Tag Archives: party food

Peppermint chocolate fudge.

I know this is the wrong time of year for this…but I don’t care. In my opinion, there is no wrong time of year to make fudge.

Peppermint chocolate fudge.

Peppermint chocolate fudge.

This is a twist on the classic fudge recipe my mom gave me years ago (and she makes the best fudge).  I’m pretty sure it’s the same recipe that’s on the Kraft marshmallow creme jar, but with microwave directions instead of stovetop.  Still, you know those fudge squares that you spend four bucks on because it’s just so good?  This is every bit as good (with or without the peppermint).  I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (or 12 oz. Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate)
  • 7 oz. jar Kraft marshmallow creme
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 capful peppermint oil
  • 10-12 Starlite peppermint candies

(Omit the last two ingredients for classic chocolate fudge.  Which is also delicious.)

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Use a large (4-qt is good) microwaveable bowl.  Start with just the butter.

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Microwave butter until melted (usually about a minute on high will do it).

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Add sugar and evaporated milk.

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Mix well.  Microwave three minutes.  Stir.  Microwave two minutes.  Stir well, scraping bowl.

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Microwave another three minutes.  Stir.  Microwave another two and half minutes.  Can you guess what you do then?  (…Stir!)

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Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted.

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Add the marshmallow creme, vanilla, and peppermint oil and stir well to mix.

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It takes a while.

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Eventually it will all come out the same color.

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Dump it into a greased 9″ x 9″ or 13″ x 9″ pan.  You can use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth it out.

This part is pretty fun.

This part is pretty fun.

You’ll need to crush the candies before using them to top the fudge.  Put the unwrapped candies in a ziploc bag.  Find a hard, undamageable surface (I used the marble in front of my fireplace; I’ve also used the driveway or sidewalk in the past).  Lay down a towel, put the bag of candies on one half of it, and fold the towel over so the bag is sandwiched between the towel layers.  Then go to town with a hammer!  I usually use an actual hammer for this, but I found this meat pulverizer in my drawer (I think my mother-in-law must’ve bought it last time she was here), which worked quite well (I used the flat, not pokey, side).

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Do feel around and aim for the whole candies and big chunks, and don’t hit harder or more often than you need to.  You don’t want all dust.  Also, the sharp pieces can poke holes in the bag, which is the main reason you need the towel.

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Use your fingers to drop the candy pieces over the fudge.

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Let it cool at room temperature (or refrigerate) before cutting it into squares.

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Then, EAT YOUR WEIGHT IN FUDGE.  This stuff never lasts long in my house!  It’s sooooo gooooooooooood…..

But, a word of warning…

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This is what those pretty candy pieces will look like about twenty-four hours later.  So, if you’re making this for a party or event, don’t do it the day before!  Or at least don’t add the topping until the day of.  I have no idea what causes the candies to…melt…or whatever, but it’s not very pretty.  It does not, however, affect the taste!  In fact, I actually prefer it softer, over the crunchiness of the fresh candies.

Here’s the recipe, for your cut-and-paste convenience:

(Peppermint) Chocolate Fudge

  • 1½ sticks butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup evaporated milk (5 oz can)
  • 12 oz Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate (or 2 cups chips)
  • 1 jar (7 oz) Kraft marshmallow crème
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Optional: 1 capful peppermint oil
  • Optional: 12-16 Starlite peppermint candies, crushed
  1. Microwave butter in 4-quart bowl on high for one minute or until melted.
  2. Add sugar and evaporated milk. Mix well.
  3. Microwave 3 minutes.   Microwave 2 minutes.  Stir well, scraping bowl.
  4. Microwave 3 minutes.   Microwave 2½ minutes.
  5. Stir in chips until melted.
  6. Add remaining ingredients (except for crushed candies, for peppermint fudge) and mix well.
  7. Pour into greased 9×9 or 13×9 pan (for peppermint fudge: top with crushed candies).
  8. Let cool at room temperature (or refrigerate) before cutting into squares.

Enjoy!

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Fried Cheesy Bites.

