Sunday, December 16, 2007

Some of my favorite things

Mom's Fudge
3 cups sugar
3/4 c margarine
2/3 c (5 1/3 oz) evaporated milk
1-12 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1-7 oz marshmellow creme
1 c chopped nuts
1 t vanilla

Combine sugar, margarine, and milk, bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil 4-5 minutes over medium heat or until candy thermometer reaches 238° stirring constantly (mixture scorches easily) Remove from heat and stir in chocolate pieces until melted. Add marshmellow creme, nuts and vanilla, beat until well blended. Pour into 13 x 9 greased pan. Cool, cut into squares.

Works with other kinds of chips too. This really does scorch easily so get all your pans together, extra hot pads, spoons, and scrapers handy and with reach. I often double the recipe and use the same size pan to make thicker fudge. Variation: add 1/3 c peanut butter

Mom's Pecan Tassies
1 3 oz cream cheeese, room temp
1/2 c butter or margarine, room temp
1 c sifted flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 T soft butter/margarine
2 t vanilla
dash salt
3/4 c coarsely broken pecans

Pastry: Blend cream cheese and butter. Stir in flour. Chill slightly about 1 hour. Shape into 2 dozen 1-inch balls and place in tiny ungreased 1 3/4 muffin cups. Press dough against bottom and sides of cups.

Filling: Beat together eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt just until smooth.

Putting them together: Divide half of the pecans among the pastry cups, add mixture and top with remaining pecan pieces. Bake in slow over 325° 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool; remove from pans.

YUM - almost better than pie. Making this recipe is greatly enhanced when you use one of those Pampered Chef's tart-tampers. It really makes the job go fast. I've also used a similar technique with a brownie mix to make little brownie cups for Mud pie (brownie tart, coffee ice cream ball, covered with that chocolate sauce that hardens up). Hint: keep a small bowl of flour handy and dip the end of the tamper in the flour to keep it from sticking to the dough.

If you need to find a pampered chef representative - Natonya Tate in my office is a rep and I'm sure would be happy to help you out! Let me know and I'll put you in touch with her. I've only gotten a few things from them - and I love every one of them!

I had one metal mini-muffin pan and broke down and bought a silicon pan that I happened to find at the grocery store. I've seen these floppy blue pans around for awhile but haven't had the chance to use one until now. The side of the muffin hole isn't angled like the metal pan so the tarts don't look the same. It does seem like the silicon pan of tarts needed a couple more minutes of cook time. I do love that you can put the silicon in the dishwasher and that it cleans up really well. Sometimes the filling dribbles on the top of the pan and that burns on but it came right off the silicon and didn't leave a mark. And I guess the best part was that the tarts just popped out of the cups - no digging around them with a knife.

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