The third time really was a charm with these. I almost quit after my first two attempts (of which there is no photographic evidence as I don’t think anyone needs to see my epic fails. I’m still telling you about it, but I have to draw the line somewhere 😉 Ok, that’s not even true really. The real truth is that I was sobbing so hard at the enormity of said failures that I couldn’t see through a camera lens 😉 ). Attempt #1 did not setup properly at all (even after being in the freezer all night). The taste wasn’t bad, but the texture was a little bit weird. It kind of reminded me of a soft version of those Halloween witch toffee candies. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, I mean these:
Side note – in order to find this picture, I discovered that these candies – called Kerr’s molasses kisses apparently? – are unique to Canada. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that my hometown pride in this is questionable. (see articles here and here, or if you’re not the reading type (which means you’re probably not reading this, so I’m speaking to absolutely no one at the moment) I even managed to find this cheesey video explaining the economics of why these candies still exist. I clearly have too much time on my hands).
This attempt at fudge however, instead of breaking your teeth like these candies did to me (and I do mean that almost literally, I actually lost a tooth in one as a child (it was a loose tooth to be fair, but it had only been slightly loose before I bit into one of these rock hard confections and my tooth decided to hang on to the toffee for dear life. Gives a whole new meaning to the term “sweet tooth” 😉 )), instead just tasted too molasses-y and was maybe almost too chewy? When speaking about cookies, chewy = good. When referring to fudge, chewy = what’s wrong with this fudge? .
For attempt #2 I decided to try and follow a more traditional maple fudge recipe, but add in some Christmas cake spices and rum soaked fruit (which were also both included in attempt #1 FYI). These did not really setup either. They were also so sickeningly sweet that I had to toss them as much as it pained me to do it. It felt so wasteful, but I didn’t want diabetes, so sometimes, sacrifices have to be made 😉 .
I had honestly decided forget it, there would be no fudge in my Christmas lineup this year. It was just so disheartening to fail twice. After a day of reflection however, I said “NO!!! This fudge will not get the best of me. I shall prevail in the name of all things Christmas and sugary goodness!!!” Am I ever glad I did. This fudge turned out so delicious that I had to make it twice since a bit too much of the first batch got consumed to really have enough for Christmas. Ahem….*sheepish face*. Although to be fair to myself and the rest of my household, I did do smallish batches all three times just in case disaster struck, so us eating a lot/ all of it isn’t really that bad right? RIGHT????!!!! (If you don’t have something nice (aka agreeing with me) to say, then you can just shoosh. I’ll have none of your tsking here. Quality control is an incredibly important step 😉 ).
Besides, after the first two failed attempts, I kept thinking I had simply imagined how good this fudge turned out, so I had to keep going back to make sure I hadn’t simply dreamed up its deliciousness 😉
Yield: 24 small squares
- 1/4 cup coconut butter*
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened, but if you have a super sweet tooth, use whatever you like)
Christmas Cake Fudge Layer
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cashew butter
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut butter*
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- large pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped cashews
- 1/2 cup rum soaked dried fruit of your choice (ideally soak at least overnight, or you could just put in dried fruit without soaking is fine too)
- Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan or line with wax or parchment paper (which I highly recommend since it’ll make it easier to just lift the fudge out of the pan after).
- Place all the ingredients for the coconut layer except for the shredded coconut into a double boiler over medium heat (or just a small pot if fine, but keep the heat really low and watch it closely to avoid burning. A double boiler is better/easier). Stir until everything is melted together smoothly and fully combined. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded coconut.
- Pour coconut mixture into the bottom of your loaf pan and smooth out with the back of a spoon or spatula. Place pan in freezer while making the cashew layer.
- Place all the ingredients for the cashew layer except for the chopped cashews and rum soaked fruit into a double boiler over medium heat (or just a small pot if fine, but keep the heat really low and watch it closely to avoid burning. A double boiler is better/easier). Stir until everything is melted together smoothly and fully combined. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped cashews and dried fruit.
- Spread over your coconut base and smooth with the back of a spoon. Return to the freezer for a couple of hours or until firm.
- Remove from the freezer and cut into small 1 inch squares.
- Store in the refrigerator.
Note: if making your own coconut butter (which you can easily do by tossing shredded coconut in your food processor for about 15-20 minutes or until smooth) about 3 cups of shredded coconut will yield the amount needed for this recipe