Holiday Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanutbutter Fudge(Thanksgiving 2010)

I am very picky about fudge. I want it to be creamy, but hold its shape well, I want the ingredients fresh, real, and meltingly delicious.

I prefer homemade to commercial fudge, anytime.

We came a cross a recipe that has the magic ingredient of turning out well every time. Some people don’t care for fudge that isn’t chocolate, but this peanut butter variety has a chocolate topcoat that provides just enough to make it extra delicious.

I invite you you try this recipe for peanut butter fudge and see if doesn’t draw raves from all your holiday guests, and from your family all through the year.

Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

This smooth , golden peanut butter fudge is topped with melted chocolate, borrowing from your favorite chocolate-peanut butter candy. It's all the better because there is much more of the peanut butter flavor and the chocolate is extra rich. 
                                   

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks margarine or butter
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Melt margarine in a double boiler.
  • Pour over confectioner sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt in a bowl. 
  • Mix well. Pour into pan. 
  • Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler until there are no lumps and spread over fudge. 
  • Refrigerate until hard (about 45 minutes). 
  • Tip: Do not let the chocolate get too hard or it will crack when you cut it. Score it when halfway hardened.

Notes

I like to use natural peanut butter that doesn't have any hydrogenated fats.
*Confectioners sugar is the same as "powdered sugar" or (as the English call it) "icing sugar".

Step 8

Double boilers are a must when melting chocolate.

The double boiler keeps delicate ingredients from burning. For chocolate this is imperative, since even a hint of burning ruins the texture and flavor of chocolate.

Berard 22574 French Olive-Wood Handcrafted Cook’s Spoon, 12 Inch

I have olive wood cooking spoons and they are the best! Makes cooking a real pleasure. I started using them about seven years ago. The wood is finely grained and smooth, a wonderful contrast to many of the wooden spoons I was used to, previously. They would get rough and their texture would hold onto the cooking ingredients instead of slipping off.

For stirring the fudge, this type of utensil works like a dream.

Cherry Pie Day – Hooray!

pie

An Excuse For 3 Fruit-filled Recipes

The Delightful Cherry Pie Is Celebrated

Why do I love February? Is it the cheery Valentines or the fact that winter is almost over? It certainly isn’t the slushy snow and cold rain that often mark this month in the north of the USA. But one thing that you can always count on is the proliferation of plenty of cherry pies in this month. And there is something wonderfully delightful about this red fruit pie that is sweet to the taste, the nose and the eye! No wonder a day is set aside to celebrate the delicious cherry pie.

Always observed on on February 20th, you can have a special celebration of this tasty pie at your house. But why is cherry pie day celebrated in February?

Step By Step Instructions To Bake Your Own

Cherry Pie Recipes to Try

Delectable Lattice Pie Filled with Tart Cherry Filling

 

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Show off your cherry pies

A cherry red pie plate is up to the task!
Any pie would look lovely served in this pie plate, but can you picture a lattice topped, tart cherry pie filling peeking through deliciously? Display it directly on the table, or let it stand out when serving desserts.

Cherry Red Pie Dish

Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish, Cerise Red
Emile Henry 9-Inch Pie Dish, Cerise Red

This lovely fluted edge pie plate to accentuate the beauty of your cherry pie is in the appropriate color of cerise (cherry) red.

Oregon Fruits Cherry Pie Video

Cherry Pie Recipe – The one from the Oregon Fruits video shown on this lens

A video with plenty of pie making tips and taking you through the steps of how to make a lattice crust and fill it with a delicious cherry pie filling.

So gather all your ingredients and utensils and get ready to bake your own homemade pie!

Traditional Cherry Pie

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • ½ - 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cans Oregon Red Tart Cherries
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 3 crusts for a 9-inch pie

Pastry

  • 2 cups flour all-purpose
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 4- 6 tablespoons ice water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drain the cherries and reserve the juice from only one can.
  • In a saucepan, stir the cherry juice into the combined mixture of the cornstarch and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Gently stir in cherries and almond extract.
  • Pour filling into pastry lined pie pan. Dot with butter or margarine.
  • Adjust crust, seal and vent. Bake for about 40 minutes. If necessary, cover edges with aluminum foil during last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.
  • Cool pie several hours to allow filling to thicken before slicing.

Recipe for the Pie Crust

  • Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Mix in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms a ball. Do not overmix. Divide dough into two balls.
  • Using a well-floured surface and rolling pin, roll each pastry ball from the center to the edges with long, even strokes.
  • Roll each pastry into a circle large enough to fit in a 9-inch pie plate.

