Side Dish: A Wandell Holiday Delight! (December 13, 2010)

A Wandell Holiday Delight!

The holiday season is already upon us and the signs are everywhere: Christmas songs are on the radio, Starbucks is serving out o.f their seasonal red cups, and our halls are decked with more holiday cheer than you could shake a bough of holly at.

One tradition we always had in my family was to come together and make Christmas cookies and it’s a tradition I continue in the kitchen of my restaurant. Next week, everyone at Café 429 will bring in 36 of their family’s favorite holiday cookie and we’ll share the cookies (and the recipes!) with each other before the dinner service? Dessert before dinner?! Maybe just this once…

Luke Macfarlane as Scotty Wandell

Perhaps I’ll post some pictures of my favorite holiday cookies, but for my loyal readers I have decided to share something very special: give my mother’s famous fudge recipe. Every year she would whip up a big batch of this fudge and pack it up for everyone in my town – my teacher, her friends at work, the mail man, her hair stylist. It was the hit of their holiday season and now you can spread some holiday cheer in your town, Wandell-style!

As anyone who has read my blog will tell you, I don’t usually advocate microwave cooking, but my mother always insisted that when she gave out the recipe that she had to include microwave instructions. So, here you go…

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Makes 3 pounds

3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup margarine
1 7-oz. jar marshmallow creme
1 12-oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Traditional Method
1) Combine sugar, margarine and milk in medium saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
2) Continue boiling 4-6 minutes over medium heat, stirring.
3) Remove from heat, stir in chocolate until melted and smooth.
4) Add marshmallow creme, nuts, vanilla and mix until blended.
5) Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
6) Let cool and cut into 1-inch squares.

Microwave Method
1) Microwave margarine in large microwave-safe bowl on high about 1 minute or until melted.
2) Add sugar and milk; mix.
3) Microwave on high 5 minutes or mixture just begins to boil, stirring after a few minutes.
4) Mix well, being sure to scrape down the sides with a spatula.
5) Continue microwaving on high 5-1/2 minutes; stir after a few minutes.
6) Stir in chocolate chips until melted.
7) Add remaining ingredients; mix well.
8) Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
9) Cool at room temperature
10) Cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.