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Happy Halloween!  Are you prepared for Fright Night?  Do you have your bowl of candy ready for the neighborhood horde children?  Did you shop for goodies you thought the trick-or-treaters would like, or what your husband/roommate/children would eat left over?  (I did the latter.)  The truth is, I have never really “done” Halloween– sure, I went out around the neighborhood as a child, but I haven’t worn a costume in 20 years or so.  I don’t have decorations up around the house, inside or out, which makes us stand out in the neighborhood in a big way.  We are one of the only stops on our block without purple or orange lights strung on the fence or railing, cobwebs on the shrubs, skulls lining the walkway or mechanical spiders waving legs at passersby and making the dogs bark.  (Ours goes crazy at the mechanical spider.  It is hilarious.)

I blame lack of exposure.  We don’t have children and, for the past 11 years, we lived in an apartment complex that had zero trick-or-treat action.  Now that we’re in the ‘burbs, Seattle-wise, I am ready to do this!  I have a bowl of candy ready to go, successfully hidden from my husband for three days so far.  The walkway is swept, the light will be on and maybe I will rig up some sort of costume.  At the very least, I will wear orange.  I am a little excited.

As Halloween-rookie as I am, I know that homemade goodies are not well-received as handouts.  That said, as I was getting in the spirit (pun intended?) yesterday, I decided to make some pumpkin fudge.  I roasted a pumpkin Saturday and got almost twice as much puree from it as I expected, so I have been scrambling a little for pumpkin recipes.  I also plan to make some candy for Christmas gifts, so a few dry runs on some of the new recipes won’t hurt.  I have never made fudge before, but the recipe looked straightforward, so I decided to give it a go.  The final product set beautifully; it has an attractive caramel color and a creamy but crumbly consistency.  It is sweeeeeeeeet.  But isn’t all fudge sweet?  Hmm.  I am going to consult my Mom about the possibility of cutting down the sugar in future batches.  I also want more pumpkin flavor and more spice.  If I had it to do again, I would double the amount of pumpkin puree and cinnamon.  In spite of this, it is a very tasty treat, and it was a great introductory fudge recipe.  If you didn’t know that I made pumpkin fudge, you might think it was penuche, and there is nothing wrong with tricking someone into thinking he is eating penuche.

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

  • 2 c. white sugar
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 5 oz. evaporated milk
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 2 c. white chocolate chips
  • 7 oz. marshmallow creme
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. chopped pecans (opt.)

Line a 9″ x 13″ pan with tin foil, allowing it to hang over all four sides.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan, mix sugars, evaporated milk, pumpkin & spices until combined.  Add butter and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Allow to boil for 10-12 minutes, continuing to stir constantly.  Add white chocolate, marshmallow, vanilla and pecans (if using) all at once, stirring vigorously for one minute to melt and incorporate the white chocolate and marshmallow.  Pour immediately into the foiled pan and tilt to spread mixture to each corner.  Cool untouched, at room temperature, on a wire rack for 2 hours or until firm.  Using overhanging foil as a handle, remove fudge block from the pan and cut into 1″ squares.

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