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Fudge for a crowd

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Not all holiday gatherings consist of small, intimate groups. Many involve large, if not huge, numbers of people! With Christmas and New Year's parties, that also means having plenty of food to go around. When you go through recipes in most cookbooks, there's not many recipes that make huge amounts of food to serve a large numbers.

If you're involved in a situation like this over the holidays, or would like to make a large amount of a sweet treat to share with others as a gift, here's an answer: fudge! Most everyone enjoys fudge and the recipe I'm sharing, "Robert Foster's 9-Minute Fudge", makes about five pounds of some of the best fudge you'll eat! And, there's even some flavor variations, if you like variety in your fudge.

You'll need a LARGE pot to make this fudge! You begin by melting butter and adding sugar and evaporated milk to it. Here, you'll bring this to a full boil and cook for nine minutes. It's at this point you'll need to keep a watchful on when to start timing the mixture. It's easy, by mistake, to confuse the air bubbles in the mixture for actual boiling. When this comes to a FULL boil, start timing right away. I set the timer on my microwave oven to do this so there's no inaccuracies.

When this is ready, you add chocolate morsels, vanilla extract and marshmallow cream. Then, you beat it all until it's smooth, creamy and well-mixed. If you're fortunate to have a heavy-duty stand mixer with a flat beater attachment, you could place the chocolate chips, vanilla and marshmallow cream in the bowl before beginning the syrup mixture. When the syrup is ready, simply pour it over the ingredients in the bowl and let the mixer do the beating for you! You'd mix at low speed until the mixture is completely mixed and is smooth.

Now, it's ready to go into a buttered 9x13 inch pan. Once that's been poured in, it needs to set until it's firm. While the waiting may be hard to do, at least you have the spoon and cooking pot to lick while you wait! Then, cut it into 1-inch pieces and it's ready for parties or giving as a gift.

If you need a smaller quantity of fudge during the Christmas season, I shared a recipe some months ago for "No-Fail Fudge", which is also a good and reliable recipe that makes an 8-inch pan of fudge. To get this recipe, follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/fudge-that-won-t-let-you-down

And if by chance you're looking for some good appetizer recipes for your parties, here's a video that can give you some ideas:

http://www.examiner.com/article/best-christmas-appetizer-recipes-top-10-...

When you have a large crowd to entertain over the holidays, or need to give lots of food gifts, this recipe will come to your rescue!

ROBERT FOSTER'S 9-MINUTE FUDGE

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 large can evaporated milk
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (10 oz.) jar marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In a large, deep saucepan, combine sugar, butter, and evaporated milk and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 9 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Add vanilla and marshmallow cream. Beat until creamy, about 5-10 minutes. Add the nuts, if using them. Turn into a greased 9x13 pan. Let set until completely cool and cut into bite-sized squares. Yield: 5 pounds.

Varations: Use 1 cup coconut or 1 cup peanut butter in place of nuts.

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