published Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Make fudge from sweet potatoes, pumpkins

Fare Exchange

Fare Exchange

By Jane Henegar

There's a go-round of requests today before you can dig into the recipes. I recently celebrated my birthday at Murphy's in Virginia Highlands and loved the biscuits. So I'm wanting a good recipe for light-as-a-feather biscuits. Also, the roasted beets were wonderful. Have any suggestions for roasting beets? And do you have a recipe for minestrone soup with lots of garlic that can be frozen? Also, I'm looking for simple, weeknight recipe for shrimp and grits. All these requests come from me, so I'm hoping to get more from you readers in the coming weeks.

Alice Ames came out of her family's sweet potato patch with a largess of sweet potatoes and went to work making sweet potato fudge. She got her answer, as you can see below. And she included the recipe for pumpkin fudge.

Sweet Potato Fudge

3 cups sugar

1 small can evaporated milk

11/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 sticks butter

1 cup cooked mashed sweet potatoes

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow creme

18 ounces butterscotch morsels

1 cup chopped nuts

Butter or grease an 8-inch pan. Mix sugar, evaporated milk, spice, butter and sweet potato in large saucepan. Cook to firm ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, marshmallow creme, butterscotch morsels and nuts. Stir until firm enough to pour into buttered 8-inch square pan. Fudge sets up quickly. Store in a covered container.

Pumpkin Fudge

3 cups white sugar

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Butter or grease an 8- by 8-inch pan. In a 3-quart saucepan, mix together sugar, milk, corn syrup, pumpkin and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling. Do not stir.

When mixture registers 232 F (110 C) on candy thermometer, or forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water, remove pan from heat. Stir in pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, butter and nuts. Cool to lukewarm (110 F or 43 C on candy thermometer).

Beat mixture until it is very thick and loses some of its gloss. Quickly pour into a greased 8-inch pan. When firm, cut into 36 squares.

William Corbin found this fascinating combination for a cake.

Sauerkraut Apple Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

16 ounces Strub's wine sauerkraut, rinsed well and squeezed thoroughly dry

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, coarsely grated and squeezed thoroughly dry

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

Heat oven to 350 F. Line bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with wax paper. Grease and flour pans. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg in medium-size bowl; set aside.

Mix sugars together in large bowl, breaking up any lumps. Whisk in eggs, then oil, until blended. Stir in sauerkraut, apple and nuts. Add flour mixture and stir just until moistened.

Spoon cake mix into prepared cake pans. Bake about 35 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Let cool 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. Spread cream cheese frosting on top of one cake. Top with second cake and frost top and sides.

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners sugar

31/2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons grated orange rind

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

Whip cream cheese, slowly adding sugar, until fluffy. Add heavy cream, orange rind, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well. Makes about 21/4 cups.

"J.M." wrote: "Our family makes peppermint bark for gifts, and I just found this recipe to try this year, for chocolate peppermint bark.

"If you don't have the time or inclination to temper the chocolate, either use candy coating or use untempered chocolate. If you use chocolate chips, don't try to temper them, simply melt them. Just be aware that untempered chocolate bark will melt easily, so it should always be stored in the refrigerator."

To find out how to temper, or melt chocolate so it won't turn cloudy, consult the Internet; ehow.com is a good source.

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

12 ounces (about 2 cups) dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips

12 ounces (about 2 cups) white chocolate, chopped, or white chocolate chips

8 peppermint candy canes

Unwrap candy canes and place them in a food processor. Pulse on/off several times for 5 to 10 seconds each, until the canes have been crushed into small pieces. Alternately, place the candy canes in a large resealable bag and seal tightly. Use a rolling pin to roll/smash the candy canes until they are the size you want.

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Melt dark chocolate in top of double boiler. Temper the dark chocolate by pouring it onto the foil-lined cookie sheet; use a spatula or knife to spread evenly, about 1/8-inch thick. The chocolate doesn't have to reach all sides of the sheet, as it will be broken up. Put the tray in the refrigerator to get firm.

While the dark chocolate hardens, melt or temper the white chocolate. Stir in most of the candy cane bits, reserving about 1/4 of the mixture to put on top. Remove the tray from the refrigerator and spread the white chocolate in an even layer over the dark chocolate. While white chocolate is wet, sprinkle remaining candy pieces evenly over the surface. Press down gently and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When the peppermint bark is hard, break into uneven pieces by hand.

How to Reach Us

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750.

E-mail: janehenegar@tvn.net

Fax: 423-668-5092.

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