Many things signal the start of the holidays around the world, but all we have to do here at our house is see the arrival of the very first white swan or two in late November. Once we see the start of these magnificent beauties arriving, it not only sets our holiday season in motion and gets us in the spirit, it also prepares us for what’s coming next. As you can see by the following videos, things can get a little crazy… and a little loud….around here at migration/holiday season time. It’s all part of the fun!
We also get a zillion bald eagles hanging around and performing all kinds of antics, not the least of which include the following…
(This next video is not as clear as I was shooting through my window.)
Anyway… of course another holiday tradition at our house is this amazing Cappuccino Fudge. Don’t you love the special things that you only make once a year? I got this foolproof recipe off of a food message board a few years back and it’s taken the place of the insanely mouthwatering chocolate fudge I used to make for years. It’s that good. Yes, I will declare…this cappuccino fudge trumps all. A light drizzle of chocolate over the top and the optional decorative coffee bean placed on top and you’ll have people swooning. Honestly, I’ve tried not to do “as much” baking this holiday season as I need to start working on my figure…ahem… but this is an absolute grand exception. Our season wouldn’t be complete without the white swans and without this gem of a holiday treat. Absolutely to-die-for!
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks butter (I use salted butter for this)
5-oz. evaporated milk
12-oz. Cappuccino chips (King Arthur makes them or Guittard)
1 7-oz. jar marshmallow cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 rounded Tablespoon Instant Coffee Granules (I just use Folgers)
Combine sugar, salt, butter and evaporated milk in heavy-bottomed pan. Bring to low boil over medium heat, stirring. Continue cooking at low boil for about 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly, or until mixture reaches soft ball stage on candy thermometer (about 235-240 degrees; small amount of mixture dropped into chilled water will form a ball, but flattens when picked up with fingers).
Remove from heat and stir in cappuccino chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla, and instant coffee granules. Stir until well combined (all white streaks of marshmallow cream are gone). Pour into lightly greased 11×7 pan (see Note). Cool to room temp, cover tightly and chill.
Drizzle lightly with bittersweet chocolate. Top with coffee bean if desired.
Note: A little larger pan is fine, such as 9×9. However, I don’t suggest using anything smaller than 11×7.
Tips for Storing Fudge:
Fudge stored in the refrigerator can last 2-3 weeks when kept in an air-tight container.
Fudge stored at room temperature in an air-tight container will last 7-14 days. Fudge should be stored in an air-tight container (tin or plastic), each layer separated by a sheet of waxed paper. Fudge stored in an air-tight container at room temperature will “ripen” over the first 24 hours.
Frozen fudge will keep for months if wrapped in waxed paper then again in aluminum foil and stored in an air-tight container. Wrap each individual slice or the entire box with plastic or aluminum foil and seal thoroughly. Properly wrapped it should keep for several months. Leave fudge in its wrapping for at least two hours upon removal from the freezer to permit it to return to room temperature.