Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Holiday Gift Wrap Party - the treats
Wrapping presents can be hard work, so lots of yummy treats and drinks were need to keep everyone's energy up. On the beverage side we sipped hot cocoa, spiced cider and a delicious champagne cocktail. I kept everything pretty traditional with the sweets - spicy ginger snaps, chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate peppermint buttercream, English toffee and my favorite, penuche (brown sugar)fudge.
This recipe from Martha Stewart was super easy to make and totally addicting. If you're considering sharing, I would definitely recommend at least doubling the recipe because it goes fast! I remade the recipe today subbing dark muscovado sugar for the light brown sugar and it was equally delicious but had a much deeper molasses flavor.
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces toasted walnuts, chopped (optional, I didn't add them)
1. Coat a 5-by-10-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides.
2. Bring evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 236 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 25 minutes.
3. Transfer to a mixer bowl, and beat in confectioners' sugar on low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium, and beat until mixture is thickened and smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add vanilla and walnuts (if using).
4. Spread mixture in pan, smoothing top. Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, about 25 minutes. Unmold fudge using plastic overhang, and discard plastic. Cut into 18 pieces. Penuche will keep, covered, for up to 1 week.
Also, check out Becca's recipe for the fabulous favors she created.