Fish Custard Fudge

Ah, Bakers Anonymous family, you know about Doctor Who, don’t you? While I didn’t grow up watching it on television like my father, I’d heard the wonderful stories of the man with the blue box and even watched a taped movie or two.

Sadly, I wasn’t much interested in the Doctor when I was younger, but when we heard that the show was coming back to television after a decade and a half absence, my siblings and I were very excited.

I mean, seriously. What kid doesn’t love new television shows? And then we watched it.

Blown. Away.

And we’ve been watching ever since. I became particularly obsessed with the David Tennant doctor ’cause, well, he’s freakin’ awesome. Also, I loved the love story between the Doctor and Rose. Ah, romance. And then the Doctor died.

Boo.

But then there was Matt Smith! And we were all like, eh, Matt Smith. But then he turned out to be pretty cool. He wore a fez!

And after watching the below episode of Doctor Who (featuring a recently regenerated Doctor), I couldn’t get fish custard out of my head. None of the previous episodes had ever really focused on food.

So this was a pleasant surprise. And it made me want to do something with it.

And then, I promptly forgot about it, until I came across a certain seller on Etsy offering up “fish custard” fudge. Uh, yes please? After a search for a fish custard fudge recipe came up fruitless, yielding only this really cool post for fish stick cookies from Bakingdom, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Besides, what else could I give my daddy for Father’s Day but Doctor Who fudge?

Fish Custard Fudge

Based on a recipe from Kraft Recipes.

Ingredients
8 oz. of white chocolate (I ended up using 11 oz of white chocolate)
1/2 C butter
1/3 C water
1 3.9 oz package of French Vanilla pudding
3 C powdered sugar
5 oz bag of Swedish Fish

Directions
1. Chop your Swedish Fish to bits. For what I knew I’d be mixing inside the fudge, I tried to make the pieces as small as possible. To top off the fudge, I cut a fish into three pieces.

2. Line an 8×8 pan with foil. I ended up using a larger pan, but that just means thinner fudge.

3. Microwave half of the chocolate, six tbsp. butter and water in large microwaveable bowl until butter is melted; stir. It took about a minute, minute and a half for me.

4. Add dry pudding mix. Stir two minutes.

5. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. After the second cup, I added in the Swedish fish bits. Mixing in the third cup of powdered sugar might be tough; it’s okay if you don’t use it all.

6. Press onto bottom of prepared pan.

The next step is only necessary if you want to top your fudge with extra chocolate. Since white chocolate is very temperamental, use at your own discretion. If you don’t want the chocolate, go straight to decorating with fish parts! 

7. Microwave remaining chocolate squares and butter until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate until chocolate is thoroughly mixed in. Spread over pudding mixture.

8. Press the Swedish Fish parts into the top of the fudge. I was able to fit six parts across to four rows.

9. Refrigerate until just firm. Using the fish pieces as your cutting guideline, cut out 24 pieces. If you are using a smaller pan, you may have less. Keep refrigerated. To serve, let come to room temperature.

This fudge is light and fluffy, like a marshmallow, but still thick enough to provide you with a solid bite.

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Chocolate Crunch Cups

So, I’m more than a little in love with Star Crunch.

Oh, you know what I’m talking about. That delicious, chewy caramel middle, the crunchy crisps around it and that milk chocolate coating.

Sure, it’s packed with preservatives and maybe none of it is real chocolate, crisps or caramel, but that doesn’t stop me from buying a box every now and again to enjoy the sweet, sweet taste of summertime and childhood.

The best part about making your own Star Crunch is that it takes hardly any time at all. The worst part is that I still haven’t figured out the exact recipe. For now, we’ll stick with these. Next time, homemade Star Crunch perfection. You better believe it.

Chocolate Crunch Cups

Igredients
1 box of Rice Krispies (not the big box. The smaller one)
1 jar of Herhey’s caramel topping
1 10 oz package of Nestle’s dark chocolate morsels

Directions
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the chocolate chips and the caramel sauce.
2. Microwave for one minute at thirty second intervals, making sure to stir in between. After the one minute, stir the chocolate and caramel until smooth.
3. Mix in half the box of Rice Krispies. Thoroughly coat the cereal.
4. Add the rest of the cereal for a super crunchy treat or a quarter box more for crunchy and chocolatey treat. I went for the whole box because I don’t wait. Ever.
5. Once you’re finished mixing in the cereal, pack cupcake liners with as much of the cereal mixture as you want. I filled my liners as high as small cupcakes.
6. Put these in the fridge to set up. I also keep my cups in there for storage. It’s getting warm out.

Makes thirty cupcake-sized cups or sixty half-sized bites. I say, perfect for a party!

Niki’s Note: Stay tuned for when I update this recipe with an even closer version to the real thing!

Product Review: Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Bars

My dear Bakers Anonymous family, sometimes I get tired of eating baked goods.

I know, I know, blasphemy. How can I not want to eat baked goods all the time, right? Between the cakes, cookies, brownies, bars and other numerous baked treats, how could I want for anything else?

I don’t know, my friends, but there are days when I just a darn chocolate bar.

A few weeks ago, I heard about these Girl Scouts cookie bars from CRUNCH and thought I was going insane. What do you mean, my beloved chocolate bars are combining with Girl Scout cookies? Are you trying to blow my mind? And then I heard they weren’t coming out until June, and suddenly, I was a lot less excited.

