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MICROWAVE FUDGE

MICROWAVE FUDGE

16 oz powdered sugar
1/2 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder (no sugar)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts

1. Combine powdered sugar and cocoa in 1 quart microwave-safe glass bowl (I use the kind that looks like a big measuring cup — L).

2. Add milk and melted butter; DO NOT MIX.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes; then stir.

3. Add vanilla and nuts. Stir until mixed.

4. Pour into greased 9x9-inch pan. Cool and cut into squares.

5. Store, covered, in cool, dry place.

MICROWAVE CARAMEL CORN

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 to 9 qt. popped corn 
(remove all unpopped corn, I pop mine with my air popper, and NO oil — L.)

1. Mix sugar, butter, syrup and salt in large glass bowl.

2. Microwave on high until it begins to boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Then remove from microwave.

3. Stir in soda. This will bubble up far in the bowl, so make sure you use a large one.

4. Put popped corn in a large brown paper bag.  Pour caramel mixture over popcorn.

5. Fold bag in half, and place in microwave. Microwave on high 4 or 5 minutes, taking out every minute and shaking the bag  (use hot pads on your hands).

6. Spread corn on waxed paper to cool. If necessary, separate clumps of corn. Store in airtight container.

Linda’s Note: This is made in a small batch, so you can use the microwave bowl; mine is glass and shaped like a big measuring cup and has a handle and a pouring spout. I love it! Make as many batches as you want. Even use white sugar, food coloring and add a flavoring just before you pour the hot mixture onto the corn. I make red and add strawberry flavoring.

PEANUT CLUSTERS

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup name-brand peanut butter
1 cup Spanish peanuts
1/4 bar paraffin wax
(I cut or shave into pieces so it melts faster — L)

1. Melt together chocolate chips, peanut butter and paraffin.

2. Add the peanuts, and stir

3. Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper and let set.

4. Store in covered container in cool, dry place.

*The next 2 recipes are from Kathaleen Brennand, Oshkosh, WI.

LIGHT FRUIT CAKE

3 lbs mixed candied fruit 
3 lbs golden raisins
1 lb coconut
1 lb broken nut meats - - walnuts or pecans 
20 ounce can crushed pineapple, do not drain

Combine above ingredients in large container.

Add 2 cups of orange juice.

Cover and let stand overnight.  Then add 2 cups all-purpose flour.
Stir to coat the fruit mixture thoroughly.

Some bags of fruit, nuts and coconut are not exactly a pound, maybe 14 or 15 ounces. This is OK. The mixture in each batch may vary depending on the amount of individual ingredients you add.

Batter:
Cream
1 lb softened butter
2¼ cups white sugar

Add - -
12 medium eggs, one at a time, beating well
1 tbsp vanilla

Sift together - -
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Gradually combine the dry ingredients with the creamed mixture. Beat well. Fold the batter into the fruit mixture until thoroughly mixed.

Divide this batter into six 8x3¾x2½-inch aluminum foil loaf pans. There also may be enough batter two fill two or three mini loaf pans (5-¾x3¼x2 inches).

Decorate the top of each loaf with three red candied cherries.

Bake at 250° for about 2½ hours. Kathaleen puts a pie plate containing water on the bottom of the oven rack. This helps keep the fruit cakes moist. Cool loaves completely. Put each loaf in a plastic freezer bag, and store in a cool place. Loaves may be frozen.

If batches are made in early November and set aside, they will become more flavorful and be ready for Christmas gift giving.

DARK FRUIT CAKE

3 lbs mixed candied fruit
3 lbs dark raisins
2 lbs cut up dates
1 lb broken nutmeats -- walnuts or pecans
20 ounce can crushed pineapple -- do not drain

Combine the above ingredients in a large container.  
Add:
2 cups fruit juice (orange, apple, etc)
Mix well. Cover, and let stand overnight.

Then add:
2 cups all-purpose flour, and stir to coat the fruit mixture thoroughly.

Some bags of fruit and nuts are not exactly a pound, maybe 14 or 15 oz. This is OK. The mixture in each batch may vary depending on the amount of individual ingredients you add.

Batter:
Cream
1 lb softened butter
1 lb (2 cups, packed) brown sugar

Add:
12 medium eggs, one at a time, beating well.

Sift together:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves

Gradually combine the dry ingredients with the creamed mixture. Beat well.

Fold the batter into the fruit mixture until thoroughly mixed.  Divide this batter into six 8x3¾x2½-inch aluminum foil pans.

Decorate the top of each loaf with three green candied cherries.

Bake at 250 degrees for about 2½ hours. (Kathaleen puts a pie plate containing water on the bottom oven rack. This helps to keep the fruitcakes moist).
Cool loaves completely. Put each loaf in a plastic freezer bag and store in a cool place. Loaves may be frozen.

If batches are made in early November and set aside, they will become more flavorful and be ready for Christmas gift giving.

Here is an email note from one of our readers:

We enjoyed the Nut Mallow Goodies recipe that you had in last week's column (2 weeks ago???).  Two of us ate an 8x8 pan in two days!

I did make some changes. I thought that a whole cup of them would make the candy taste too strongly of butterscotch, so I used 1/2 cup of butterscotch chips and 1½ cups semi-sweet chips. I also used a whole cup of mini marshmallows instead of 1/3 cup.

Thanks for the candy idea. We'll make this recipe again.

Teri Panzer

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