Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Easiest Fudge Ever, and No-Sew Tutu tips

Want an impressive, crowd-pleasing treat for the holidays in under 10 minutes? This is it... Great for holiday baking tins, after dinner with coffee, to take to or serve at parties, and so many variations!

Super Easy Microwave Fudge
  • 3 cups chocolate chips (any variety - dark or milk chocolate, peanut butter, mint chocolate, white chocolate, go crazy!)
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup of add-ins (mini marshmallows, chopped nuts, candied cherries, dried cranberries, white chocolate chips if using dark or vice versa, crushed candy cane, chopped candy bar, Skor bits, coconut flakes, anything goes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Combine chips, milk and butter in a microwaveable bowl. Heat 3-5 minutes on 50% power, stirring every minute until chips are melted. Stir in vanilla and add-in ingredient (save some for sprinkling on top if you like!).
Line an 8x8" pan with foil and grease foil (if you forget, don't panic - it's just a little harder to peel off the foil later).
Pour the chocolate mix into the pan and refrigerate until set.
I used chocolate chips and chopped pecans - yum!
Makes 64 1" squares of deliciousness. They look great on a tray with cookies, or in a tin in those little paper candy cups. Some of the options that sound yummy to me:
  • white chocolate macadamia nut
  • white chocolate cranberry
  • milk chocolate Skor
  • milk chocolate with peanuts and raisins
  • dark chocolate cherry
  • peanut butter with white chocolate chips
  • any chocolate with rice krispies
  • mint chocolate chip with marshmallows
  • adding a little cinnamon or even hot pepper flakes would make an interesting change
You can divide it into smaller pans and make different batches, too (half chocolate-nut, half chocolate-cherry). So versatile! I love it.

In other news, I did end up making tutus for my nieces, and bought my tricky-to-buy-for eight year old nephew a children's cook book, which he actually seemed pretty excited about (we had the big family Christmas on the weekend).

Here is one of the no-sew tutus I made, generally following instructions I found online. It took about 6 yards of tulle, cut along the bolt fold and cut into 6" strips, per tutu. I used pink elastic at the waist, about 20" long with an inch overlap, sewn (the girls are 3 and 4 years old), and added a ribbon at the waist as well, so that they can tighten it for now and it still has room to flex later. The trick I discovered for tying the tulle is to lay the closed blades of a pair of scissors along the elastic & ribbon combo and tie the tulle around the whole thing. The blades of the scissors easily slide over to the next spot to tie, and it prevents the knot from being too tight around the elastic (if it's too tight, it won't stretch or will stay stretched out).

I will say that this took a lot longer than I had expected - it was not a quick project. I think it would be faster to make a sewn tutu! A little basting and elastic, voila. I guess I will know for next time, if I ever tackle a tutu again. For now, I am so over tulle!

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