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Chocolate Fudge

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan 3 tablespoons best-quality cocoa powder 2 cups sugar 2/3 cup milk 3 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1 cup walnut halves, cut into large pieces

DIRECTIONS
1. STEP 1
Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan. Sift cocoa powder and sugar into a medium bowl.

2. STEP 2
Prepare an ice bath. In a small saucepan, combine milk and cocoa-powder mixture with a wooden spoon until a sandy, pastelike texture forms. Add chocolate, butter, and corn syrup. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has completely dissolved, 7 to 10 minutes.

3. STEP 3
Using a pastry brush, wash down sides of pan with cold water. Increase heat to medium. When a candy thermometer registers 236 degrees remove the pan from heat, and place in ice bath for 5 seconds. Transfer pan to a heat-proof surface, and let sit until thermometer registers 121 degrees, about 45 minutes.

4. STEP 4
Using a wooden spoon, stir fudge briskly until it begins to lose its sheen, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in walnuts. Spread fudge into prepared pan with wooden spoon. Using your fingers, smooth fudge. Cover with plastic; chill 30 minutes. Cut into 1inch squares.

Candy-Cane Marshmallows
INGREDIENTS

Vegetable-oil cooking spray 2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon light corn syrup 4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract 2 large egg whites 2 teaspoons red food coloring

DIRECTIONS
1. STEP 1
Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Coat the parchment with cooking spray, and set pan aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring; let mixture come to a boil. Raise heat to mediumhigh; cook until mixture registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer.

2. STEP 2
Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract; set aside.

3. STEP 3
Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture; with mixer running, gradually add to egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. STEP 4
Pour mixture into lined pan. Working quickly, drop dots of red food coloring across surface of marshmallow. Using a toothpick, swirl food coloring into marshmallow to create a marbleized effect. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.

Gingersnap Palmiers
INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar 1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger 2/3 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 14 ounces good-quality thawed frozen puff pastry, such as Dufour

COOK'S NOTE
HOW TO FORM PALMIERS 1. After rolling out the puff pastry to a rectangle and topping with sugar filling, roll up one side of pastry along the edges lengthwise, halfway to center; repeat with the other side. 2. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough.

DIRECTIONS
1. STEP 1
Bring brown sugar, molasses, ginger, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Simmer until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour syrup into a bowl; let cool.

2. STEP 2
Whisk granulated sugar, salt, and spices in a bowl. Lightly sprinkle sugar mixture over a clean work surface; place puff pastry on top. Cut into two 10 1/2-by-7-inch pieces. Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture; press into pastry with a rolling pin. Brush generously with syrup.

3. STEP 3
Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll in from both long sides, meeting in the center; brush with syrup to seal. Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture. Wrap in plastic, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours (up to overnight).

4. STEP 4

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut dough crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Dip slices in sugar mixture. Space 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten with your palm. Freeze 30 minutes.

5. STEP 5
Bake 10 minutes. Flip, and brush with syrup. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until darkened, 10 minutes more. Transfer palmiers to a wire rack; let cool completely. Palmiers can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.