By Andy Bedwell
When December rolled around, I always knew that family and friends expected something from my kitchen (I’m too old now, LoL). I would give edible gifts and everyone would seem well pleased. In my opinion, gifts of food are very personal and enjoyed by the entire family. The recipes this week are edible gifts that I have given through the years.
Andy’s Famous Chocolate Fudge
3/4 cup cocoa
6 cups sugar
6 tablespoons light Karo syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups Pet milk (finish the 2 cups with 1/2 cup whole milk)
1 stick margarine
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 1/2 -2 cups chopped pecans
Combine cocoa and sugar really well, then add syrup, salt and milk. Mix really well in a saucepan and turn on medium heat. Let it come to a boil, then turn heat down and begin stirring until it has reached a hard boil stage. After this stage is reached, take off of heat and add margarine and vanilla. Stir well and add chopped nuts. I use a two-quart buttered Pyrex dish for this fudge. It is a perfect size for cutting square pieces.
Andy’s Note: I could absolutely write a book about this fudge recipe. I have made enough to fill a high school gym. Pam Raines and her sister Bridgett were two of my biggest fans. Nancy Wood still calls every year to ask if I will be making some (Yes, Nancy, just for you – I love you, girl!). Candy is a perfect gift for Christmas, and like I have said, “Cooking comes from the heart.” A perfect gift of love!
Peanut Butter Fudge
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 cups sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup margarine (I always use Parkay margarine for my fudge)
Grease a nine-inch square pan. Combine milk, sugar and peanut butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until it reaches hard boil stage. Remove from heat and stir in margarine. Cool to lukewarm. Beat until thickened and pour into dish and cool.
Andy’s Note: I have made this fudge for years. It is out of this world if you like peanut butter. It is kind of difficult, and you have to stay with it constantly. Wanda Thrift, a good friend, ordered several batches in the first week of November to make sure that I would have her some in December. By the way, this kind of fudge is called the “grainy kind” with a rough and grainy texture. I think you will add this to your Christmas candies!
Happy Christmas Cooking, Andy
“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” may be purchased at The Messenger newspaper located at 1957 Rainbow Drive.