The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday December 5th 2020 edition. By: Blaise Doubman. This column also appeared in “The Shelbyville News”.
Cindy Shelton’s Cocoa Fudge
I have known Cindy Shelton and her family all my life, but it was not until a few years back that we really got to know each other. We both live in Kennard and both knew of each other but never really got to know one another if that makes sense. How did we first meet? Virtually! How 21st century is that? Ha! It was through Facebook that we first started chatting and getting to know each other and what started out as a casual acquaintance really developed into a special friendship. I really count her and her family as a part of my family. Cindy and her husband Danny are some of the nicest people you would ever hope to meet! They are kind, caring, compassionate, giving and loved by so many people. Danny is a preacher in Knightstown and is known for his smart and vibrant preaching and teachings. I have witnessed his power with words in person, for Danny is the one who we turned to for my Grandma Deloris’ funeral services and he did extraordinary. My family and I were really impressed and were so thankful that he agreed to answer the call. Grandma Deloris would have loved the kind words.
Cindy and I have so much in common. We both love to talk, laugh, make people happy, talk and did I mention talk? Ha! We often joke that when either one of us is quiet, it is only then that people know something is wrong. Cindy has been through a lot with her health the last few years and she is such an inspiration to those around her to keep the Faith and keep on fighting. She has really shown what the power of Faith and the power of prayer are capable of and let me tell you she knows it and is beyond thankful and grateful. Danny and Cindy have such a great family too. I am not only close to them, but to their children as well. Their children have been raised in a warm Faith filled home and you can see it in their daily lives, and I cannot speak highly enough about how much respect and love I have for them. Recently, Danny and Cindy celebrated 50 years of marriage! Such a testament to their love for one another and to their family. When Cindy sent me a picture of her cocoa fudge she was making for Thanksgiving, I just knew I had to share it here with all of you! I floated the idea by her, and she was really excited about the opportunity of having the recipe featured right here in this column. It is delicious and I really think you will find yourself making this fudge again and again.
Cindy Shelton’s Cocoa Fudge
I am sharing this recipe exactly how it was given to me. To make this recipe you will need white granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, milk, margarine, smooth peanut butter and pure vanilla extract. You can pour this into a lightly greased bread pan, or lightly greased 8-inch square pan. The original recipe suggests pouring onto dish.
Mix 3 cups sugar with 6 tablespoons cocoa in a large saucepan.
Add in 1 ½ cups milk and stir together.
Place onto medium high heat and stir constantly until the mixture reaches a full boil.
Turn the heat down to medium low. Do not stir! Allow the mixture to reach soft ball stage on a candy thermometer and check with soft ball method using cup of cold water.
Remove from the heat. Add 1 stick of margarine. Add in 1 large tablespoon of smooth peanut butter, if desired. Adding in the peanut butter will help give the mixture better shape.
Do not stir the mixture! Allow to cool to approximately 160-170 degrees.
Add in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
Stir until thickening starts and the mixture loses its gloss.
Pour immediately into buttered dish or pan. Allow to cool and then enjoy!
Ask and Answer: I have been getting questions about making banana bread something special for the Holidays. I have a few ideas. To add extra flavor and crunch to your favorite banana bread, add some broken up toffee bites to the batter before baking. You could also add a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips, or even white chocolate chips mixed with some macadamia nuts. You could also top your favorite bread with caramel frosting!