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Chocolate Fudge Cookies by Candlelight

Ever since I’ve been back from Phoenix I’ve been working like a dog to get everything put away. Just like a dog who searches for the best place to bury his bone, I’ve been looking for the perfect place for that certain picture or piece of furniture. This is good in the sense that I love cleaning out and throwing away. I also love new arrangements of knickknacks and other common hoi polloi. I’m one of those that arranges according to the season. Please, no rolling of the eyes.

What I don’t love is all the mess that this creates. Who knew that moving one piece of art would create reasons to move three more? And how does all that damn dust ever get behind those hanging paintings? And I never knew that nails could rust if they are pounded into a wall. I don’t like things out of place. I need to feel a certain sense of order around me. Even in college I couldn’t study unless there was a sense of neatness around me. There are a few that would say that was just an excuse; but we won’t name names.

So, between getting everything put away and bringing out all of my menorahs and other important artifacts of the holidays, I am going crazy. For example, I love candles. My friends that know me well, know that my house is lit by candlelight in the winter. OK. Not to see by, but to be seen by. I love the feeling of warmth that is created when a house is lit by candles. It is this feeling that makes a house decide to become a home. I can honestly feel the thermostat rise, when all are burning.

Now one might think that finding candles is easy. Trust me on this. I am picky about my candles. I do not like scented candles. I do not like weird colors, though I do like some colors. I tend to like pure colors; not wishy washy ones. I do not like to spend a fortune on candles, so I am careful where I shop. I have good luck with tapers from Hobby Lobby. Sometimes I can find them at Cost Plus. Pier One? No. Expensive boutiques always have candles, but not always tapers. Or reasonably priced cylinders.And usually they all smell. Some good; most not. Michaels has really cheap candles, but I don’t like them. They are an ungodly shade of red and just like bright red lipstick makes many a tart-well that is what the wrong shade of red candles does to a house/home. 

And what’s with all this LED crap? These are not candles. They are high tech fakes. Really, have folks forgotten how to light a match? They spread no warmth; they have no wax to clean up and they always have batteries that need replacing. Using them means there are no leftover candles to start a fire with. I just want  a few blue shades of tapers. Maybe some cylinders. I don’t want aqua or navy. I love Vance Kittera candles but his blue is so faint, I think it is gray. So this year, white it is. And maybe a few off white. I’ve already bought 18 tapers and still need at least 4 more. I’ve totally given up on finding pillars. I am tired of venturing out to at least 6 stores, just to find candles.

So I’m going a bit overboard, you might say; Manservant does say. He tells me just to go get expensive ones because time is money. Well, if that was the case, I’d be rich! And besides I haven’t even found any of those I like. But when a girl is on a mission, failure is not an option. I’ve been so crazed that I showed up at the doctor’s a day early. Who does that?

Well, tomorrow Salvation Army comes to pick up our STUFF. We have a lot of STUFF. It served us well and I will not be sorry to see it go. I am so not sentimental about STUFF. They, however do not take big old TV’s. I’ve had numerous inquiries on Craig’s List for said TV, but no one ever follows through. Hopefully, with all this gone, my head will clear and I will be able to focus on candles. 

In the meantime, I’m just going to offer the Salvation Army truck driver some cookies. That is if he’ll take my TV. Really, these cookies are so worth it. They were a first for me. I clipped them out of the paper long ago and they are attributed to Maida Heatter; Queen of baking. I don’t know what took me so long to try these. Manservant wondered the same. These are a perfect cross of fudge and brownie, but all in one perfect cookie shape. I’m not telling you they are pretty, but for anyone that loves a chewy brownie or a glorious piece of fudge, they are truly a thing of beauty.

And don’t forget.They are best eaten in front of a roaring fire, with white candles to light the room. Just as candles make a house a home, well, we all know that home baked cookies do the same!

Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen
Time to make: About 15 minutes
Time to eat: about 2 seconds
Time to bake: About 7 minutes

12 oz semisweet chocolate chips or a mixture of bittersweet and semisweet
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 t vanilla extract
1 T bourbon (optional)
1/2 t salt
1 c flour
2 1/4 c toasted pecans, broken into large pieces
Maldon Salt flakes


Preheat oven to 350.

Melt chocolate and butter on low setting, in 1 minute intervals in microwave, stirring at each interval with wooden spoon, until fully melted. Stir until smooth. Stir in condensed milk, vanilla and bourbon. Stir in flour and toasted pecans.

Using a rounded teaspoonful, place dough on parchment or Silpat lined sheets.  Sprinkle with salt, if you’d like. Bake 7 minutes. These will look glossy and wet and totally unbaked. Don’t worry. Let them cool completely. Transfer to wire rack until bottom is dry. I keep them sealed in a giant Zip-Lock and they have tasted great for 5 days. Give some to your Salvation Army truck driver in hopes he will take your TV.

