Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with my Failed Fudge Filling

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Failed Fudge Filling - Candy Coated Culinista

Shortbread Cookie Sandwiches with Failed Fudge Filling – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe came about out of a sense of urgency. Here’s the story: I have successfully made a marshmallow chocolate fudge recipe. The recipe was perfect but it was also colder out; and as I’ve come to learn the hard way… fudge is very temperamental. If it’s humid the fudge will not set no matter what, not even in the freezer. Feeling the urge to not be wasteful and throw the failed attempts out I am using my two failed fudge recipes today: Cheesecake fudge attempt number 2 and Marshmallow Pecan fudge attempt number 2. I wanted to make something like an ice cream sandwich recipe, but without the ice cream and I thought to try making shortbread cookies, and break in my new cookie cutters, and also re-purpose my failed fudge as a decadent filling.

Difficulty level is: Medium

• 1 ¾ sticks butter, at room temperature
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp salt
• 2 tsp baking powder

Shortbread Cookies
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. Mix together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for 4 minutes.
3. Add the egg and reduce speed to low then add the flour slowly along with the salt and baking powder until combined.
4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Lightly flour your working surface and roll out the dough until its 1 inch thick.
6. Use the cookie cutters to stamp out cookies.
7. Now place dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
8. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden.
9. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Cookie Assembly
1. Spread the fudge spread into the middle of each cookie and place a second cookie on top, making a sandwich. Keep in mind not to spread the filling all the way to the edges.
2. Let the cookies set for a couple of hours and enjoy.

Please Enjoy

“ OMG, the shortbread is sooo insanely good!! Thank you. They look so yummy and shortbread is my weakness. oohhhhhhlalalalala!”
“Thank you for the yummy cookies … you are so thoughtful!! “

My thoughts
It felt great not wasting my failed recipes. The shortbread turned out well, just golden on the edges and crumbly. Mr. C loved these so much; he ate some of my cookies I had stashed away to practice my cookie decorating skills on. Luckily I caught him before he had the chance to eat them all.

Halloween Fudge

Halloween Fudge - Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween Fudge – Candy Coated Culinista

Orange & black are the colours of Halloween and I need a Halloween themed treat. These chocolatey melt in your hand fudge is decadent and scream Halloween to me.

Yield/Serving: 24 -30 pieces, depending on how big the squares
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1 can sweetened condensed milk, divided
• 8 oz. white candy melts
• 2 to 4 drops orange paste food colouring

1. Line an 8” square pan with foil/wax paper and let over hang and set aside.
Bottom Brown Layer
2. Using a microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips and 1 cup of milk on high for 30 seconds and stir.
3. Repeat for another 30 seconds until smooth.
4. Pour into the pan and chill for 10 minutes.
Top Orange Layer
5. In another microwave-safe bowl, melt candy melts with the remaining milk and stir until smooth.
6. Add in the extract and food colouring and spread over the chocolate layer.
7. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour until firm.
8. Remove the fudge using the foil.
9. Cut into squares and serve.

• If your orange chocolate layer is a little stiff add a tablespoon of 2% milk to loosen it up.

My thoughts
Mr. C’s co-workers enjoyed them and Mr. C. was munching on these at home for the next few days. If you need a quick last minute Halloween treat make these.

Please Enjoy

Marshmallow Pecan Fudge

Marshmallow Pecan Fudge - Candy Coated Culinista

Marshmallow Pecan Fudge – Candy Coated Culinista

Chocolate, marshmallows, pecans, cream and sugar … who can resist right?

From Ricardo Larrivee

Preparation Time: 25 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

• 1 ½ cups pecan halves
• 1 cup cream (35 %)
• 1 cup sugar
• 8 oz semi sweet chocolate
• 2 cups mini marshmallows

1. Toast the pecans in the oven or in a skillet.
2. In a saucepan, bring the cream and sugar to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat and add the chocolate, stirring constantly. Melt completely.
4. Simmer until a candy thermometer reads 112 °C (230 °F).
5. Remove from the heat and pour the fudge into a bowl.
6. Add the marshmallows and pecans and stir with a wooden spoon for 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Spread the fudge into a parchment paper lined 13 x 23-cm (5 x 9-inch) pan.
8. Cool completely, then cut into cubes

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was really happy with how this turned out and I could see pecan chunks with each bite. It was a nice mix of crunchy, chewy and soft. The second time I made this it was a Lemony Letdown. It was a humid day when I attempted this and making fudge on a humid day is always a bad idea, so I re-purposed the fudge.

Lemony Letdowns: Vanilla Cheesecake Fudge Attempt 1, 2, 3 (my “white whale”)

Have you ever seen a recipe you love? I mean everything about it, the idea, the name, the concept, the picture it drums up in your mind. Now as you may or may not know I’m not a fan of cheese cake, yet I make cheesecake for others. I really wanted this fudge recipe to work so badly, but for some reason it would not set. Mr. C. and I are suspecting it the cream cheese that won’t allow this to set, and that’s the main ingredient. So what is a Culinista to do? She keeps trying and trying to re-invent this recipe until it works, or until she goes crazy (“white whale”). Every time I do this recipe I get a little glimmer of hope, I say “I think this one’s going to work” only for it to be dashed away in the morning when I open the fridge to see an un-set mess before me. So I then say “maybe I can fast set it in the freezer.” To my chagrin this also doesn’t help and I am left stumped and sad.

