The cover theme as indicated above for this month’s Woman’s Day magazine is, simply put, “Make the Season Merry.” The theme is referring to their home section- where they show you how to turn your house into a candy-themed confection or a wintry wonderland with simple but spectacular tree and table decor ideas. There’s also an instructional page on how to make a no-bake gingerbread house out of paper mache and brown spray paint (I’m not sure that would be as much fun to make as real gingerbread, but I suppose some might interested).
The cover recipe- Candy Cane Fudge- is included in a section of the magazine called, “Homemade for the holidays: 10 easy recipes (and festive packaging ideas) that turn holiday gift-giving into a tasty tradition.” Other recipes in this feature are: brown sugar & ginger spice cakes, crispy parmesan chickpeas, gingerbread men mix, cheddar-rosemary crisps, black & white checkerboard cookies, citrus wafers, raspberry almond jammies, pine nut cookies and caramel waffle sandwiches. There seems to be a good variety for those who are looking for easy homemade ideas to give out as gifts during the holidays. Read on to see what I thought of the cover recipe…
Candy Cane Chocolate Fudge
Yield: 128 pieces
Prep Time: 15 min + chill time
Cook Time: 10 min
4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (two 12-ounce packages)
2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2/3 cup crushed candy canes (from about 8 medium)
1. Line two 8-inch square baking pans with parchment paper or nonstick foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and condensed milk. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the butter, vanilla and salt, and stir until the butter has melted.
3. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly into the prepared pans and sprinkle with the candy canes, gently pressing them into top of fudge. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours and up to 2 weeks.
4. Using the overhangs, transfer the fudge to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares.
*I halved the recipe (didn't see any point in wasting good ingredients if I didn't care for the fudge).
*I'd recommend cutting the butter into little pieces before swirling it into the melted chocolate. It didn't melt very quickly as a large piece.
*Use kosher salt and no substitute. Salt was a welcome flavor pairing with the bittersweet chocolate. I don't know if you'd get the same result w/ either sea salt or table salt.
*I used the small candy canes that are individually (loosely) packaged in plastic. The larger candy canes are much too difficult to peel out of their plastic.
*Parchment paper worked just fine.Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 2 pieces
Calories per serving: 96
Fat per serving: 6g
Saturated Fat per serving: 4g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">24g
Fiber per serving: 1g
Protein per serving: 2g
Cholesterol per serving: 5mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 13g
Source: Woman's Day, December 2010
This was a very simple recipe to make- nothing gourmet about it. The fudge itself was ok… it was good enough to nibble on and want some more. I especially liked the addition of the salt in there & the combo of salt and sweet together. The only thing “candy cane” about the fudge was the crumbled canes on top. The fudge itself isn’t minty.
*I had no problems with the recipe and feel pretty confident that anyone can make this and be successful.
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight? I suppose… Woman’s Day isn’t really known for gourmet recipes anyway, and this one is cute enough to add to a holiday sweets platter, especially if individual pieces are placed onto mini-cupcake liners as they are in the photo. They’re pretty festive-looking for helping to “make the season merry.”