Pumpkin nut fudge

Just say the word -- fudge -- and you can almost taste the sweetness that seems to come only once a year! If you love fudge, you'll want to get your hands on these four, best of the best, fudge recipes of the season.

It's hip to have squares this season!

Close your eyes and think about those delightfully rich squares that come but once a year! Maybe you have wonderfully sweet memories of the candy your grandma made for you each Christmas. Maybe you're looking for a gift for someone who has everything. The goodness that is fudge not only makes a lovely, decadent holiday treat that's easy to make, but it also makes the perfect homemade gift for those you love, nicely packaged in glimmering holiday tins. Just be sure to make an extra batch or two for yourself!

Easy to make and a wonderfully sweet treat, these fudge recipes will help you make new holiday memories!

Pumpkin fudge

The combination of spices, pumpkin and chocolate is a treat in itself. This pumpkin fudge recipe will have your kitchen smelling divine and the goodies tasting even better!

Yields about 24 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup pureed cooked pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, pumpkin, milk and spices in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce it to a gentle simmer.
  2. Cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add the walnuts, butter and vanilla. Beat until the mixture is creamy. Pour into a buttered baking dish and chill for a couple hours until set. Cut into 1-inch squares.

Butter pecan fudge

A little nutty and a lot rich, you'll really enjoy a batch of butter pecan fudge. It's like taking a delightful bite out of a treat from the past!

Yields about 24 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, whipping cream and salt, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Allow the mixture to boil for about five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix well.
  3. Fold in the pecans. Pour mixture into a waxed paper-lined 8 x 8-inch baking dish.
  4. Refrigerate until the fudge becomes firm; then cut into 1-inch squares.

Eggnog fudge

This recipe uses prepared eggnog from the store to help make fudge-making matters even easier. This is a true holiday treat that is rich and memorable.

Yields about 24 pieces

Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup prepared eggnog
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 cup butter, chilled
  • 1/2 (11 ounce) package white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped almonds

Directions:

  1. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside. Spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray while heating prepared eggnog and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon. Boil for about two minutes.
  2. Fold in the marshmallows, cinnamon and nutmeg. Return to a boil for about five to six minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. As the mixture boils, it will become brown. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the butter, white chocolate chips and almonds. Stir well until mixed and glossy.
  4. Quickly pour the mixture into a prepared pan. Cool at room temperature before removing from the pan and cutting into 1-inch squares.

Marbled fudge

The best of both worlds! Marbled fudge combines chocolate with marshmallow for a fluffy, rich, double-delicious treat.

Yields about 20 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil and set it aside. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips and two tablespoons butter with the condensed milk, vanilla and salt.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the marshmallows with the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Spoon over fudge. With a knife or spatula, swirl it through the fudge.
  4. Refrigerate for about two hours or until firm. Remove from pan and peel off the foil. Cut into 1-inch squares.

Ah, the holidays… time to enjoy the season's sweets and treats. The goodness of fudge comes but once a year (thankfully), and since the time is here, you should make it worth your while!

Try these holiday goodies

Low-fat snowflake cookies
Forget about funky fruitcake
Sweet, savory and spicy popcorn snacks to feed a crowd
Healthy Christmas desserts

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