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Third place recipe by Mary A. Kestel of Remsen, Iowa 

1 cup chopped pecans, to be divided into 3/4 and 1/4 cups 

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed 

2/3 cup evaporated milk

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 

1/8 teaspoon allspice 

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups white chocolate chips 

1 jar marshmallow creme 

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chopped pecans on a baking sheet, put in oven and roast for 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool. Line a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with foil and set aside. In a medium-sized heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add granulated and brown sugars, evaporated milk, pumpkin, allspice and salt; mix well. Bring mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, cook for about 12 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 234-240 degrees. Stir in white chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, vanilla, and 3/4 cup of the toasted pecans. Briskly stir mixture until white chocolate chips are fully melted and well combined. Remove from heat and immediately pour into foiled baking pan. Top with remaining pecans. Cool completely in baking pan on a wire rack and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Remove from refrigerator, lift foil and fudge from pan. Remove foil and cut fudge into 1- by 1-inch squares. 


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