Posts Tagged With: Fudge

324/365: National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

Today we find ourselves in a familiar sticky situation. November 20 is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day!

Alas, yet another fudge holiday. There have been plenty already. We noshed on nutty fudge, chewed chocolate, and partook in penuche. Each time, we mentioned fudge’s storied history, how it originated in a women’s college in the 1880s and was such a sensation that other women’s colleges across the country attempted to make their own versions of fudge, with varying results. No need to rehash all that…but I do have a rather humorous story to share.

I mistakenly thought today was National Beaujolais Nouveau Day. I was so convinced of this, I popped open a bottle of the wine. We toasted and sipped. I posted the blog entry. We even planned dinner around this (spaghetti, which of course goes perfectly well with red wine). And then, when I was reading over the post – ironically, something I rarely do afterwards – I noticed that I had written the holiday landed on the third Thursday of November. The only problem with that? Today is WEDNESDAY. The problem is, as I’ve mentioned before, about a third of the way through the year I realized these posts are so time consuming, I should write them in advance. Knock out a bunch ahead of time, and fill in the blanks on that particular food holiday. This worked out well. At first I’d write a few ahead of time. Then a week’s worth. Then…well, let’s just say I had gotten in the habit of really writing far out in advance. The only downside is…well, today. Looking at my calendar weeks ago, I was off by one day. I thought the 20th was a Thursday. It was not. You know what really confuses me, by the way? I had also partially written this post in advance. I don’t know what I was thinking. Suffice it to say, at 6:30, we were suddenly scrambling to celebrate peanut butter fudge. I remembered a friend, Wendy, had mentioned how easy fudge is to make. You can even do it in the microwave, she said. A quick Google search confirmed this. I was able to find an easy four-ingredient microwave peanut butter fudge recipe. It’s here, if you’re interested.

Making the fudge took less than ten minutes, but then we had to let it set in the fridge for 90 minutes. Amazingly…it turned out delicious! The consistency was spot on, the flavor, rich and intense. Who knew fudge was so easy to make?!

National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

Categories: Candy | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

203/365: National Penuche Fudge Day

If you accidentally skip today’s food holiday, you might end up muttering a few choice curse words like “oh, fudge!” July 22 is National Penuche Fudge Day.

I’ve had this one on my radar for some time, and planned ahead, buying a bar of penuche fudge the first time I found one for sale earlier in the year. Because penuche is one of those things that may leave you scratching your head in bewilderment, wondering if it’s a strange vegetable or a fish or a mysterious Chinese herb. Turns out it’s none of the above, but rather, a type of fudge made with brown sugar instead of the typical white sugar found in other flavors. Other main ingredients include milk, butter, and vanilla. Some people add pecans or other nuts, and in New England – where the recipe originates, and is particularly popular – they’re fond of adding maple syrup. The caramelization of the brown sugar gives penuche fudge a distinctive caramel-like flavor, and the color is usually tan.

If you want the history of fudge, click here. Been there, done that, so let’s move on.

I’ve actually had penuche fudge before. Several years ago I stopped by a chocolate festival in Portland where they were selling all sorts of chocolate confections, including fudge. For some inexplicable reason I bought the one bar of fudge that contained no chocolate, just because I was curious about it. It was penuche, and I thought it was incredibly creamy and decadent, so I was particularly looking forward to today’s food holiday.

National Penuche Fudge Day

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Categories: Candy, Desserts | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

167/365: National Fudge Day

Today is the second of three fudge-themed food holidays this year. Happy National Fudge Day, y’all!

Last month, we celebrated nutty fudge. I shared the history of this happy accident then, so I won’t bore you with the same old story again. I will say that some believe the dessert got its name from the word “fudged” which means doing something wrong, since the first batches were nothing more than toffee that got screwed up during the cooking process. This “mistake” was deemed delicious, and went on sale for 40 cents a pound in Baltimore area grocery stores when it was introduced in 1886. Fudge is similar to Scottish tablet, a confection made with sugar, milk, and butter, and often flavored with vanilla, whiskey, or nuts. Tablet is brittle and grainy, and harder than fudge, though the flavor is similar.

In true deja vu spirit, we still had leftover chocolate nut fudge from the last fudge holiday a little over a month ago. Fudge is one of those things that keeps for ages, so we simply dusted off the old hunk (not literally) and ate that today. It was good on May 12, and still good on June 16!

Nutty Fudge

Categories: Candy | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

132/365: National Nutty Fudge Day

May 12 is devoted to a sweet and rich confection that was probably invented accidentally. It’s National Nutty Fudge Day!

The exact origin of fudge – a drier version of fondant, made by boiling sugar in milk until it reaches the soft ball stage and then beating it while it cools until it’s smooth and creamy – is unknown. Most historians believe that fudge, an American invention, was created by accident when a batch of caramels recrystallized, leading to the exclamation “Oh, fudge!” The earliest mention of the treat dates to 1886, when Vasser College student Emelyn Battersby Hartridge wrote a letter discussing how her schoolmate’s cousin made a batch of fudge in Baltimore and sold it for 40 cents a pound. Fudge became popular at women’s colleges because it tasted delicious and was easy to make: students could cook a batch using nothing but a gas light or chafing dish. Wellesley and Smith soon had their own versions of fudge floating around campus in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is going to make me sound terrible, but could there be a correlation between the popularity of fudge at women’s colleges, and…well…PMS? I’m just wondering. Some women do seem to crave chocolate during certain times of the month.

Women aren’t the only ones who appreciate fudge, though. And there are no fewer than 3 fudge-related food holidays this year. I wasn’t actually sure where to find it, because fudge is one of those things you see all the time at bake sales, but rarely appears on grocery store shelves. My mom mentioned that a local produce store carries locally-made fudge, so we swung by there last weekend to pick up some fruits and veggies and, sure enough, were rewarded with fudge, too. So we grabbed a hunk of chocolate nut fudge to enjoy. It was creamy, nutty, and tasted great!

Nutty Fudge

Categories: Candy | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

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