The Joy of Spam Folder Cooking

Category: Candy

Chocolate Coated Almonds

This week my spam folder brought me Chocolate Coated Almonds.  I thought it was a repeat, because I’ve made them before but this recipe is different.  Though because I’ve made chocolate covered almonds, I decided ‘eh, let’s make chocolate covered pecans this time’.  I adore pecans, which is more than I can say for almonds.  I know almonds are good for you, but I think they’re best when drenched in chocolate.

The recipe:

Chocolate Coated Almonds.

Select nuts that are plump at the ends. Use them without blanching. Brush, to remove 
dust.  Melt "Dot" Chocolate and when cooled properly drop the nuts, one at a time, 
into the center of it; push the nuts under with the fork, then drop onto waxed 
paper or oil cloth. In removing the fork make a design on the top of each nut. 
These are easily prepared and are particularly good.

Since this recipe was ignored more than I paid attention to it, I thought I’d make my own version, available at the end of this rambling.

First, I couldn’t find “Dot” chocolate.  I couldn’t even find a reference to it.  Instead, I used Baker’s Dipping Chocolate.

Baker's Dipping Chocolate

Baker’s Dipping Chocolate

Then, I needed to toast the pecans.  I normally do this in the oven, but I decided hey, I have a microwave, that should be faster.  Using this information I threw pecans in a bowl with a little Canola oil and sea salt and zapped away.  It turns out, toasting pecans in the microwave takes only 45 seconds.  Plus, they’re REALLY tasty.  I may have eaten a few.

Toasted Pecans

Toasted Pecans

Then I melted the chocolate as instructed on the container and dipped the pecans into it.

Chocolate Covered Pecans

Chocolate Covered Pecans

I was a little bit messy.  It’s hard to be perfectly not-messy doing this, and I will never achieve that goal.  I’m just a little bit messy.  Though I do clean up!

I put the pecans in the refrigerator to let the chocolate set, then had myself a tasting.

I ate more than the freshly toasted ones.  These things are GOOD.  What I didn’t eat, Fred did.

Now the official recipe for chocolate covered pecans.

Chocolate Covered Pecans

  • 1 pound pecans
  • 1 can Baker's Dipping Chocolate
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Canola Oil

Place half the pecans into a bowl and drizzle with a little canola oil and sprinkle with sea salt (to taste). Microwave for 45 seconds. Repeat with the rest of the pecans.

Melt the Baker's Dipping Chocolate as instructed.

Dip the pecans into the Chocolate and place on wax paper.

Chill the pecans until the chocolate is set.

Until next time, toodles!

Cocoa Fudge

My spam recipe was so SO so very kind to me this week.  I mean, just delightful.  It brought me a recipe for Cocoa Fudge.  What could be nicer?  Fudge!  Awesome!

I’ve never had much luck making fudge for some reason, but in the interests of writing this, I decided I’d try again.  I mean, normally fudge for me turns out runny rather that fudgey, but maybe this time I’d get it right.  It couldn’t hurt to try, right?  I mean, fudge isn’t going to burn my kitchen down.

Cocoa Fudge

  • ¬Ω a cup of milk,
  • 3 level tablespoonfuls of butter,
  • 2 ¬Ω cups of powdered sugar,
  • 6 tablespoonfuls of Baker's Cocoa,
  • Pinch of salt,
  • 1 teaspoonful of vanilla.

Mix all ingredients together but vanilla; cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to boil, then cook slowly, stirring occasionally, eight or ten minutes, or until it makes a firm ball when dropped in cold water. When cooked enough, add the vanilla and beat until it seems like very cold molasses in winter. Pour into a buttered pan; when firm, cut in squares. Great care must be taken not to beat too much, because it cannot be poured into the pan, and will not have a gloss on top.

So the recipe says to stir “eight or ten minutes, or until it makes a firm ball when dropped in cold water”.  Personally, I think it’s one of those unmentioned sins to  drop fudge into water and not eat it.  That’s just wrong in my book.  So I decided to ask my favorite search engine if there’s a particular temperature that I should be heating it to, rather than dropping the fudge into the water.

Wouldn’t you know it, there was! It’s called the firm ball stage.  That’s truly a shocking name, right?  You want to drop it into the water and get a firm ball, so call it a firm ball stage.  According to that web page, that’s around 245° to 250° degrees.  I pulled out my trusty candy thermometer (that normally only gets used around Christmas) and put it to work.

This is what it looked like when I put everything into the pan, not very appetizing, is it?  I did change the recipe slightly, rather than using Baker’s Chocolate I used my favorite Ghirardhelli chocolate, but that shouldn’t change anything, right?

The Beginnings of Fudge

The Beginnings of Fudge

Anyway, after it cooked for a while it looked like this:

Cooking Fudge

Cooking Fudge

Once it finally reached the 250° mark on my thermometer, I added the vanilla extract and started stirring.  I’ve never played with molasses in the winter, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was aiming for.  I went for the ‘kinda stiff to stir but still stirable’ as my guide.

And this is what it looked like when it set!

Fudge!

Fudge!

 

Fred said it tasted like sugar… with a side of chocolate.  He said next time, make fudge with more chocolate.  I was just happy that my fudge wasn’t soup!

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