Recipe on Queen of Tarts, http://blog.oregonfruit.com/how-to-videos/cherry-pie-how-to-video/

Your Baking Style

How Do You Make Your Cherry Pie?

KitchenAid Double Oven For All Your Baking

Bake to your hearts delight in a dream kitchen oven. I have used both great ovens and had the unfortunate experience of poor ones. a well equipped kitchen helps make baking for special events a joy and success. I’m not just saying that.

I always wanted double ovens because at Thanksgiving and Christmas there is never enough space for the entrees and pies.
KitchenAid Architect Series II KEBS277SSS.27" Double Electric Wall Oven
KitchenAid Architect Series II KEBS277SSS.27″ Double Electric Wall Oven with Even-Heat True Convection System in Upper Oven & Temperature Probe: Stainless Steel

You need an oven to bake your pies, and this one is one of the best moderately priced for the home cook.

Great cooks use reliable appliances. If you are remodeling your kitchen or looking for an additional or replacement oven, consider the great quality of a KitchenAid.

Tart Cherries for pie

Which is best for cherry pies? Sweet or tart?

I’m sure there are those who have their preference for sweet cherries, but the tang of a tart cherry just seems made for addition to the tender crust and sweetened juices of a fruit pie. There seems to be good reason why sour cherries are also called “pie cherries”.

And while almond flavoring and vanilla extract are often called for to additionally flavor the pie filling, I like a pinch of mace. Try it! Mace is the outer part of the nutmeg and has a somewhat more subtle , but delicious flavor that it adds. Mace particularly complements cherry flavors.

Cherry Slab Pie – Delicious Recipe For A Crowd

This recipe is from Smitten Kitchen who got it from Martha Stewart. I don’t know who Martha Stewart got it from. The variation of making a slab pie is ideal for serving a large group- like at a potluck, etc.

Traditional Cherry Pie

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

  • ½ - 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cans Oregon Red Tart Cherries
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 3 crusts for a 9-inch pie

Pastry

  • 2 cups flour all-purpose
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 4- 6 tablespoons ice water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drain the cherries and reserve the juice from only one can.
  • In a saucepan, stir the cherry juice into the combined mixture of the cornstarch and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Gently stir in cherries and almond extract.
  • Pour filling into pastry lined pie pan. Dot with butter or margarine.
  • Adjust crust, seal and vent. Bake for about 40 minutes. If necessary, cover edges with aluminum foil during last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning.
  • Cool pie several hours to allow filling to thicken before slicing.

Recipe for the Pie Crust

  • Mix flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • With a pastry blender, cut in shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Mix in the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms a ball. Do not overmix. Divide dough into two balls.
  • Using a well-floured surface and rolling pin, roll each pastry ball from the center to the edges with long, even strokes.
  • Roll each pastry into a circle large enough to fit in a 9-inch pie plate.

The original recipe is here, http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/07/sour-cherry-slab-pie/.

Sweet Little Tarts

Tart Montmorency
Tart Cherries Are Best For Pies

Pie Making Tips

From the American Pie Council

 Pie Making Tips 
  • Read the entire recipe before starting your pie. Make sure you have all of the ingredients and utensils and take time to understand all the directions. Skipping this step is the major cause of mistakes.
  • Cold ingredients are the one most important matter when making a great pie crust Have cold bowls and utensils for an extra measure of success. Be sure to chill the dough for at least an hour before rolling it out. Keep the shortening cold for a deliciously flaky crust.
  • Don’t overwork the dough. Your shortening or butter should be coated with flour mixture, not blended with it. Over handling and mixing causes gluten to form, and this is what toughens the dough. Cool your hands before handling, if possible (run under cold water and then dry thoroughly).
  • Transfer crust dough into the pie pan with care. Fit the dough into the dish while avoiding stretching. Trim the dough to 1″ inch over hang and tuck it under itself to create a thick rim.
  • With the index finger on one hand, press the dough against the thumb and forefinger of the opposite hand; continue around the perimeter of the crust and dish, this is called fluting.
  • Bake the pie in the lower third of the oven, which helps bottom crust to finish baking. another tips is to cover the edges with foil or a crust protector so the edges won’t over brown.
  • Use only fresh ingredients. Make seasonally available fruit pies for best flavor. Cherries are in season during the month of June.

Pie Birds!

Spode Christmas Tree Pie Bird
Spode Christmas Tree Pie Bird Use this on your double crust pies to prevent the juices from bubbling out . It helps you attain that crisp, tender crust that sets your pies apart from the rest.
American Pie Council has lots of recipes to try.

