seasonal nesting: fudge edition

I don’t know if everyone experiences this phenomenon, but Autumn is my absolute most favorite time of the year, bar none.  From September to Christmas, I am one happy girl (especially when the temperature FINALLY gets cool down here in the South!).  And with this time of year, all my nesting instincts come out in full force.

A few weeks ago, I did my annual “tear through the home & clean everything” binge.  That was lovely. 🙂  Then I ordered a few more Halloween decorations (look for that in an upcoming post), and started gathering some recipes that I really wanted to try.

The first culinary undertaking I tackled was a roast with dried fruit… still not completely convinced that I liked it.  The next is what I made this past weekend – pumpkin fudge.  This one was an unqualified success.  And aside from one little bump in the road, extremely easy!

I started with a recipe from Southern Living (the southern girl’s bible… believe it) – it seemed easy enough, and I’m obsessive about pumpkin so it definitely had my interest.   I gathered all my ingredients & made sure I had everything together.

A whole lot 'o sweetness.

The first part was extremely easy… dump the first 6 ingredients into a pot, heat & stir.  Noooo problem.  Then it said “until your candy thermometer reaches…”  Hmm. No candy thermometer for me – perhaps I should have thought about that.  No worries, though, it also said “or for 12 minutes”, so I figured I was good to go.  So I dumped & stirred.

[Note: I used a little more of the pumpkin spice than the recipe called for, and I will probably use even more the next time I make this.  I like a deep cinnamon flavor, and this recipe is pretty mild.]

Not exactly appetizing at this stage.

Now – anyone who has ever made anything candy-related just looked at that picture and did a little gasp.  Why?  Because that’s a plastic spoon.  Yep.  Plastic.

For any who have not made candy at home before, that sound you’re now hearing is the raucous laughter of all those who have.  And in case you haven’t figured out why…

The death of a spoon.

Yep.  THAT is what happens when you try to stir boiling sugar for 12 minutes.  That poor spoon was complete mush… I would stir some, it’d roll in on itself, I’d straighten it back out against the side of the pot… It was pitiful.  But! It worked.  And lesson learned, believe me!

So after the 12 minutes of constant stirring (and it was constant) – I pulled it off the stove, mixed in the rest of the ingredients (I didn’t use nuts) & poured into my prepared pan.

Not the prettiest, but definitely effective.

And then it was all over but the cooling!  I let it cool slowly, sitting on my counter, and then later transferred it to the fridge to really solidify.  The results were wonderful.

A Triumph in Pumpkin

The fudge was definitely a hit at my friends’ place this weekend, and I was pleased too.  Pleasing me is far more difficult… my detail-obsession kicks in & I nit-pick, but I really enjoyed this!  It is extremely sweet, however, and I found I liked it best with a wonderfully rich, dark coffee.

So!  My first foray into fudge-making & I would definitely do it again.

Happy Autumn!


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