Sometimes things just hit right on the first try, and that is soooo satisfying! Such was the case with this fudge, and the pumpkin bread.
Truth be told, I've been playing around with this pumpkin bread for years, but so far this is the incarnation I like best. It's studded with chopped walnuts and mini chocolate chips. If you don't like mini chocolate chips -- well, there's something kinda wrong with you, but anyway -- you could swap in raisins, currants or dried cranberries, or just leave that out altogether and add a few more nuts.
As for the fudge, this is the "fake" kind, made without benefit of a candy thermometer. But since my book is aimed at kitchen novices, I figure, why make it difficult? This fudge is just as smooth and rich, without the risk of ending up with a grainy mess that you sometimes get making it the "real" way (not that I would, uh, know from personal experience or anything...). I stuck chopped hazelnuts in here because I used up the walnuts in the pumpkin bread -- I liked them, but Mark scrunched up his nose, so next time I'll stick to walnuts or pecans (chopped salted peanuts or cashews might be good too, hmmm).
So what's the third? This morning I tried out a blueberry buckle, and the flavor was good but the texture needs work. The blueberries sank to the bottom and the topping kind of mixed in with the batter. So back to the drawing board on that one. I've been trying to develop recipes using things that are in season, and clearly berries are not (I used frozen) -- but since it's spring/summertime in the publishing world and I'm hard at work by day creating the May, June and July recipe lineups for the magazine, sometimes I find myself hankering to make a warm-weather dessert. Oh well. I'll keep you posted on how the buckling goes...