Penuche Fudge #SundaySupper

Penuche Fudge

Candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.  Those are Buddy the Elf’s favorite food groups.  I have to admit, they sound pretty good to me.  Who needs a balanced diet?  I often joke sugar is at the bottom of my food pyramid, but in all seriousness I love both healthy foods and sweet treats.  It’s all about balance and moderation.

With all the sugary goodness, it’s no wonder Elf is one of my favorite holiday movies.  It’s just not Christmas without Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Love Actually.  What makes Elf so great is that it’s funny . . . no . . . hilarious, while still being moving and heartfelt.  So many Christmas movies are rather depressing, but not Elf.  Maybe one day there’ll be an Elf 2!

Penuche Fudge

Penuche Fudge

Just a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to see Elf the Musical.  It wasn’t quite as good as the movie, but it was still a fun night out and a good show.  Like the movie, it was funny and uplifting.  The original songs were all quite catchy, and they actors were so talented!  I don’t know how they perform eight shows a week.  One would be tough for me.  My arms got tired mixing blondie dough the other day!

While my four main food groups may not be the same as Buddy’s, we both share a deep love of sweets.  I know Buddy would devour this Penuche Fudge.  It’s a rich, brown sugar candy that’s perfect for the holidays.  There’s enough to share and give as gifts.  Plus, it’s gluten free!  It has a slightly grainy texture when you first bite into it that quickly dissolves in your mouth into sweet goodness.  There is some complexity from the brown sugar, but this is a very sweet, rich dessert.  Just what I’m craving this time of year as I sit down for another viewing of Elf!

Penuche Fudge

Penuche Fudge

Penuche Fudge #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 64 pieces


2 ½ cups packed light brown sugar

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 ¼ cups milk (I used almond milk, but any will work)

1 stick unsalted butter

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal later.

In a large saucepan, combine sugars, milk, butter, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 236 degrees F on a candy thermometer. This will take awhile and the mixture will bubble a lot during cooking. Be careful!

Once the mixture has reached 236, remove it from the heat and either pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer or a heatproof bowl and beat it with a hand mixer. Either way, increase the speed slowly until it is on medium-high. Beat until the mixture has thickened and lightened in color, 5-10 minutes. Add vanilla extract and beat for 1 additional minute.

Spread mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before cutting into squares. Fudge may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


Fudge needs an additional two hours to set in the refrigerator!

Recipe adapted from Food Babbles

Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Party Appetizers & Snacks:

Oven-Roasted Applesauce Scented with Rosemary & Vanilla-Inspired by the song
“Christmas in the Trenches”Shockingly Delicious
Roasted Chestnuts Inspired by the movie “The Christmas Song”Food Lust People Love
A Popcorn Trio
Inspired by the song “Let it Snow” Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
Chai Tea Abominable Snow Buddies Inspired by the movie “Rudolph”Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Raisin Bran Muffins for a Crowd Inspired by the movie
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene
Icicle Candy and Reindeer Snacks Inspired by the movie “Snow”Treats & Trinkets
A Christmas Carol Plum Pudding Inspired by the movie “A Christmas Carol”No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Yukon Mashed Potato Cakes Inspired by the movie “Rudolph” Cookin’ Mimi
Christmas Pudding Inspired by the song “Over the River and Through the Woods” A Kitchen Hoor
Pumpkin Pudding Inspired by the movie “Nightmare Before Christmas” Basic N Delicious
Elf-Inspired Christmas “Grams”
Inspired by the movie “Elf” MarocMama
Inspired by the movie “The Nutcracker”Happy Baking Days
Chai Spiced Roasted Nuts
Inspired by the song “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” – Take A Bite Out of Boca

Festive Main Dishes

Maple Syrup Spaghetti– Inspired by the movie “Elf”- Momma’s Meals
Who Hash Inspired by the movie “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”girlichef
Ginger Orange Glazed Cornish Hens Inspired by the song “The 12 Days of Christmas”Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
NY Hot Dog with Sabrett-style Onion Sauce Inspired by the movie “Die Hard” Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Classic Caesar Salad Inspired by the movie “The Santa Clause”The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Individuals Meatloaves & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes for Mommy’s Little Piggies – Inspired by the movie
“A Christmas Story”The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Christmas Waffles Inspired by the TV special “A Claymation Christmas Celebration”Curious Cuisiniere
Filthy Animal Pizza
Inspired by the movie “Home Alone”Foxes Love Lemons
Chicken Orzo Soup
Inspired by the song “12 Days of Christmas” Family Foodie
Brandied Candied Sweet Potatoes
Inspired by the song “Christmas Is The Time To Say ‘I Love You’ ” –
Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Sweet Holiday Treats:

