Ms. Stead’s Maple Fudge

Maple syrup season is over here in Western New York.  I am very fortunate to have a friend who’s family boils sap and makes syrup.  Its used as collateral around the office. We sometimes swap syrup for hot sauce, wine, or whatever we have handy.  The darker the syrup the better, in my opinion.  I much prefer dark amber over the lighter syrups.


This recipe is from a great cookbook of all handwritten recipes.  Each is written in the owner’s own hand, and then compiled into the cookbook.  Since it is from Vermont, there is no shortage of recipes using this wonderful natural sweetener.

Maple Fudge

2 cups of sugar

1 cup of maple syrup

1 tbsp. of corn syrup

1 cup of milk

Cook until it forms a soft ball in cold water or 236°F by a candy thermometer.  Cook well, then beat until creamy, and pour in a buttered pan.



Potato Candy

According to my recipe, this is an “Old Pennsylvania Dutch Recipe.” It is super simple, and is probably quite tasty. The recipe does not say which type of potato to use.  I would think the starchier the better!

And just for fun, here is a picture of my Red Pontiacs I grew last summer.  It was my first attempt at potatoes and I was happy with the results.taters

Of course, I’d wash your taters before making candy out of them 🙂

Potato Candy – Old Pennsylvania Dutch Recipe

1 potato boiled and mashed

1 pinch salt

Rub in 4X confectioner’s sugar to mold.  Flavor and color to taste. Shape as desired. Roll in chocolate shot or melted chocolate. Use as any fondant.

What is chocolate shot??

Sugarplum Treats

Old advertising labels are the best.


This recipe would be great to do with little children with an adult.  The resulting sparkly treats would be a sure hit with the toddler crowd, and possibly some of the parental units!

Sugarplum Treats

¾ cup milk
24 large marshmallows
1 (3 oz.) pkg. cherry gelatin
1 (3 oz.) pkg. lime gelatin
¼ cup sugar

Heat milk just to the simmering point in saucepan; remove from heat. Combine each package gelatin with 2 tbsp. sugar in separate bowls. Dip marshmallows into milk. Roll in red or green gelatin, coating well. Let stand on waxed paper to dry. Yield: 2 dozen.




Onward with the cookie parade!  Today we feature traditional date-filled cookies from Sweden.


1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

½ cup sour milk

2 cups general purpose clour

2 cups oatmeal

1 tsp. soda

Mix in that order until smooth and well blended. Roll the dough very thin, cut with cooky cutter and bake on an ungreased sheet at 400 degrees. Put the rounds together with this filling:

½ lb. dates

½ cup water

1 ½ cups sugar

Boil until soft and thick, stirring well.

Bourbon Balls

These adult bonbons are a holiday staple for many.  The combination of chocolate and bourbon is to die for.  And using a very good bourbon makes all the difference, just like using a good chocolate.  A favorite in my house is Knob Creek.  Make a double batch of these and bring them to a holiday party, and you will be the most popular guest in the house!  Be sure to make these a few days ahead to let the confections mellow and flavors marry together.

Bourbon Balls

3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 ½ tbsp. cocoa

3 oz. bourbon

3 tbsp. white Karo syrup

Mix crumbs, sugar, pecans, and cocoa together. Stir bourbon and syrup together and combine with dry ingredients. Shape mixture into about three dozen small balls and roll in powdered sugar. Age in the refrigerator for a few days.


Molasses Taffy

I would like to share as many holiday recipes as possible, and I have a lot of them!  And while thumbing through a bunch of old recipe books I can across this adorable picture of a taffy pulling party.  A perfect opening for a recipe for molasses taffy.

Molasses Taffy

Place in granite kettle 2 cups pure molasses, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 tablespoon vinegar.  Flavor if desired.  Boil to 260F or until a little of the mixture in cold water becomes brittle.  Pour into buttered pan.  When cool enough to handle, pull until a light color and hard.  Grease the hands before pulling.

Please be careful with pulling taffy!  You have to find the perfect balance between cool enough to handle and warm enough to pull.