16 Days ’til Christmas: Oh, Fudge

I’m back with all the ingredients. Let’s make fudge.

Chocolate Fudge
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup evaporated canned milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

Mix sugar, milk, cocoa, and corn syrup in a pot at least 3 times bigger than the contents and boil slowly over medium heat, stirring until the ingredients are well blended. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage (235-240 degrees F on the candy thermometer or when a bit dropped into cold water forms a ball that’s soft and flexible and, when taken out of the water, starts to flatten out).

Remove from stove, add butter and stir in. When the mixture is lukewarm add vanilla and beat until the mixture is shiny and holds its shape. Then add the nuts and fruit, if using (I used 1/4 cup each of chopped dried cranberries and chopped roasted, salted pistachios). Spread into a buttered 8″x8″ (9″x9″ will work but the fudge will thin) pan. When the fudge has hardened, mark into squares and cut. Don’t eat it all at once.
We’re making fudge later today. Another recipe from my maternal grandmother (ya know, I’m really quite sad that I have no recipes from my paternal grandmother…I wonder if anyone in the family does?). If you want to play along, you’ll need:

Evaporated milk
Cocoa powder
vanilla extract
light corn syrup

A candy thermometer (makes it much easier but not mandatory)

I’ll be adding salted pistachios and dried cranberries. Not in the original recipe but I’m a rebel like that.

Post will update after I, too, have gone to the grocery store. See you later today.

Persimmon Drop Cookies

This is another recipe from my maternal grandmother, Edith Davis. I have no recollection of her ever making them–she usually had chocolate chip cookies on hand. These are approved by The Taste Taster who called them “perfect for autumn” even if neither he nor I could really discern any persimmon flavor. Do try them for yourself to see if you can.Persimmon Drop CookiesPersimmon Drop Cookies
Makes 3-4 dozen

Note: You should use Hachiya-type persimmons for this recipe. Make sure they’re nice and soft before you start or the astringency and texture will both be gross. Use a wooden spoon to push the persimmon flesh through a mesh strainer. It took approximately 1 pound of persimmons (2 large fruit) to make 1 cup of pulp.

1 cup strained persimmon pulp
1 teaspoon baking soda, sprinkled over pulp
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 cup white whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

Blend sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add persimmon pulp to which baking soda has already been added. Add egg and beat thoroughly. Then add dry ingredients (flour, spices, & salt) and mix well. Add oats, nuts, and raisins and mix to combine.

Drop 1-2 tablespoons of dough onto greased or parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350*F for 12-15 minutes. Cookies should be lightly golden on top. Cool on a rack then store in an airtight container once completely cool. Enjoy!