Gin and Tonic Cupcakes Inspired by Adam Sandler’s ” The Chanukah Song” The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars Inspired by the movie “Love Actually”Magnolia Days
Gingerbread Marshmallows Inspired by the song “Marshmallow World”Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Inspired by the movie “The Gremlins”Killer Bunnies, Inc
White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Inspired by the song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”Alida’s Kitchen
Snowball Cookies – Inspired by the movie “White Christmas”The Foodie Army Wife
Penuche Fudge
Inspired by the movie “Elf” Pies and Plots
Hot Chocolate Cookies
Inspired by the movie “Santa Clause” Mess Makes Food
South Pacific Coconut Tres Leche Cake
Inspired by the movie “South Pacific”The Ninja Baker
Cookies & Cream Fudge
Inspired by the movie “Elf”The Messy Baker

Cozy Drinks:

Toasted Coconut Hot Cocoa Inspired by the song “Let It Snow”Chocolate Moosey
The Christmas Gram Inspired by the movie “Elf”An Appealing Plan
Eggnog Hot Chocolate Inspired by the movie “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” Peanut Butter and Peppers
Vermont Hot Cocoa
Inspired by the movie “White Christmas”Kudos Kitchen By Renee
Spiked Hot Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Floats
Inspired by the song “Holly Jolly Christmas “NeighborFood

This is Christmas; Wine Pairings for Holiday Themed#SundaySupper RecipesENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting

You guys, I was given another Liebster Award!  This time it was from the fabulous Summer from Mallow & Co.  She makes all different kinds of Rice Krispies treats, so her blog is right up my alley.  And she is so creative.  I can only think of a couple different versions of cereal treats, but not Summer.  Since I did just do a Liebster Award post, I’ll take a cue from my blog BFF Kayle and just post new facts about me and answer Summer’s questions.

Facts About Me

1.     Both of my pinkies are crooked, just like Dad’s.

2.     I have never had a manicure or pedicure and don’t think I ever will.  I really love painting my own nails.  It is one of the most relaxing things for me and I don’t think I would at all enjoy letting someone else do it.

3.     I have to tape my toes when I run because I had a couple incidents where my toe nails fell out.  (Gross, I know!)

4.    I don’t like talking on the phone.  Obviously I do it when I need to, but it makes me rather nervous and I’m told I almost always sound sad, even if I’m not.  I’d rather talk in person or over email.

5.     I don’t text.  I’ve never gotten the attraction of texting and being constantly attached to my cell phone.  If someone needs to get ahold of me, they call, email, or Tweet and I get back to them quickly, but texting is not my thing.

6.    I love Snoopy (and Charlie Brown and the whole gang)!  I watch all the TV specials every year, have tons of various holiday related decorations and stuffed animals galore.  There’s just something about Snoopy and Woodstock that is irresistible to me.

7.    I used to love playing with Barbies when I was younger.  I had tons of them, along with clothes, houses, even an airplane.  I still have the vast majority of them and sometimes still wish I could play with them.

8.    We feed the birds at our house.  We have two feeders and a little house where we put peanuts.  Sparrows, woodpeckers, finches, blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and more all visit, along with lots of squirrels.  In the summer we also have hummingbird feeders that attract tons of the little birds.

9.    I never drink pop/soda/soft drinks, and haven’t had one in almost a decade. 

10.  I love listening to Sirius radio.  I always wanted to have it.  When I finally got to try it when one of Mom’s cars came with it a few years ago, I was hooked instantly.  Great music and no commercials.  There’s no better way to spend some time in the car.

11.  I have worn makeup since kindergarten.  I only wore lipstick then, and hated to leave the house without it, but it was a very slippery slope that has made me fall in love with all kinds of makeup.

Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting

Summer’s Questions

1.)  What are your hobbies or things you do in your spare time?

While I love to go shopping or for a quick walk, my main hobbies are watching TV and movies.  After spending all day writing and baking and exercising, there’s nothing better than sitting down at the end of the day and catching up on my favorite shows or watching a movie.

