Pumpkin Pie-spiced Fudge

Could it be that Halloween was designed for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder? At the changing of the seasons, when those first few gray mornings roll around,  the promise  of Thanksgiving isn’t enough of a cause to look forward to–cleaning dishes, reporting to relatives on our life progress, with Christmas only two weeks away. We need something now, damn it. We need something to bring us back to our inner child. We need to be silly. And we need nature’s antidepressant, in my case, chocolate. Fudge is the easiest candy to make at home. No thermometers involved. Just melt a few things, stir and refrigerate.

There is no pumpkin in this recipe. But the flavor of pumpkin pie can be recreated without pumpkin. In this case, I cheated by using pumpkin pie spice, a blend of cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, star anise, fennel and black pepper. Wow. That’s a lot of stuff. I’m not sure if all pumpkin pie spice mixes are this sophisticated. Maybe a combination of cinnamon, ginger and cloves will do and a quick grate of lemon zest, since those are the predominant ingredients in this mix. I topped the fudge with some Himalayan Salt that my brother gave me for a nice kick, but any sea salt will do.

Pumpkin Pie-spiced Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • sea salt

Preparation

Line a 9” by 9” or relatively small baking dish with wax or parchment paper.  Mix all ingredients and melt slowly over a double boiler. Then pour into the baking dish, smooth the surface and sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate until firm, and cut into small squares to serve.

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