christmas, Fudge

Easy Fudge

Christmas is the season for lots of sweet treats, especially FUDGE. I’ve never made fudge and was actually pretty intimidated to even try. Fudge is one of my most favorite treats and I had one of the best ones I’d ever eaten earlier this year so making it myself… from scratch… seemed impossible. I quickly learned that it was very possible and actually really simple.

While researching recipes I had an idea to use three different chocolates to offset some of the sweetness. The fudge turned out great and tasted exactly like I’d hoped it would. The fudge takes less than 10 minutes to make and 2 hours to set. Your family, friends and even Santa are sure to enjoy this tasty treat on Christmas Day.

Ingredients

1 cup dark chocolate (45% cacao) (chopped)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate (55% cacao) (chopped)

1 cup bitter sweet chocolate (65% cacao) (chopped)

14 oz sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions

Line 8 or 9 inch pan with parchment paper

Melt all ingredients on medium/low heat in medium saucepan

Stir until smooth

Pour into prepared pan

Refrigerate for 2 hours

Cut into squares and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks and a few Don’ts that I did

Play with the flavors. My kids and I really like dark chocolate so I wanted to have it in this fudge. If dark isn’t your thing feel free to skip and add more bitter or semi sweet.

Don’t get impatient. Fudge needs time to set. The 2 hours is a minimum. I got a little antsy and cut into mine before 2 hours and it was too soft. The fudge was still delicious, but it needed more time in the fridge.

Chopping the chocolate is really important. You can skip it, but it will take your fudge longer to melt and I think it helps achieve the smooth consistency you want for fudge.

Don’t stop stirring. I repeat, whatever you do, do not stop stirring. Chocolate burns really really fast. It takes less than 5 minutes for everything to come together and the last thing you want is burnt fudge. YUCK!

Speaking of stirring, use a rubber spatula and don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the pan while stirring.

Pack it in treat bags and share with your friends and family. You can also freeze to share later.

You CAN eat the entire pan yourself too. It’s Christmas after all!!

Merry Christmas and Enjoy!

Cookies

Teacher Treats and Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

WOW! I say this every year, but December has flown by. It’s already time for the kids to be out for Christmas break, which means…. Teacher Gifts! I always like to do something a little personal for my kids teachers because they do so much for us. This year I decided to give a few of our Austin favorites as gifts like Cuppa Austin Coffee and Austin Gourmet Popcorn as well as some very easy, but very tasty made from scratch chocolate chip cookies.

This recipe is very easy to follow and makes enough cookies for my kids seven teachers with extras to spare for the little hands that helped with the baking. Below is the recipe with a few tips and tricks at the end.

Ingredients

1 cup softened butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons hot water

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups flour

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together butter, white sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth.

Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.

Dissolve baking soda in hot water, add to batter with salt.

Mix in flour 1 cup at a time until well mixed.

Add chocolate chips.

Use scoop to place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are a light golden brown.

Remove cookies from pan and place on cooling rack.

When cooled, we packed our cookies into Christmas treat bags to give to our teachers along with the other goodies.

Tips and Tricks and Don’ts that I did

Don’t over bake your cookies. It’s really easy to do. Remember cookies continue to cook when you take them out of the oven. As long as your edges are lightly golden you will have a perfect cookie.

Freeze any extra cookie dough you have. If you only want to make 20 cookies, portion the remaining cookie dough into plastic bags, throw it in your freezer and use when you like. To bake the frozen cookie dough set oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes. The cookies will bake just like you made them the first time. We’re using our leftover cookie dough for Santa cookies next week!

Invest in a cookie (ice cream) scoop. This is a GAME CHANGER. You’ll get a perfect cookie every time. Below is the scoop I bought from Amazon. We make cookies all the time and I can’t imagine not having my scoop.  https://www.amazon.com/Disher-Scoop-Cream-Portion-Control/dp/B06XY9RDSQ/

These cookies are really easy, but also really fun. They might be the only bake I’ve done that have kept my kids attention the entire time. They loved helping me and being able to say to their teachers “Hey, I helped bake that!”

I’ll end with this. Val, a contestant, from The Great British Baking Show once said “When you bake, you always bake for a reason. You’re giving it to people, so you make it the best you can. You make it with love. And whenever I make anything, I stir love into it. I knead love into it, so when I present it, its special.”

I love this so much because it’s so true. In the short time I’ve been baking I’ve learned that baking is so much more than ingredients and oven temperatures. Bakers put something special into each bake. We LOVE our teachers and it makes me so happy to bake something out of love with my kids for them even if it’s something small but tasty like Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I’m looking forward to sharing many more bakes next year, the good ones and bad ones and especially the scrummy ones! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Mae Bakes!!