Cheat Day [cheet dey] – noun: The one day of the week where diet minded fitness freaks throw caution to the wind and indulge only on the most tantalizing, ridiculously calorie dense foods known to man. Often associated with the term, “carb hangover,” which occurs the morning after a particularly fruitful cheat day. Synonyms: Free Day, Fun Day, Fat Day

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Triumphant Return to Baking.... and hip hip hurrah for the birth of Christ.... and fudge

So once upon a time life happened and I stopped blogging for awhile.  But I continued to bake- oh boy did I continue to bake.  I would make things, get excited, eat all the things and forget where I got the recipe and what massive changes I made to the recipe.  Then I would want to give out the recipe or make it again, and I would turn to my trusty blog where I kept my detailed notes and archives, get really annoyed with myself and cry.  Hence the triumphant return to baking!  And what a time to start- I just had two full days of non-stop baking to prep for Christmas.

Christmas is a glorious time in my household.  To celebrate the birth of Christ, we consume more cookies, pie and cake than the average glutton would be able to eat in a month.  We pretty much do everything in excess- the presents, the food, the alcohol, the presents.... Oh- presents!  That leads me to another reason why I have to blog again.  My really pretty husband got me a computer!  I'm typing on it right now!  Look.  At.  Me.  Type.  My old computer was....well.... less than sufficient.  I got it my first year of college and immediately strapped it to my back for the next four years of my existence.  It's a little worn.  I fall a lot.  And I don't respect my physical belongings.  But I'm pretty sure I am in no way at fault for the fact that it barely functions anymore.  But regardless- I have a new computer.  So long old computer who stood loyally by me for countless papers, group projects and study guide compiling.  You are dead to me now and I've replaced you with something younger and prettier.  Husband- don't get any ideas.  

So I've gotten off track again- baking.  This is a baking blog, right?  Yes?  Good- the holiday food was wonderful, and about 30 sticks of butter (no exaggeration) and 5 lbs on my hips later, it's time to document all that I created for next year.  I'll also be going back through the last few months and typing up the big hit recipes in order to catch myself up.  So expect a few entries that are less rambling and more informative.  Who would want that?  Everyone but me?  Ok...

I'm going to start out with my favorite discovery of the season: THE EASIEST AND MOST AMAZING FUDGE YOU'VE EVER MADE OR EATEN.  This recipe has been a huge hit and I've shared it with pretty much everyone I know.  Let's count how many batches I made in the last 30 days... two maple, four peppermint, three chocolate, two peanut butter and (my favorite) two cake batter!  That's a bakers dozen batches of fudge.  Let's do this:

The Easiest Fudge Recipe Ever:
Recipe Adapted From: detail.aspx
The recipe below is for a double batch.

3 (12 ounce) bags of chocolate or other flavored chips
1 Stick Butter
2 (14 ounce) cans of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
Various Extracts and mix ins, see variations below for exact details

Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving extra paper on the sides in order to help remove the fudge later.

Pour the chips in a large microwave safe bowls.  Cut the stick of butter into pads and layer on top of the chips.  Pour the two cans of sweetened condensed milk over the chips and butter.  Stir together.

Put the bowl in the microwave and microwave for 90 seconds.  Stir.  Microwave for another 90 seconds and stir again.  If after stirring well all the chips are not melted, return to the microwave for 30 seconds increments until the mixture is completely melted.

Add any mix ins or extracts you want, described below.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and let set in the fridge before cutting.

Peanut Butter Fudge
Use Peanut Butter chips instead of chocolate chips

Chocolate Walnut Fudge
Use Chocolate Chips and add in 2 cups of chopped walnuts before pouring into the pan.

Maple Walnut Fudge
Use White Chocolate chips instead of chocolate chips.
After the mixture is melted, add 1 tsp of maple extract (more to taste) and 2 cups of chopped walnuts.  Stir well.

Candy Cane Fudge

Use White Chocolate chips instead of chocolate chips.
After the mixture is melted, add 1 tsp of peppermint extract (more to taste) and 1 package of chopped candy cans.  Stir well.

Cake Batter Fudge

Use White Chocolate chips instead of chocolate chips.
After the mixture is melted, slowly incorporate one cup of dry yellow cake mix a quarter cup at a time. Stir well.  Top with sprinkles.

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