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Each year when the holidays roll around I’ve found myself missing not only my youth but the ones who are no longer with us. My Wela was the greatest woman who ever lived, in my eyes and many others. She was strong and brave in all instances, and a warrior when the circumstances demanded it. She taught me so much in life and as I continue to grow my one hope is to do her memory proud.
Wela came to the states in December 1963 from Caguas, Puerto Rico, just in time for Nochebuena and Navidad. I spent every Nochebuena with Wela and she shared her history and culture with me. She taught me to cook and bake, and to carry out traditions that have been in our family for centuries. My favorite being the tradition of Nochebuena, the night before Christmas, where we do our celebrating (presents, food, fun.) I spend a lot of time each year planning out the menus and schedule to make sure it’s a night we’ll never forget.
This year I decided to stock up on my baking essentials early. I found a ton of goodies at Wal-Mart in the Baking Center and baking aisle. We’re talking necessities here people! Be sure to check to see if Wal-Mart grocery pickup is available in your area. You don’t want to miss the $10 refer-a-friend promotion!
- NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Holiday Morsels Red and Green
- NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
- NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Brownies & More Baking Mix with Butterfinger Morsels
- NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
As you can see, I stocked up on a lot of the necessities. Nestlé Toll House Morsels are a time-honored ingredient for holiday baking, nothing says love like chocolate! Nestle Carnation Milk was always in Wela’s pantry and it’s always in mine too. It has brought so many desserts together over the years because nothing compares to its rich, creamy goodness. The Nestle Tollhouse Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is really going to come in handy thanks to all of the interesting flavors! Santa won’t be lacking in the cookie department this year, especially since the hard part is taken care of. I can’t wait to experiment with the Toll House Brownies & More Baking Mix; why stop at Butterfinger when there are so many possibilities?!
I couldn’t wait until Christmas to start making sweet treats. I decided to make some of Wela’s amazing Pumpkin Pie Fudge and it came out so great I just had to share the recipe. I actually prefer this to pumpkin pie since I’m not a huge fan of crust. You get the amazing, creamy pumpkin pie experience without the hassle of crust.
This is one of my favorite traditions passed down from my favorite person using one of my favorite brands, Nestle. I’d love to know what yours is! Leave me a comment and let me know.
- 1½ c granulated sugar
- 1½ c light brown sugar
- ⅔ Carnation® Evaporated Milk
- ¾ c butter
- ⅔ c Libby's® 100% Pure Pumpkin
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 teaspoons each: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
- 10 oz. NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Holiday Red & Green Morsels
- 7 oz marshmallow creme
- Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil.
- Mix sugars, evaporated milk, pumpkin, butter, syrup and spices in a heavy-duty saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once boiling, stop stirring. Allow to boil for 5 minutes and stir a few times, then stop. Repeat (in 5-minute intervals) until the mixture reaches 239F, or test for soft-ball stage. This will take approximately 18 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and quickly add the marshmallow creme and morsels. Beat the mixture with maximum effort until everything is unified. Quickly pour into the prepared pan and refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours. Overnight is best.
- Remove the aluminum foil from the fudge and place fudge on a cutting board. Cut into blocks and enjoy.