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Edible Gifts: Fondant
Yummy! Here's a great edible gift to let your child make. I've included several variations for lots of fun!
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Pecan Fondant Logs
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (16 ounce) package confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 cups chopped pecans
1 In a large bowl, blend together the margarine, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.
2 Add confectioners sugar and mix well. Knead with hands and shape into rolls about 2 inches long and l/2 inch thick. Roll in crushed pecans and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3 Variation: If desired, prepare mocha logs by adding two teaspoons of instant coffee powder to the fondant before rolling into logs.
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup or 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Butter the sides of a heavy 1 1/2 quart saucepan. In pan combine sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. This should take 6 to 8 minutes. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan. cover and cook about 45 seconds more. Uncover; carefully clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook over medium-low heat, without stirring, till thermometer registers 240 degrees, soft-ball stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface. Reaching soft-ball stage should take about 35 minutes. Remove pan from heat; remove thermometer. Pour mixture onto a large platter. Do not scrape pan. Cool, without stirring, till slightly warm to the touch. This should take about 50 minutes. Beat with the wooden spoon till candy is white and firm. This should take about 10 minutes. Knead 5 minutes or till smooth. Form into a ball; wrap in clear plastic wrap. Let ripen at room temperature for 24 hours. Makes about 3/4 pound.
CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES
4 jars marashino cherries with stems -- (16 oz ea.)
1/4 c. dark rum or marashino liqueur (optional)
1 can sweetened condensed milk -- (14 oz)
2 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. almond flavouring
8 c. icing sugar
1 1/2 lb. good quality chocolate
You can get big jars of cherries at Costco. Remove 1 Tbsp cherry juice from each small jar and replace with rum. (optional). Let sit at least 4 hrs. The chocolate can be dark (my favorite) or milk chocolate, or even white or some of each. Drain the cherries, then drain on paper towels. They are easier to work with when they are dry. FONDANT: Mix sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup and extract (taste it, you may want more extract) in a large bowl. Gradually stir in icing sugar until well blended. You may need to work the last bit in with your hands. Cover well with plastic wrap. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Set aside. Keep fondant covered, while working so it doesn't dry out and get all crusty. Holding a rounded tsp. of fondant in your hand, press it into a 2 inch circle with your finger tips. Place a cherry in the centre and wrap completely, leaving the stem bare. Place on the cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining cherries. Rerigerate each cookie sheet at least 20 min., or up to 2 hrs. until fondant is firm. Melt chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat (careful it burns easily) or in the top of a double boiler over boiling water (make sure NO water gets into the chocolate for it will instantly harden). Pour some of the melted chocolate into a deep mug or measuring cup. Holding a fondant covered cherry by the stem, dip into the chocolate to coat. Let drip over the mug for a few seconds, then place again on lined cookie sheet. Repeat, remelting the chocolate when necessary. Refrigerate 10 min. until firm. Remove from frige, cover loosely and store at room temp. in covered container for 1 week to allow centres to liquify. Then refrigerate in airtight containers. ( I stored these for several weeks in a cool area, and they were just fine.) NOTES : The candy centres turn into liquid, in this easy but time consuming recipe.
You can make almost any flavor of fondant you desire simply by adding a few drops of a flavoring or extract to a fondant recipe. Flavorings and extracts are available at the grocery store or at a cake decorating shop. There is a wide variety available nowadays including anise, banana, cherry, coconut, wintergreen, peppermint, cinnamon, strawberry, etc. You could make several flavored fondants and then dip them in chocolate or other candy coating of your choice, for a wonderful box of treats.