This year, I made an assortment of homemade Halloween candy. I have a bowl of mini Halloween treat bags in the kitchen filled with fudge, vegan Tootsie Rolls, meringues, and chocolate cranberry bark with no express purpose other than to have on hand. We probably won’t get trick-or-treaters in a third-floor walk-up (and homemade candy is filled with POISON and RAZOR BLADES), so the treat bags will more than likely go to friends over the next week. I feel like Martha Stewart, in a very appropriately seasonal kind of way.
Perhaps I’m a little biased, but my go-to candy recipes are in the Vegan Candyland zine. It’s filled with sugar, chocolate, oil, and flavors mixed and cooked in different ways to result in a variety of recipes like Kit Kats, Fudge, Tootsie Rolls, Peanut Butter Cups, Butterfinger Bars, and caramel-based goodies. This year I modified the Fudge recipe to be PS Fudge, and I made a batch of Tootsie Rolls.
The Pumpkin Spice Fudge recipe isn’t available in the zine of course, so I’m posting it here. While the recipe itself isn’t overtly difficult, it does take some finesse and making sure the fudge mixture reaches soft ball stage, which you can do with a candy thermometer OR a bowl of cold water. One is more precise, but both methods will do the trick (…or treat).
Pumpkin Spice Fudge
Makes an 8×8-inch tray of fudge
2 3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon light corn syrup*
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup soy creamer (or just more soy milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon each nutmeg and allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
*You can replace the corn syrup with agave or brown rice syrup if you have those on hand and can’t justify buying a bottle of corn syrup for one recipe. If you’d like to avoid the corn syrup for health reason, maybe just make a kale salad instead? Because all of the other ingredients in this fudge are pure sugar and oil.
Combine all ingredients from sugar to soy creamer in a medium saucepan. Turn the heat to medium. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium/low and place a lid on the saucepan. Cook for 3 minutes.
Remove lid and cook mixture to soft ball stage (238°F, or when a spoonful of the mixture dropped into a cup of cold water holds its shape and is pliable like a soft caramel ball), about 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and let the mixture cool to 110°F, about 1 hour or so, then add the vanilla and spices. Pour into a parchment-lined 8×8-inch pan, let cool, cut, and eat!
Extra: if you really want, you can make little fondant pumpkins, paint them with food coloring, and stick them on top of the fudge with melted chocolate for that PSL glow.
And the Tootsie Rolls!, which can be found in Vegan Candyland.
I poured my love and questionable illustration skills into Vegan Candyland over 6 years ago and people still buy it, so it’s, like, a classic. You can grab it HERE for $4.50 (shipping is free, currently US addresses only) and start your own homemade Halloween candy traditions.
Happy Halloween! What are you wearing?
You know, for Halloween! I’m going to be an unenthusiastic cheerleader. Go team?