Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tempting Tuesdays ~ Peanut Butter Cup Fudge and Classic Egg Nog

Merry Christmas Eve! I almost thought this day would never get here. We're bringing you two holiday favorites.

A lot of the memories I have from the holidays of my childhood are of the food. One thing I LOVED was my grandmother's fudge. Chocolate and nuts in a little block of goodness, what's not to like? When I found this recipe from Center Cut Cook, I couldn't help but drool a little and run to the store for some PB cups!


20 Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures, roughly chopped
2 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 cups of sifted confectioners sugar
1 1/4 cups of creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


First, prepare your pan. Line and 8x8 pan with plastic wrap so that it will be easier to lift out of the pan when your fudge has set.

In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and milk, then bring to a rapid boil. Cook and stir frequently for exactly two minutes. Stir in Peanut Butter and combine, then add vanilla.

Transfer mixture into a medium sized bowl. Add confectioners sugar one cup at a time and mix well. Mixture will be thick!

Press mixture into your prepared pan.

Sprinkle chopped Peanut Butter cups on top and press firmly into fudge.

Chill in refrigerator for an hour or until your think it is firm enough. Use the plastic wrap as handles and pull out of the pan. Cut into small pieces because if you cut large pieces, you will OD on the fudgy goodness with one piece.

Enjoy the fudge!

Egg Nog from scratch

For many of us, Christmas and New Years just isn't the same without egg nog. Most of the time we give in and pick up some from the store because there's certainly no shortage of options. However, once you've had homemade egg nog, you just might find the store offerings not quite standing up to the real stuff!

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 2 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 qt half-n-half, portioned into 2 servings of 2 cups each
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 dozen eggs, separated into yolks and whites.
  • 1-2 c spiced rum (if you like strong eggnog, lean toward the 2 cup end of the spectrum)
  • Spices: 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, cardamom, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract

What you'll do:

Step 1. Separate your eggs; yolks in your mixer bowl, whites in a large bowl (you'll need the room later)

Step 2. Put all of your milks (except for 2 cups of the half-n-half) vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves into sauce pan and begin to warm on low. 

Step 3. While the spiced milk is warming, prepare your egg whites. Sprinkle a generous pinch of Cream of Tartar over the top before you begin to help ensure light and fluffy whites ;)

You want to start your mixer on low, until the whites begin to come together, then give a generous sprinkle of Cardamom and increase your speed. Keep the bowl moving as you beat the whites until thick. This will take about 10 minutes. 

(Remember to stir your spiced milk every couple of minutes so it doesn't scald!)

Step 4. With the egg whites prepared, you can now work on your yolk base. Add the 2 cups of powdered sugar to the egg yolks and combine.

(Optional Step) You can go ahead and 'alcohol cook' your yolks if you are squeamish about raw egg products, but remember we are warming the milks to do this as well. To cover your bases, however, you can add 1-2 T of your spiced rum to the yolks and mix at this point.

Step 5. Temper the spiced milk and sweetened egg yolks. If you just dump your warm milk into your egg yolks, you are going to effectively scramble them and you will end up with lumpy egg nog. Nobody wants that. To do this: 
  • you simply add about 1/2 to 1 cup of your warm milk mixture to your egg yolk mixture WHILE YOU STIR. It is important to keep the mixture moving as the folding in of air will help to cool it down. 
  • gradually work another couple of cups of milk into the yolk, continuing to stir, then you can pour the yolk mixture back into the milk mixture, give it a good stir, then pour everything back into the mixer bowl the yolks originally started in.

Step 6. Turn on your mixer and add the 2 cups of Half-n-Half we held back at the beginning. Again, this step is to help bring the overall temperature of your eggnog back down. At this point, if you are making your eggnog alcoholic, you will go ahead and add the spiced rum, too.

Step 7. Fold in the beaten egg whites and top with nutmeg. You'll want to store in the refrigerator, covered, until cool before serving.

From my house to yours, Happy Holidays!

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