2.)  What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is people who chew loudly or with their mouths open.  I am very sensitive to the noise of chewing and anything that makes it louder or more noticeable drives me up the wall to the point where I have to leave the room.  This is an actual medical condition called misophonia.  Kelly Ripa has it too.

3.)  What’s one of your favorite blogs of the moment?

My favorite blog has been Brown Eyed Baker for years.  It was the first blog I visited, the first blog I made a recipe from, and the blog that was part of the inspiration behind starting a blog of my own.  I make Michelle’s recipes all the time and am constantly impressed at how good they are.

4.)  Salty or Sweet?

Sweet all the way.  I have a pretty much insatiable sweet tooth.  Candy, cake, pie, cookies, dried fruit, fresh fruit, cereal, I love pretty much anything with sugar.

5.)  What is a goal you have for 2013?

To get a novel published or my screenplay turned into a movie.  Writing is really where my heart lies and this is going to be the year I finally get the break I am looking for.

6.)  How many kids are in your family?

I am an only child.  While sometimes I think I ould like a brother or sister, I am really happy that I am an only child and it is just my parents and me.

7.)  What is your dream job?

My dream job is to be a novelist and screen writer.  There is no other job for me.  It is only a matter of time and hard work.

8.)  What is the hardest thing about blogging?

Making the blog grow.  I do everything the books and websites suggest, yet it won’t grow.  It’s very frustrating, but I keep at it, hoping one day everything will just click.

9.)  What is your favorite restaurant and why?

My favorite restaurant is my own kitchen.  Sure I eat out occasionally, but I can’t remember the last time there wasn’t something wrong with the meal or I wasn’t feeling crappy the next day from all the salt.  I love cooking at home and am almost always happier with the results.

10.)               What would your touchdown victory dance look like if you were in the NFL?

It would be a model walk.  I love fashion and one of the things on my bucket list is to walk in a fashion show, so I would pretend like I was walking a runway!

11.)               What’s your favorite season and why?

Summer.  I love hot weather, bright sunshine, long days, beautiful flowers, and walks outside.  It makes everything better.  I am hoping to move somewhere with year round sunshine and nice weather.  Hello California or Florida!

Thanks again to Summer for giving me this Liebster Award!

Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting

Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting

So while I was celebrating this award, I made Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting.  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s not pumpkin season.  It’s almost spring.  Unfortunately here in Michigan, well, it doesn’t look like spring.  It’s gloomy and cold and windy and snowy.  Yuck!  Also, I still have some pumpkin puree in my freezer that was calling my name because in my world, pumpkin has no season.  Plus, I even called my local supermarket to make sure they still have canned pumpkin, so all of you can make this yummy cake.  The batter is fabulous and it bakes up so nicely.

Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting

It was supposed to be topped with a brown butter frosting but it didn’t turn out right.  I have no idea why, but it looked separated and it wasn’t going to ruin my cake.  After a moment of panic, I made a batch of penuche frosting from the pumpkin cookies I posted back in pumpkin season.

This was a happy accident, as the end result surpassed my high expectations.  The moist and dense cake isn’t too sweet with great pumpkin flavor and some spice.  The frosting is a perfect match with its sweetness that is never cloying from the hint of caramel flavor.  This cake won’t wait for pumpkin season to be made.

By the way, I posted a YouTube video about why I should be on The Jeff Probst show (a long shot, I know), but I would love if you’d check it out 🙂

Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I used homemade)
  • ½ cup milk (I used almond)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup milk (I used almond)
  • 2 – 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment, butter the parchment, and flour the whole pan, tapping out any excess.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until once again light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin and milk and mix until fully combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until a batter is formed.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan and bake 40-50 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Allow cake to cool in pan about 20 minutes, before gently loosening from the pan and inverting onto a cake plate. Allow cake to cool completely.
  5. Once the cake is cool, make the frosting. In a small saucepan, combine butter and sugar over medium heat. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. The mixture will harden. Loosen it with a spoon and add the milk, stirring until it is fully incorporated. Add 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and mix to combine. Continue adding sugar in ½ cup increments, until the frosting is quite thick but still spreadable. Immediately pour frosting onto cake, focusing in the middle. Spread to cover almost the entire cake, leaving about ¼ inch boarder.
  6. Cake may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag in quarters for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for several hours.
Cake adapted from Martha Stewart Frosting adapted from Pillsbury

Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

Last week I talked to Martha Stewart.  The Martha Stewart.  You know, the one with the TV shows, magazines, kitchen and home products, the empire, really.  The one I’ve talked about here more than once and have made more than a few of her recipes, which somehow always turn out.  The one I idolize and am sure is one of the biggest reasons why I love baking and making everything from scratch.  Yeah, that Martha Stewart.

