Tag Archive | sugar

Pumpkin Pie Fudge

Recipe courtesy of Candy Steiner.

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp corn syrup
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
9 oz white chocolate chips
7 oz marshmallow fluff
1 tsp vanilla extract


Line a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick spray or line pan with parchment paper

Stir together the sugar, butter, milk, pumpkin, corn syrup, and pumpkin pie spice in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees F (soft-ball stage).

Remove pan from heat. Stir in white chocolate, marshmallow fluff, and vanilla until well blended. Pour into a greased, aluminum foil or parchment paper-lined pan. Let stand 2 hours or until completely cool. Cut fudge into squares.

Repost: Czech Kolaches Recipe

kolaches dorothy kusakI grew up with Czech Kolaches.  Very popular across the midwest United States they are probably the best reason to travel to Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and other midwestern states.

Of course I haven’t been able to find them anywhere else.  So I was thrilled to find this recipe on facebook courtesy Dorothy Husak.

Czech Kolaches.
Recipe makes 56
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup butter, cut up
3/4 cup shortening, cut up
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast envelopes
Desired filling (see below)
Powdered Sugar Icing (see below)


In a large saucepan, heat and stir milk, butter, shortening, sugar and salt just until warm (120 degreesF to 130 degrees F) and butter and shortening almost melt. Set aside and cool for 5 minutes. Stir in eggs.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour and the yeast. Add milk mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds or until combined. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add remaining flour, switching to a wooden spoon if necessary to stir in last amount of flour. (Dough will be very soft.) Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Shape chilled dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover; let rise in a warm place 30 minutes. Use your thumb or the back of a round measuring teaspoon to make a deep indentation in center of a few balls at a time. Spoon about 1 teaspoon filling into each indentation. Repeat with remaining balls and filling.
Bake one or two pans of kolaches at a time at 325 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden on the bottoms. Immediately remove to racks; cool slightly. If you like, drizzle with icing before serving.


Poppy Seed Filling: In a coffee grinder or small food processor blend 3/4 cup (4 ounces) poppy seeds until fine. Set aside. In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon honey and a dash of salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, lightly beat 2 egg yolks. Gradually stir about half of the warm milk mixture into beaten yolks. Return the yolk mixture to milk mixture in saucepan and stir to combine. Cook and stir over medium heat just until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in poppy seeds and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Raspberry Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups frozen raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Apricot Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots and 1 1/2 cups apricot nectar. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cool slightly. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. (Mixture should be thicker than applesauce.) Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for several hours or up to 2 days. Makes 1 1/2 cup.
Powdered Sugar Icing: In a small bowl, combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing reaches drizzling consistency. Makes 2/3 cup.

Store unglazed kolaches in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Taste Test: Coffee-mate’s Natural Bliss Coffee Creamer Verses Whipping Cream

Results of blind taste test between Coffee Mate natural bliss verses real cream

Results of blind taste test between Coffee Mate natural bliss verses real cream

The next Yahoo Voices repost is all about coffee and coffee creamers.

Taste Test: Coffee-mate’s Natural Bliss Coffee Creamer Verses Whipping Cream

Controlled Taste Test Yields No Significant Difference Between Popular Creamer Brand and Farm-fresh Cream

originally posted March 18, 2014


I love coffee – you do too! Like you, I like my coffee light and sweet. Yes, I’m a cappuccino gal. I want a little bit of very strong coffee and the rest milk or milk-tasting.

This means I spend a lot of money on coffee creamer options. The market has no shortage of them. Trending right now is Coffee-mate’s “Natural Bliss” line with the sweet cream flavor promoted most heavily in my local supermarket. According to the ingredient list, the creamer is made with milk, cream, sugar, and “natural flavors,” and should be a convenient product – no need to add a separate sweetener.

But how does it taste and is it a good value for your money? To find out, I made two identical 3 ounce cups of ice coffee. In both I put a level ¼ teaspoon of Folgers instant coffee and 2 ounces of whole milk. In one cup I put the serving size of 1 tablespoon of the Coffee-mate creamer. In the other, 1 tablespoon of whipping cream from the local dairy which also happens to be the specified serving size. The Coffee-mate label claims this 1 tablespoon has 35 calories in it verses 45 with the whipping cream.

Stirring the two samples together, the appearance came out very different. As see in this picture, the Coffee-mate looks much darker than my whipping cream sample, even though everything else is the same. The Coffee-mate also did not blend as well with my instant coffee as my whipping cream, leaving more coffee on the bottom of the cup.

Tasting the coffee I was really surprised at the difference. There is absolutely no sugar in the whipping cream sample, so I expect it to taste much less sweet and much bitterer than the Coffee-mate version which does have sugar in it. Instead, I barely noticed a difference. Adding ¼ teaspoon of sugar to the whipping cream sample (remember, these samples are about ¼ the size of a regular cup of coffee) and the two samples were indistinguishable from each other in terms of sweetness and were within difference threshold on the overall taste.

So if you stick to the serving size of 1 tablespoon, this Coffee-mate sweetener equals about ¼ of a teaspoon of sugar to the taste of regular whipping cream. With one teaspoon of sugar equaling 16 calories, ¼ teaspoon of sugar adds 4 calories to the 45 calories for the whipping cream for a total of 49 calories compared to the 35 calories for the Coffee-mate, a savings of 30% on your calories.

Now to the real question: the cost. Everyday price on the Coffee-mate creamer is around $3.00 for 16 ounces. A half pint (8 ounces) of whipping cream runs around $1.50. This means the two options cost essentially the same.

In summary, my experiment yielded no significant difference between the sweet cream flavor of Coffee-mate’s “Natural Bliss” verses using whipping cream with a little sugar.


While there is a caloric savings, the difference of 10 calories per serving is not dramatic and is readily offset by the non-biodegradable packaging of the Coffee-mate product verses the paper carton whipping cream is typically sold in. If your community does not offer plastic recycling, you ultimately do better buying cream instead.