Tuesday, April 04, 2006

In Search of Butterscotch

When I was a kid any occasion for a gathering of people was an occasion to bring food. Weddings, funerals, visiting the family of a sick friend, you name it; the little old ladies would bring out their “secret family recipes”. Heaps of casseroles; a virtual landscape of cakes and cookies as far as the eye could see. (Keep in mind this is the memory of a twelve year old so…) Not one single cold cut tray in sight – for shame – no; only things made with their own hands were acceptable to bring to someone’s house.

It was on one such occasion when I was twelve that I was introduced to butterscotch. It’s funny how the weirdest things stick in your mind, but well there was this butterscotch cake. (My eyes have now rolled up into my head and I might faint…) I can still remember what it looked like, all burnt orange colored with a dark chocolate glaze. It was cooked in an angle food cake pan – I didn’t know that then, but that was the shape of it. It was dense and moist, almost pudding like, and oh so yummy. I swear that I ate half that cake all by myself that day. On occasions like these no one monitored what the kids were eating! No such thing as too much sugar, or too many calories. When I was a kid kids played outside all day; so over eating was never an issue. Heck, sometimes we even ran with scissors! Oh to be twelve again.

Well, ever since then I have been in search of that taste. I haven’t found it yet – try though I might. I’ve tried blondies and cookies, cakes and candy. Nope I just can’t get there.

Recently I visited the site of The Canadian Baker and clicked on the link there for the Hershey’s Kitchens web site. As I always do with any new site; I clicked on recipes and like wise candies…it’s that chocolate thing again. Anyway, the first recipe, staring at me like a beacon was their “Butterscotch Nut Fudge”.

Well guys, this has to be the best butterscotch recipe I have tasted so far. Okay, so it’s not THE cake, but the flavor is right and the creaminess brings to mind all things buttery. Give it a whirl you’ll be glad you did!

Don’t get crazy and cut the pieces bigger than an inch, this is one sweet, rich treat; less is definitely more here.

Butterscotch Nut Fudge
(from Hersey’s Kitchens)

1-3/4 C Sugar
1 jar Marshmallow fluff (7.5 oz.)
3/4 C Evaporated milk
1/4 C Butter (1/2 stick)
1-3/4 C HERSHEY'S Butterscotch Chips (11-oz. pkg.)
1 C Chopped salted mixed nuts (I used cashews)
1 t Vanilla extract

Line 8-inch square pan with foil, (I used parchment it worked fine) extending over edges of pan.

Combine sugar, marshmallow fluff, evaporated milk and butter in heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to full boil; boil and stir 5 minutes. Be REALLY careful here because this stuff spatters a lot, I’ve got the burns to prove it!

Remove from heat; gradually add butterscotch chips, stirring until chips are melted. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan; cool.

Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Remove from pan; place on cutting board. Peel off foil. Cut into squares. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. About 5 dozen pieces or about 2-1/4 pounds candy.

NOTE: For best results, do not double this recipe.

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