts halves

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large sauce pan, at least 4 quart. When you boil the fudge it rises a lot, so use a big pan.

2. Pour in the milk and mix it with the dry ingredients. It won't mix well until you start to heat it, but mix it the best you can.

3. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until it comes to a bubbly boil. Once it starts boiling you can stop stirring.

4. While the fudge is boiling grease a 9" by 12" glass dish with butter. Get the rest of the ingredients ready. You'll add them to the fudge as soon as you remove it from the heat. Layout a hot pad for the hot pan when it comes off the stove.

5. It's a lot easier if you spoon out the peanut butter onto a small saucer so when it's time to add it to the fudge you can just push it off the saucer into the hot fudge.

If you don't like peanut butter or nuts just leave them out. Dirt Farmer Fudge is still kick butt without them!

6. Keep an eye on the boiling fudge and start checking it for consistency. As it boils it will thicken. If you under cook it you will have a sticky glob that will never harden. If you over cook it you might not even get it out of the pan.

Or if you over cook it it will set up almost immediately when you pour it which means that it will not be creamy and it will be too dry and I'll be really disappointed in you. Okay, maybe it won't be that bad, but you'll never know how good this fudge is when cooked perfectly.

7. Test the fudge by dropping a small amount into a dish of cold water. When it is done perfectly it will puddle in the bottom of the dish and you'll be able to push it into a small pile with your finger then you should be able to pick it up between two fingers. Test the fudge early and often. Watch the video so you can see how I do this.

If it can't be picked up, rinse the dish and add fresh cold water and test it again soon. It takes a while for it to boil down to the perfectly consistency, and there is a fine line between over cooking and under cooking it. Check if often.

8. As soon as the fudge is done remove the pan from the stove and place it on a hot pad. Immediately add the butter, the vanilla, the walnuts and the peanut butter. Do Not Stir it Yet!

9. Just let the fudge cool a bit. This is a critical and scary time but you really want it to cool down to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit which means that you can almost place your hands on the outside of the pan without burning them. Please be careful, do not stick your finger in the fudge and only put your hands near the outside of the pan.

10. Once the fudge has cooled, start stirring it. As you stir it the fudge will thicken and lose it's gloss. Get ready to pour quickly once that happens. Sometimes you barely get the peanut butter mixed by the time the fudge is ready to pour into the dish.

11. Pour the fudge into the dish and quickly push it into the corners of the dish then quit smoothing the fudge. The top will set up quickly, but if you've cooked it perfectly the rest of the fudge will need several hours, up to 24 hours to really set up completely.

This makes a really moist fudge so I cut it into small squares and place it in a container or onto a serving tray. Often times the bottom of the pieces will stay moist so I lay a paper towel in the bottom of the tray to help wick away some of that excess moisture. I stack it on the tray with a little space between the pieces so the edges can air dry but inside the fudge is nice and moist.

When done perfectly, Dirt Farmer Fudge is to die for!


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