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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Oh Fudge! I Baked It!

Sometimes, you just need to give into that moment of weakness, especially when circumstances hit you squarely in the face. That is what happened this past Wednesday. As most of my Wednesdays are accounted for in the month of February, I found it necessary to put Cookbook Wednesdays on the back burner for a while. Thankfully, you “guys” have been terrific about it and for those of you who were all geared up for it, Marjie was more than willing to carry the torch. Thank you all.

This past Wednesday I found myself betwixt and between a few pressing engagements with about two hours to spare for whatever. What a welcome surprise. Of course, with Cookbook Wednesday still fresh in my mind, and knowing it would be starting back up in March, I decided to reorganize some books and pick out a few that I would like to share in the coming weeks. While I was busily trying to reorganize, a small pile of advertising books that I was going to put in a binder tumbled off the dining room table and on to the floor. I tried to catch them midstream but the only one I caught was this Washington Flour Cook Book. Thank goodness I didn’t tear it and the others survived without a blemish:)

Washington Flour Cookbook

Naturally, I had to give it a quick browse before finding a safe place to put it. Right smack in the middle of the book I noticed this recipe for Baked Fudge. (If I had to guess, I'd say this book is from the 1930s)

“Baked

Baked Fudge I thought, "never heard of it." Fudge yes, baked no! Hmmmm I thought, “I think I’ll whip some up right now.” And so I did!

Baked Fudge

It winds up, the Wilkins-Rogers Milling Company is still in business and has been for over 100 years. Not only that, but according to their company history page, they have three mills right here in Pennsylvania!

Wilkins Rogers Mills was established in 1913 in Washington, D.C., when Howard Wilkins and Samuel Rogers purchased a flour mill near the waterfront in Georgetown. This mill produced soft wheat flours and feeds for customers throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area under the “Washington” brand…

In 1972, WRM purchased Spanglers Flour Mill in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. Over the years, this mill has been expanded and upgraded, most significantly in 1994 when a second milling unit was added and grain storage was increased. Today, this mill offers its own unique capabilities to provide our customers with a broader array of options, in addition to supporting multi-mill supply chain backup and redundancy.

In 2008, WRM acquired its third mill, the Palmyra Milling Company in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. This mill has two separate milling units which provide extra capacity and flexibility to complement the other two mills.

Funny thing is, I don’t recall seeing their flours in any of the grocery store around here but, I do recall spying a couple of sacks of Indian Head Corn Meal every now and again. It’s one of their products also. They have a nice selection of corn meal recipes on their website for those of you who are interested. In the mean time, I have a fudge story to share:)

So, what do you think of how the Baked Fudge looks ready to go in the oven? Looks a bit like the makings of a fudgy brownie doesn’t it? With the exception of the butter not being at room temperature, it whipped up fairly easily. The only change I made to the recipe was exchanging the vanilla extract for a teaspoon of Kahlúa. (remember Kahlúa Day is February 27th:) Not that I need an excuse:) I figured if I was going to go off my “diet” for Baked Fudge, it needed to have some Kahlúa in it:)

While the Baked Fudge was in the oven, and since I still had a few minutes, I decided to do a quick google search to see if there were any other recipes on line. Wouldn’t you know it, there was at the the Pioneer Woman’s blog. As a matter of fact, it was a Valentine themed recipe she shared in 2009. Many of the other Baked Fudge recipes I stumbled upon were adaptations of her recipe. However, after checking the ingredients and method, I noticed that they were not like the above recipe.

Again, there was an exception, Cleora Butler's Baked Fudge. Not only do I have the recipe for this unique fudge, I also have the book it came from. I considered sharing Cleora’s Kitchens today especially since February is Black History Month, however, this book and her story are so fascinating, they really deserve a post of their own. I will say, her recipe for Baked Fudge was served at The Garden Restaurant in Tulsa Oklahoma until its demise. It was the most requested dessert on the menu. This will be the first book I share for Cookbook Wednesdays in March. Here’a just a nibble:)

“Cleora

How did my Baked Fudge turn out? Not too good I’m afraid. Well, let’s put it this way. As far as I was concerned, it wasn’t worth me breaking my “diet.” Granted, I did get a bit impatient, and I was also in a rush by this time, so I cut it up in to squares “while still warm” as the recipe directed. If you take a look at the recipe way at top, you will notice there are no directions for how long to bake it. The recipe simply states to bake it at 325 degrees “until firm but not brown.” I baked it 35 minutes at 300 degrees because it was baking in a glass dish and I didn’t want to take any chances with it burning. After 35 minutes, I did the toothpick test and it passed so I took it out of the oven. I know it may not look like it, but, any longer in the oven would not have been good.

Baked Fudge

I did leave some of the Baked Fudge in the pan until I got back home. By that time it had firmed up a bit and looked more like something worthy of sinking ones teeth into. It just didn't do it for me. I like my fudge dense and sweet and my brownies fudgy. I guess you could say this was somewhere in between. Marion, btw, loved it! (she has her appetite back, thank goodness:)

Baked Fudge

I won’t be making this Baked Fudge again. Chances are I won’t be baking Cleora Butler’s Baked Fudge either because both have way too much butter in them for my cholesterol watching diet. And anyway, there are a ton of healthier choices out there with the same sweet appeal:) Which reminds me, I want to give a shout out to Gaye, hostess of Laws of the Kitchen. Back in January she shared her thoughts on a Spinach, Feta, and Almond Risotto dish she prepared for Wednesdays with Donna Hay. I was so intrigued by the concept of cooking the risotto in the oven that I gave it a try with my own little twists. It worked like a charm! Thanks Gaye!

Just one more thing, and, it’s an important one! Congratulations to my grandson Noah and his “associate.” They one First Place in the Idaho regional division for their Fitness Hero invention. Next stop, Idaho State Finals! Good Luck Boys!!! (I’m not including the other little boy’s picture without asking his mommy first:)

Just in case you missed February’s Clickable Food Celebration Calendar, it has been moved over to the side bar. If you click it, you will be brought to a full size image of the calendar. You might want to check out today's link. It’ about a Mary Lasswell an author whose humorous novels about life in Southern California and Texas were popular in the 1940's and 50's. There's a recipe for Salsa Brava there too:) Enjoy Louise:)