I follow her on Twitter and occasionally Tweet her, hoping desperately for a response that never comes.  Sometimes she Tweets that she is live on her Sirius radio show and is taking questions, along with the phone number.  I have and love (seriously love) Sirius radio, but I don’t listen to it when I’m home, so I didn’t really know how this whole thing worked.  Every time I’d see the Tweets, I’d say maybe another day out of fear or lack of time and move on.  This particular day I’d already made a few very, very important phone calls and saw her Tweets at just the right time.  This was the day I was going to give it a try.

Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

Really, I thought that’s all it would be.  A try.  My days of trying to win contests from local radio stations had taught me busy signals were the norm, and this was a national show from (say it with me) Martha Stewart.  What chance did little old me have of getting through?  Except I did.  A guy answered, asked my name and location, my question, and put me on hold.  I was in, just like that.  OMG!

While on hold, the radio show played.  Each time Martha was wrapping up a call, my heart raced, wondering if I would be next.  I waited about 30 minutes, never knowing when or if my turn would come.  My heart practically beat out of my chest, my hands shook, I burned every calorie eaten the previous week without lifting a finger.  It was torture.  Then my time came.

I told Martha about my blog, including the name.  She brought it up and looked at it, seeming to think the name and tagline were cute.  I asked her for some advice of how to grow my blog, since it often seems like an impossible task.  She told me calling in to shows like that would probably help (not much, unfortunately), and that I should try to connect with local magazines and newspapers and use social media.  I love and appreciate her advice, but it was merely speaking with her that made my day year.  I always hoped I would have a moment to talk with Martha, impress her, but never thought it would actually come.  I’m not sure if I impressed her, but I certainly hope I did.  She seems like such a nice person, and I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity.  It turns out maybe dreams do come true, so now if the universe could just get working on those other dreams I have that would be wonderful.

Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

These Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting are a dream come true, and I’d like to think Martha would like them, particularly because they’re made with more homemade pumpkin puree.  And yes, the canned stuff will still work, but I highly recommend trying to make your own puree.  The cookies are super soft and moist with that wonderful pumpkin flavor enhanced by some spices and crunchy pecans.  I made them huge, because I only like huge cookies.  The original recipe called for 60 cookies (they must be so small they’re invisible) and I got 18.  Feel free to make them whatever size you like, just make sure to watch the baking time accordingly.

It’s the penuche frosting that really makes these cookies.  It’s sweet, but not too sweet and never buttery, with a complex caramel flavor that really sings and is one of the best frostings ever.  Paired with the cookie, it’s insane.  These make for a wonderful, easy to make, yet very impressive treat for fall that will make your day, even if not as much as talking to Martha Stewart.

Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting

5.0 from 3 reviews
Pumpkin Cookies with Penuche Frosting
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. Make the cookies. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment, or bake in one batch at a time.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together sugars and butter until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add vanilla and egg and mix until once again light and fluffy. Add pumpkin and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add to butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Add pecans and mix to distribute. Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter onto baking sheets, about 6 large cookies to a sheet, as they will spread.
  4. Bake for about 14 minutes, until cookies are brown around the edges and slightly soft to the touch, rotating halfway through if necessary. I bake 1 sheet per oven at a time, but do what works best in your oven. The other trays can rest while 1 is baking if necessary. Cool cookies completely on sheets.
  5. Make the frosting. In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar, stirring frequently. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, continuing to stir. Cool for about 10 minutes before adding milk and stirring to combine. Then add confectioners’ sugar in ½ cup increments, mixing in between. Continue adding confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is quite thick, yet still spreadable. I added 2 ½ cups to achieve this. Immediately after frosting is ready, frost cookies or it will harden.
  6. Cookies may be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour.
Recipe adapted from Pillsbury


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