More December Food:

Gingerbread Waffles
Liege Waffles
Not My Mamas Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken, Artichoke, Mushroom Casserole
Spritz Cookies
Shortbread Cookie Cut Outs

British Scones
Chocolate Krantz Cake or Babka
Double Chocolate Mocha Macadamia Bark
Browned Butter Cream Cheese Apricot Rugelach
Soft Chocolate Crackles with Mint M and M’s
World Peace Cookies
Latke 1 or Latke 2
Sweet Potato Latkes
Sweet Family Favorites



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  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    December 19, 2014 at 11:01 am

    My mom loved candles, too, and we always lit them for dinner…I need to follow suit. No scented candles here, either! I only brought an SUV's worth of stuff from my parents' house…I know you're dealing with much more. I still have a stack of art in the basement. What to do, what to do…. I think your bribe is brilliant…hope the TV is gone by the time you read this!!!

  • Reply
    jacquie astemborski
    December 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Have you looked at Big Dipper online? I also love candles and have to be careful about which ones I purchase due to allergies to scents. They have tapers as well as pillars and come in both scented and unscented. I don't know how they compare in price but they do have sales, bulk orders and free shipping for orders over a certain amount. Plus it is so easy to order online rather than running around to different stores and being frustrated – at least for me it is. You might want to check them out. And in the mean time i'm thinking about checking out those cookies you just posted as they look great. Perhaps w/ some chopped up ginger added?

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2015 at 4:23 am

      Thanks Jacquie! The candles are beautiful! Plus I totally agree that it is way easier than running around! Do try these cookies. They were fabulous!

  • Reply
    Karen Harris
    December 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I completely feel you pain with moving stuff around. Bleh! I am sick of it and the holidays have given me the perfect excuse not to do much of it. Boy, January has some unpleasant chores in store for me! These cookies look marvelous! Happy Hanukkah!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2015 at 4:24 am

      Totally get it, Karen! Can't wait to see the new place!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    December 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Well these cookies look perfect! Everything I move something three more projects come out of it. We've been helping our daughter and son-in-law renovate a house … for 8 months. So ready to be done! I haven't done much around our house this year but once their stuff is out of my garage – watch out!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2015 at 4:25 am

      Oh Tricia! I'm not sure I could do it. On the other hand, it would be a lot of fun. But I know what you mean about getting your garage back. I am ready!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    December 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    My favorite candles are Root candles. I was lucky enough to visit their outlet store near Cleveland, Ohio a few years back and really stocked up. Sometimes you can find them at Marshall or Home Goods. Really slow burning, nice candles. I agree, no scented candles in my house.

    These cookies look delicious! Chocolate and nuts – that about does it for me! Happy Hanukkah, Abbe!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2015 at 4:26 am

      I am going to look for these, too! The cookies are way delicious!

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    December 19, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Abbe, who would not love a cross between fudge and a brownie, these sound wonderful, will add these to my list.

  • Reply
    Sippity Sup
    December 21, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Right now we are lighting the Menorah and I splurged on Bees Wax candles, they have such a warm glow. GREG

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    December 22, 2014 at 1:07 am

    May I PLEASE eat these outside in a hammock? I can't wait for winter 🙂

    I love candles in the winter and I love candles outside at night during the summer. I will admit that because we live 2 minutes from the ocean, sometimes it's just too windy and we have some of those waxy battery candles for outside. My apologies. It's not hard to light a match but it's tough to keep the damn thing lit in the wind. 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2015 at 4:27 am

      Eat them anywhere you want Maureen! And I'll give you a pass if you are using candles outdoors!

  • Reply
    December 22, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Starting January 1, all the Goodwill stores by me don't except t.v.'s anymore – I guess they just take up too much room and no one buys them? I wonder how you get rid of it then??


    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2015 at 4:28 am

      Craig's List. For free. And some stores will take them if they aren't to big, for recycling purposes!

  • Reply
    Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself
    December 23, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Fudgy cookies? I am more than happy to devour this all day everyday 😀

    Happy Holidays!
    Choc Chip Uru

  • Reply
    Daniela Grimburg
    December 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    I know very well what you mean Abbe, me too I love candles and spent several weeks chasing special blue candles to match with my china.
    At least now I found somebody who will understand:)
    The chocolate cookies look wonderful and the presentation is superb.
    Happy Holidays to you and your family, dear!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      January 8, 2015 at 4:29 am

      We must be twins, Daniela! Have a great holiday and new year!

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    December 27, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I too love candles..white, gold and sea blue.
    These fudge cookies look so beautifully presented and delicious, Abbe.

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