Cherries Are Red

Beautiful Lattice Cherry Pie
Beautiful Lattice Cherry Pie

Which make them the perfect fruit filling for a pie that celebrates Valentine’s Day. AND February is National Cherry Month.

What is Cherry Pie Day?

And Why?

When I was a kid Presidents Day was a big deal in school, and along with that was the day to learn about the first U.S. President, George Washington. What does this have to do with cherries? You must have heard the tale of George’s famous ( albeit legendary and maybe imagined ) confession, “I cannot tell a lie, I cut down the cherry tree”. And cherries were linked to George Washington Day in February (his actual birthday is February 11th by the Julian calendar), now called “President’s Day” and used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln and George Washington; and, well, all the presidents, really. Whew, how complicated! That is an example of what happens when the government gets involved with things, isn’t it?

Who Thought Up This Holiday?


Well, this is not about the debate over President’s Day or the telling of myths and legends, but of something that we can all agree upon… a great cherry pie is worth celebrating. The wonderful thing about this fruit filling is that it is a great way to make a delicious pie any time of the year- even in the tail end of winter, during February. If using tart pie cherries, there really isn’t much quality difference between canned and fresh, unlike many of the other fruits, like peach or apple. Cherry pies are fine tasting using cherries you have canned from the cherry season of June last year. Now there is a taste difference in pie fillings, so if you use canned cherries and not the syrupy canned pie filling, it will produce a much better pie.

Where did National Cherry Pie Day originate? No one seems to know. It must have originated somewhere. My guess is that an organization like the Pie Council that claims authorship of National Pie Day, or the National Cherry Growers Association or some similar marketing group, declared it and set the date to fall around the time President’s Day is celebrated. Organizations quite often lobby for their representative food to have a national day. Besides National Cherry Pie Day, there are days for Cherry Cobbler and Cherry popovers. And there is one for moldy cheese, too, but that is somewhat beside the point.

The point is that you have an excuse to bake a perfectly delectable cherry pie and eat it in celebration of the day!

Don’t just bake a pie… play some games, learn about cherries, make it a fun and different day of celebration.

Girls Original Very Cherry Apron

 

A Game To Play On Cherry Pie Day

CHERRY PIE GAME

~by Kylan from Kansas -5th Grade Teacher

We play a game called Cherry Pie. You stand in a circle and give the first student a word. He or she gives the first letter of the word. You continue going around the circle each person giving one letter. If someone misses they sit down and are out for the game. If the word is spelled correctly the person after the one who said the last letter correctly says, “cherry pie” and they are out for the game. This continues until there is only one person standing. I keep the game moving quickly, and I do no repeats, if they stutter or don’t know where we are they are out. This keeps them listening to every word.

Looking For Good Cookie Recipes?

You have found a wonderful resource, if I don’t say so, myself. This post is dedicated to all cookie bakers, especially holiday cooks. Which in my book are the most discerning of culinary artists.

That sounds way too fancy, so let’s just say home cooks who like to serve their families the best possible dishes and treats. Because that is a culinary artist.

A list of great cookies
  • Mamas Hungarian Cooking: Lemon Kossuth Cookies is a printable recipe for my Mother’s favorite Hungarian cookie. She was always baking them, and they are easy and delicious. Start out with this one for any time of year, any occasion.
  • My First Choice Nut-filled Kifli is the best recipe for baking lots of these fantastic cookies. I consider them fine enough for Christmas… which is the top level of recipe. Good for family and company. Printable recipe.
  • Years ago, before all the plugins for making professional recipe pages, I put all my very best cookie and dessert recipes on the web. Eventually they will be updated on this site, but in the meantime, Find Cookies I, Cookies IICookies III and just print the pages.
  • Printable Moravian Spice, My Gingerbread Cookie of Choice. I love their thin crispy molasses rich flavor.
  • If you love Spice Cookies, this is your collection of recipes. Many kinds, including some unusual flavors (Chai, anyone?).  The videos are very helpful and give great tips.
  • Christmas Cookie Collection are some of my old recipes and some new.

Now, you have a great collection of recipes to start your holiday baking. What are you waiting for? Many of these pages include helpful tips to make sure your efforts are a success, and they are tested by years with my family, so I am pretty sure your family will love them, too.

Have fun with this part of the Christmas season. Fill your house with the smell of delicious cookies baking and coming fresh from your oven. It only takes a few sessions and one recipe at a time to make a really happy and festive atmosphere.

Yes, we have to watch our calories, but that is when we generously give away platters of homebaked goodies to grateful friends!