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Maple Pecan Fudge

I’ve been on a maple kick lately and fudge has been on my add-to-skills list for a long time. When I came across McCormick Spice’s recipe for maple pecan fudge, I knew this would be the first fudge I tried to make. While the recipe seems relatively simple, I ran into an issue or two that resulted in less of a fudge consistency and more of a maple sugar candy. The good news is that it is insanely delicious and no one has complained about it not being more fudge-like. I have a few notes on things to be mindful of on my next attempt but I plan to duplicate this happy accident in the future, too.
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Maple pecan fudge

1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into chunks
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp maple extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, divided (1 cup and 1/2 cup)

Line an 8” pan with non-stick foil (or regular foil and non-stick spray), allowing the foil to extend over the sides of the pan.

Mix the evaporated milk, Brown sugar, and butter in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring consistently. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring frequently until mixture reaches 236°F on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage). This will take around 30 mins. (My mixture sat under 220°F for a majority of this time and took longer than 30 mins on med-low heat to reach soft ball stage). Mixture will darken in color as it cooks. Remove from heat.

Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar with electric mixer on low speed. Increase to medium speed and beat until thickened and smooth. (Be careful not to over-beat. I’m pretty sure I did.) Stir in extracts and 1 cup of pecans. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of pecans.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. Use foil to lift out of pan and onto cutting board. Cut into small squares. Store in refrigerator.

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Maple Pecan Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

A neighbor recently had a birthday and had one request for me: one of my baked goods and maple flavor. Maple is a favorite of mine so I happily looked up several different maple desserts before finding a drool-inducing cake recipe from Betty Crocker: https://www.bettycrocker.com/…/7b978598-581f-4e07-9485-2e9f…. I knew I had to match the perfect glaze to this cake and found a cinnamon version of a glaze I had done before on Gonna Want Seconds: https://www.gonnawantseconds.com/…/pumpkin-cake-with-cinna…/. The feedback on this cake was amazing! It’s quick and easy to make with flavor that will put a smile on any maple-lover’s face.
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Maple Pecan Cake with Cinnamon Glaze

Cake:
1 box of yellow cake mix (regular or super moist)
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup (or maple-flavored syrup)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

To toast pecans – Place pecans on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for about 5 mins. Take them out when they become fragrant. Be careful not to over-bake as they burn easily.

Preheat or keep oven at 350F.

Generously grease and lightly flour a bundt pan. In a large bowl, beat cake ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds then on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Pour batter into pan and bake for 47-53 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine was good after 47 mins). Cool for 10 mins before removing from the pan. Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack for about 2 hours.

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp whole milk (1.5-2 Tbsp depending on desired consistency)

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Drizzle over cake.