I know I promised to share “something juicy” with you in Monday’s blog post about these awesome cookies. That just goes to show two things: that a) I probably shouldn’t make promises I don’t have a mind to keep, and b) for future reference, you probably shouldn’t trust me when I say I’m going to tell you something juicy. I didn’t even have time to blend a fruity drink and present it to you as a punny example of my exceptionally dry humor.
So nothin’ juicy today. Just me and this fudge that disappeared in about 30 minutes when I took it to the office this morning…
The funny thing about this Vegan Walnut Fudge is that it actually turned out to be a total accident and delicious failure–if you can call addictingly healthified fudge a failure. This year it turns out that one of my nicest students is allergic to basically every edible substance known to my kitchen: gluten, soy, dairy, strawberries, grapes, corn, beans, apples–the works.
You can believe that when I heard this news during that first day of classes, I was utterly mortified. That shock, however, soon transformed into a (slightly perverse?) excitement about rising to the challenge. Hold my wine glass and let me roll up my sleeves, Marty-O, because this gal’s about to do a crazy one in the kitchen!
The intervening weeks have been filled with tons of crazy experimentation, tons of label-checking and Googling, and an unprecedented intimacy with allergy-free and dietary-friendly ingredients I had never touched. Did you know that baking soda is pretty solidly gluten-free, but that some baking powders do contain gluten products? Or that peanut butter can be made with soy? Or that certain brands of powdered sugar also include unexpected additives such as cornstarch?
Because this fudge contains powdered sugar and my student is allergic to corn, I couldn’t very well serve it up, meaning I had spent an entire afternoon carefully dancing around with this recipe for nothing. On the other hand, it did mean that I consumed the better part of a whole batch by myself, because geesh. Free, awesome, melt-in-your mouth walnut fudge? I’ll take failures like this every day, please!
I managed to scrape together an amazing gluten-free chocolate chip cookie & brownie crumble layered peanut butter mousse parfait for my students instead, so needless to say, they weren’t disappointed. And best of all, I got to bring what was left of my fudge tray (I had made three batches) into my department, where vegan and non-vegan chocolate fiends actually fought for the last pieces.
I have stories in store–promise!–but the teaching load, research backlog, and carpal tunnel are all converging on me in one manic dogpile, so for now you have my blessing to make this Vegan Walnut Fudge.If you have 5 minutes of prep time to spare, I can’t recommend this recipe enough.
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup almond or peanut butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (may substitute agave nectar)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- Line a 5x7-inch baking pan with foil and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat together coconut oil and nut butter of choice. Mix in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts.
- Pour batter evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining walnuts on top.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving. Store leftovers in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.