One of the things I miss the most about Indiana is Culver’s.  The closest one from where I live now is a good two hours away, so I haven’t been to one in a while now.  There are two things on the menu that I miss in particular: they have best frozen custard (I like my Concrete Mixer with peppermint syrup and crushed pieces of Heath bar), and I could eat my weight in their Wisconsin Cheese Curds.

I’ve really been craving those cheese curds lately.  So the other day, I loosely followed this recipe that I’d pinned ages ago, and made my own fried cheesy bites of heaven (okay, so they’re not as good as Culver’s’, but they’re still stinkin’ good).

Easy fried cheesy bites.

Easy fried cheesy bites.

They’re super easy to make, and you only need a few ingredients.

Ingredients.

Ingredients.

You’ll need:

  • Vegetable oil (enough to submerge your cheesy bites in your pan)
  • 4-5 sticks of string cheese (any kind)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

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First, fill your pan with enough oil to submerge your coated bites in (the amount will vary by the size of the pan).  Heat the oil on medium heat while you start on your prep.

Assembly line!

Assembly line!

Put the flour in one bowl, the egg (beaten) in another, and the bread crumbs in a third.

Experimentation time.

Experimentation time.

You’ll need four to five sticks of string cheese.  I’ve made these three times this week, and I used all mozzarella the first two times, and decided to experiment with mozarella/cheddar and colby jack the third time.

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Chop ’em up!  How small you go is up to you; I like cutting mine pretty small so there’s more of them to munch on (yes, I understand that it’s still the same amount of cheese, no matter how you cut it).

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Dump them in the flour.

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Using a spoon, stir cheese pieces to coat them in flour.

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If you have a little strainer like this, use it to shake out the excess flour.  If not, just use your hands: pick up each piece and shake off the excess flour before dropping it into the beaten egg.

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(The strainer works much better than doing it by hand.)

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Dump the floured pieces into the bowl of beaten egg.

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Using a fork, stir the cheese pieces to coat them in egg.

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Next, move them a few at a time into the bread crumbs.  Shake off excess egg; I find it’s easiest to fish a few pieces out of the egg with the fork, then pick them up with my fingers to shake them off and drop them into the bread crumbs.

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Stir with the fork to coat the pieces in bread crumbs.  Make sure that none of them are stuck together; you want each piece to be coated on all sides.

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Now they’re ready for frying!  Drop a couple pieces into the oil to see how hot it is.  If they turn dark golden brown within seconds, it’s too hot–take your pan off the heat for a few minutes and turn your stove down a little when you put it back on, and then fry your bites in batches of a stick’s worth or so at a time, monitoring them so they don’t burn.  If your trial bites stay pale (the oil should still bubble around them), then your oil’s not quite hot enough yet, but you can dump all the pieces in at once and they’ll fry slowly as it continues to heat.  They turn out fine both ways (so long as you watchfully don’t let them burn).

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Take them out when they’re a nice golden brown.

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Put paper towels on your plate to absorb excess oil.  Let them cool for a few minutes–but not too long, because they’re best hot!

Look at that glorious, golden, cheesy goodness...my mouth is watering now....

Look at that glorious, golden, cheesy goodness…my mouth is watering now….

So they’re not quite Culver’s, but they’re pretty darn good, and super easy!

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For your cut-and-paste convenience:

Fried Cheesy Bites

  • Vegetable oil (enough to submerge bites in pan)
  • 4-5 cheese sticks (any kind)
  • ⅓-½ cup flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • ⅓-½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  1. Heat vegetable oil in pan or skillet over medium heat.
  2. Chop cheese sticks into small bite-size pieces.
  3. Coat cheese pieces in flour.
  4. Shake excess flour off of cheese pieces.
  5. Drop cheese pieces into beaten egg and stir to coat.
  6. Shake off excess egg from cheese pieces.
  7. Coat in bread crumbs, taking care to coat all sides of each piece.
  8. Drop coated cheese pieces into hot oil; fry until golden brown.
  9. Remove golden brown cheesy bites from oil and let cool slightly on paper towel.

Enjoy!