I have read articles on “the chemistry of fudge” and yet I cannot get this to work. I sometimes want to give up, but then cream cheese goes on sale and its attempt # (fill in the appropriate number here.) The only good thing to come out of this is that on attempt 2, I learned the concept of re-purposing my disasters. Until then I was only re-purposing food sauces, and other ingredients.

Yield/Serving: 12 – 24 pieces (depending on size)
Difficulty level is: I’m going to say hard as this was a huge colossal fail or this type of fudge is not meant for me.

Attempt 1: From. Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to make at home by Nina Wanat
• 4 cups of sugar
• ½ cup corn syrup
• 6 ounces of milk
• 1 vanilla bean, scraped, seeds only
• 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup dried fruit, such as cherries or blueberries.

1. Oil an 8” round cake pan.
2. Bring the sugar, corn syrup, milk, and vanilla seeds to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula. Boil to 250°F, stirring frequently. The syrup will become a light brown colour.
3. Pour mixture into a 9” x 13” baking pan, and let cool to 120°F, about 20 minutes.
4. Scrape the syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer, and add the cream cheese and salt. Mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, and then mix on high-speed until the mixture thickens slightly and begins to hold its shape, about 10 minutes.
5. Pour into prepared cake pan, and sprinkle with dried fruit. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
6. Unmold from the pan and cut in wedge-shaped cake slices. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This was a complete and utter failure. It never set and was runny in the pan in the freezer. The dried fruits sunk to the bottom of the pan so I ended up tossing it out.

Attempt 2
• 4 cups of sugar
• 1 vanilla bean, scraped, seeds only
• 4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup dried fruit, such as cherries or blueberries.

My variation
1. Put sugar, vanilla bean, cream cheese and salt together in mixer and mix until recipe thickens.
2. Pour into a pie dish or pan lined with plastic wrap and lightly oiled to set in fridge.
3. Add dried fruits and allow to set overnight.

My second attempt was less wet as I wanted to see if I could get it to firm up with less liquid in the recipe; but it still wouldn’t set.

Attempt 3
A fudge recipe that has worked for me before.
• 1 package of cream cheese
• 1 ½ cup white chocolate chopped then melted in microwave in 30 sec intervals stirring every time
• 1 container of vanilla or cream cheese frosting (454g)
• 4 drops of vanilla extract

1. Put all ingredients together in mixer and mix until recipe thickens.
2. Pour into a pie dish or pan lines with plastic wrap and lightly oiled to set in fridge. (Overnight to a day)
3. Depends on your altitude, humidity, fridge setting. Or try freezer. Like I said this is a temperamental foe.

My result was the best yet, but still a little too soft. This recipe was a total experiment on my end, I tossed all caution to the wind and winged it with the very limited confection knowledge I have.

Please Don’t Enjoy

My thoughts
I’m not going to give up, I will keep trying every once and awhile. Check back here for more trials and errors.

Campfire Fudge

Campfire Fudge - Candy Coated Culinista

Campfire Fudge – Candy Coated Culinista

I had all the ingredients to make fudge, and since I was on the love side of this love hate relationship I have with fudge today, I’m making some fudge.

Yield/Serving: 16 pieces (about a 1” square)
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Fridge Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 16oz White Chocolate, chopped
• 1 can(340g) vanilla frosting
• 100g S’mores toppings

1. Lightly spray with cooking spray a 9” x 9” dish, and the place saran wrap into the dish and make sure it takes the form of the pan.
2. Now spray the saran wrap.
3. Using a sharp knife chop the white chocolate into pieces.
4. Place in a microwave safe bowl and melt. (Stop the microwave at 30 second intervals and stir as to not burn the chocolate). Feel free temper the chocolate (see my “How to Temper Chocolate” for full instructions)
5. Pour the frosting into the melted chocolate and stir.
6. Add in the S’mores topping at the last moment to not crush the topping too much.
7. Pour Fudge into dish and even out.
8. Place in fridge and let sit for 1 hour.
9. Once set remove from dish from fridge and remove saran wrap.
10. Cut into 16 pieces.

• President’s Choice makes a S’more’s topping for ice cream, but I thought fudge can work too and save me the work.

Please Enjoy

I didn’t ask Mr. C. for a review but he is snacking on it a bunch, so I think I did okay. He said smaller squares would be good as it is so rich.

Co-workers of Mr. C. said the piece was small enough to think they could finish it in one sitting, but once they took a few bites the richness hits, along with the sugar rush. They loved it but definitely had to savour it.

My thoughts
It’s sweet but it definitely tastes like s’mores to me. Next time I will try milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate as they are less sweet than white chocolate. However, I was told by a few to keep the white chocolate even though it is sweeter, so I may half the white chocolate and substitute the other half with milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate.

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