But then, when I was in CVS on Sunday afternoon, innocently heading to the pharmacy in the back of the store, I spotted the display of Girl Scout cookie bars. I did a double take, a triple take, and then started to drool over the display of individual (AND BOXED. THEY SOLD ‘EM IN BOXES) bars – Thin Mint, Caramel and Coconut (Samoa) and Peanut Butter Creme (Tagalongs).

Since I don’t like peanut butter cookies (that doesn’t make me Communist, I swear), I only picked out the first two.

The Thin Mint candy bars might as well be the cookies themselves. If there’s one thing companies around the world have managed to do, it’s perfectly replicated the delicious and delicate balance of chocolate and mint. Inside the bar are chocolate wafer layers, topped with what seems like the exact same mint creme used in the regular cookies and a sprinkling of puffed rice on top (to make it more Crunch bar-like?)

As for the Samoas, which are my undeniable favorite in Girl Scout cookie form, these bites are drizzled in orange caramel topping, filled with crispy wafer layer, more caramel and a hint of toasted coconut, which you can see just under the coating of milk chocolate. Overall, these are mildly sweet and the chocolate has an artificial taste that takes away from what could potentially be an amazing treat.

So there you have it. These are definitely worth the $1.19 each I paid, though I wish (oh, do I ever) that the caramel ones were much closer to their namesakes. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for these Keebler Coconut Dreams. Not like I”m complaining.

– Niki

Niki’s Note: By the way, these things taste a million times better if they’re refrigerated over night. I highly recommend it!

Chocolate covered Oreos

Bakers Anonymous family, change sucks, doesn’t it? Sometimes change can be great, like when you change your hairstyle or when you decide that maybe it’s okay to go to school without your “security hoodie” anymore. And sometimes, a change can represent the loss of an important person or place. For me, this time around, it’s the latter.

As of today, my newspaper office is officially closed. I’m in a new office, working for the same paper, but without the team that kept me sane since I first showed up as a desk editor last October. We laughed about so many stupid things – conspiracy theories, weird occurrences heard over the police scanner and yes, even our fair share of arguments. We’ve forgotten to place ads, structured pages wrong and forgotten to correct copy-editing mistakes. And now, after what seems like much longer than my eight months, I’ve been forced to depart from that team and hole up in an office already packed with people.

Not really looking forward to it, to be honest.

But, in the spirit of keeping the last day light (and making a treat that I’d seen on Pinterest), I brought in these chocolate-covered Oreos.

Because I’m just that awesome.

These were a total hit in the office. And the best part is that you can customize these any way you want – different colored coatings, sets of sprinkles and maybe even a surprise inside the cookie? 🙂 Go crazy!

Chocolate Covered Oreos

Ingredients
1  15.5 oz package of Reduced Fat Oreos (Hey, we’re already coating them in chocolate. Why not help everyone out a little?)
1 16 oz package of Candiquik (I found this at my local Target in the baking supplies section, but if you can’t find Candiquik, candy coating or white chocolate will work well)
1 container of sprinkles or other toppings

Directions
1. Cover a cookie sheet in foil.
2. Follow the directions on the Candiquik package to melt the chocolate (mine took one and a half minutes to melt in the microwave).
3. Carefully roll the Oreos in the coating. Place the covered Oreos on the foil. Immediately dash on some sprinkles (or whatever toppings of your choice).
4. Refrigerate for up to ten minutes before placing into decorative bags, etc.

My tray of Candiquick produced 25 covered Oreos, but I’m not stingy with the chocolate. It was a think coating. Mmm. I could have made these on sticks, too, but I think I need Double Stuffed Oreos for that.

Cookie dough bites (gluten free!)

You know those days that are all humid and gross and there’s nothing you can do to keep your hair straight and it just curls right back up even though you don’t like your hair like that?

Yeah. May has been kind of like that. Darn you, naturally curly hair.

With that in mind, when the weather is humid, not only do I get uber grumpy about my hair, but I also don’t want to bake anything. And I most CERTAINLY don’t want to cook anything that doesn’t require the sole use of a microwave.

God bless that invention.

So, among my many travelings on Pinterest (and with a little inspiration from my bestie, Kyle, who adores the movie theatre version of today’s treat), I came across this recipe for cookie dough bites. The only change I made to the recipe was replacing the regular flour with King Arthur gluten-free multi-purpose flour because I thought it would be a nice change from the usual. Unfortunately, my good intentions went awry. I recommend using regular flour in these treats.

Cookie dough bites

Ingredients:
1 C butter, softened
1.5 C packed light brown sugar (so apparently I put 1/4 C less than I was supposed to; oops)
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 2 tsp, probably to make up for messing up on the sugar)
2 C flour
12 oz mini chocolate chips (1 bag)

Directions
1. Cream the butter and sugar together. It’s probably best if you remember to use all the sugar, unlike someone. *cough cough* me *cough cough*
2. Add in the vanilla extract, then the flour. First, mix in one cup, then stir in half of the chocolate chips. This will keep them from falling out to the bottom of the bowl. Then mix in the rest of the flour.
3. Roll into as big or small a ball as you want. I made mine about 1 tablespoon or less. These bites are rich! Put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
4.  Melt the rest of the chocolate chips in the microwave. I heat for 30 seconds, stir up the chocolate chips, and then heat for another 30 seconds. I’ve burnt too much chocolate to not have the utmost control over my timing.
5. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookie dough balls. (Obviously I didn’t do a very good job, and some of my cookie dough balls ended being attached at the chocolate string.)

Makes five dozen, depending on what size you make them.
Store these in the fridge. They will get soft if you leave them out long enough.