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ON the 9th Day of Halloween

By Jackie Burrell
Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 at 11:28 am in Cuisine, Halloween.

Sludge Fudge and Eerie Eyeballs (Mark DuFrene, Contra Costa Times)Forget the nine ladies dancing and the partridge atop a pear tree. On the ninth day of Halloween, my true spook gave to me … SLUDGE FUDGE. Oozing peanut butter and marshmallow creme, with a crinkled toffee surface, this one’s a Halloween party winner. The recipe’s adapted from Kraft’s classic Fantasy Fudge, but it gets its sludgy appearance from added ingredients and less-than-thorough mixing.

Mix 3 cups sugar, ¾ cup butter and 1 small can evaporated milk in a heavy-bottomed pan. Bring it to a full boil and let it boil at medium heat for a good five minutes, stirring all the while.

Have a small assistant place 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate into the bottom of a large mixing bowl, and then stand back as you pour the hot butter mixture over the chocolate and mix until it’s melted. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix well.

Scoop dollops from a 7-ounce jar of marshmallow creme and a ¼ cup peanut butter over the surface and quickly mix in, leaving big molten streaks. Spoon the entire mess into a greased 9×9 pan, leaving the surface appropriately gloppy, and strewing a ¼ cup of Heath toffee bits on top. (We’re thinking mint chips might be a lovely substitute for the peanut butter too — mmm, green streaky sludge.) Let cool to room temperature, then cut into small squares and serve.

That’s the fudge in the photo above, served with pineapple cheesecake eyeballs. For that recipe, pick up a copy of the Times or Trib’s food section next Wednesday. The eyeballs provide a sweet, er, ending to our spook buffet.

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