Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Tootsie Roll Fudge Recipe and a Give-Away


If you've been alive at any point in the last several months, then you've likely heard these phrases ad nauseum. "The Dow is down." "It's time to downsize." "Americans are hunkering down." Down. Down. Down. Ugh. How about a little cheering up, up, up?

Apparently there's a sweet lining in all this gloom and doom: candy. That's right. According to a recent NY Times article by Christine Haughney, as US unemployment has risen so too has Americans' candy consumption. Not just any candy though; the old-fashioned, make--you-feel-like-a-kid-again candy such as Tootsie Rolls, Bit-O-Honey, and Mary Janes.

Why candy? Maybe because the sugar high is soothing. Maybe because it instantly brings to you back to your childhood, which was blissfully free of adjustable rate mortgages and shrinking 401Ks. Maybe because Costco sells 10 pound buckets of the stuff for about $5. Whatever our individual reasons, we're definitely eating more candy. From mom and pop candy shops to candy giants like Hershey's, profits have been sweet.

tootsie roll candy box

So you can imagine how happy I was when I received a box of candy from Tootsie Roll Industries that contained many of my childhood favorites such as DOTS, Blow Pops, and, yes, Tootsie Rolls.

It was a blast from the past. The first candy I ate was a black licorice Crow. As soon as my teeth sunk into the sticky, gooey drop, I was instantaneously transported to a 1982 movie theater watching E.T. Then I went around the house all week giddily blowing monster-size pink bubbles with the Dubble Bubble gum, much to Jeff's chagrin. He also found Andes Candies mints on his bed pillow and Tootsie Rolls in his lunch bag. It was a good week.

Today I'm excited to say that you too have an opportunity to taste some Tootsie Roll nostalgia! That's because Tootsie Roll Industries is a hosting a give away on Food Blogga. Click here for the details, then leave your comment below.

Since two people can only eat so many Tootsie Roll midgees (yup, that's what they're called), I decided to get creative and make some Tootsie roll fudge. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. I adapted my mom's amazing peanut butter fudge recipe; it's made with melted Tootsie Rolls, crushed gingersnaps, and ground pecans. It may not stop your stocks from falling, but it sure will make you fret a little less.

tootsie roll fudge

Tootsie Roll Fudge
Makes 49 pieces
Print recipe only here.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 stick unsalted butter
48 Tootsie Roll Midgees (about 2 cups)
1 cup crushed sugar snaps (or similar crisp ginger cookie)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely ground pecans

Coat a 9-inch square cake pan with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add sweetened condensed milk, butter, and Tootsie Rolls. Stir continuously until butter and candy are completely melted and mixture is thick and smooth. Remove from heat.

Add crushed ginger snaps, vanilla extract, and pecans. Using a rubber spatula, mix until well blended.

Pour fudge into the prepared pan. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

Slice into 7 equal rows to create 49 square pieces. It's a good idea to use a ruler to ensure equal size pieces. Fudge can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated.

You might also these candy inspired recipes:

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Snickers Cookies

4 sweet recipes featuring favorite childhood candies on my NPR article, "Grown-Up Tricks For Treats."

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