During the rationing of World War II, we children craved sugar
As we watched Mother sprinkle carefully measured spoonsful over our oatmeal.
We wanted more sweetness in our hot chocolate, in our pudding;
We longed for a bottomless sugar bowl.
But in the fall Mother stood in long lines that coiled around the city tenements
To get an extra bag of sugar allotted for canning and preserving.
She squirreled this away until Christmas
When it was transformed into the most glorious pecan studded fudge,
Sweet enough to make up for a whole year of rationing.
“Christmas Fudge”, by Lillian – 1997
My mother was famous in our family for her homemade fudge, made without benefit of a candy thermometer and cooked and beaten until it was perfect. Then, it was placed in a special rose-bedecked tin to be brought out on Christmas Eve, opened and squares of never-to-be-forgotten goodness placed on her fancy Christmas plate.
I was never able to duplicate her fudge and have had to rely on the easier candy since she passed away in 1991. I have several good recipes but my oldest daughter asked for some fudge made with marshmallows rather than marshmallow creme, so this is the version I made for her.
FUDGE MADE WITH MARSHMALLOWS
- 2 cups mini-marshmallows*
- 1 cup chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli)
- 1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup undiluted evaporated milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
*20 large marshmallows = 2 cups mini-marshmallows. Cut large marshmallows into 8 pieces using kitchen shears that are dipped in water to prevent sticking.
Butter a large plate or platter
In a medium bowl, combine the marshmallows, chips and walnuts. Have ready and at hand before starting the fudge.
In a large, heavy bottomed pan, combine the sugar and milk. Cook over medium high heat (#6 on my gauge) until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. When there are bubbles across the entire top surface of the mixture, set a timer for 5 minutes and cook at the same heat setting, stirring occasionally.
After 5 minutes, remove pan from heat and stir in the marshmallows, chips and nuts, stirring quickly until the marshmallows and chips are melted. Stir in the vanilla.
Immediately pour onto the buttered plate and let cool at room temperature.
This is a batch made with milk chocolate chips. I also made a batch with semi-sweet chips, resting on Mother’s World War II era platter.
Mother always cut her fudge in big squares.
The fudge does not need to be refrigerated. Should be stored in a container with a tight lid. My mother’s old rose tin is just the right size for a batch of fudge.
This is not even close to my Mother’s fudge, but brings back the memories of all the Christmas Eves when I enjoyed her wonderful candy.