Thursday, December 20, 2012

White Chocolate Apricot Fudge

Every Christmas our family makes fudge to give away as part of our cookie trays. It was always my favorite Christmas treat as a little girl, and we still use the same recipe that my mom did. It always turns out rich, creamy and super chocolatey. For many years I have wanted to try a white chocolate fudge, but I always run out of time. This year, while flipping though an old issue of Taste of Home Holiday Recipes I came across this fudge recipe and decided that this was the year I was going to make it. It also fits into the December Improv challenge, using both marshmallows and chocolate, so all the more reason to try it. White chocolate always seems so sweet, but I liked the idea of the apricots and walnuts to balance that sweetness. 

I am glad that I finally made time to try this fudge. It was very, very sweet, but suprisingly, we all liked it, and thought it was a nice change from the chocolate and peppermint treats that are everywhere. However, there are a few things I would do differently next time. Some of my apricots were very soft and moist, and seemed almost melted inside the fudge so next time I would choose the firmest dried apricots I can find. Overall, we liked this as a base recipe and might try it again omitting the apricots and adding some dried cranberries and orange zest with the walnuts. 

White Chocolate Apricot Fudge
adapted from Taste of Home Holiday Recipes 2009

1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1  7 oz jar marshmallow cream
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots*
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts*

Line a 9 inch square pan with foil, grease foil with butter.

In a large bowl combine chopped white chocolate, marshmallow cream and salt. Set aside.

In a heavy sauce pan combine sugar, sour cream and butter. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring until soft ball stage, 234 degrees, about 5 1/2 minutes. 

Pour sugar mixture over chocolate and marshmallow cream and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add vanilla stirring to incorporate. Fold in apricots and walnuts.

Pour into pan allow to set over night or until firm. Use the foil to remove from pan and cut into 1 inch squares.

*This is the recipe I made, but next time I would add more of both the apricots and the walnuts and I would finely chop the apricots.
printable recipe

links:Foodie Friday

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cinnamon Chip Snickerdoodles

It is just about time to take a look at our Christmas cookie wish list, you know the one where you write down about 100 things you want to make, knowing that you will eventually have to narrow it down to just a few things.    As much as we love snickerdoodles, we don't usually include them in our cookie baskets because there are so many other things we want to make. However, last weekend I needed a little holiday treat to take to some friends, and I knew these snickerdoodles would be perfect. They are a classic cookie and are fast to make. We like ours crispy around the edges and soft and chewy in the middle with a few cinnamon chips added for extra flavor.

Cinnamon Chip Snickerdoodles
2 ounces unsalted butter
6 ounces vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cinnamon chips

2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix together cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

In a bowl mix together flour, cream of tarter, baking soda and salt, set aside. Mix butter, shortening 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs , one at a time, beating until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and mix.  Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until all the flour is incorporated. Stir in the cinnamon chips. Roll dough in to small balls (about 1 1/2 tablespoon of dough) roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Set balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. bake in 400 degree oven 8 to 10 minutes, until tops start to crackle, do not over bake, cookies will firm up as they cool.
makes 4 dozen
printable recipe

link:Foodie Friday