Orange Gingerbread Fudge Bars

 

Growing up in South Florida, this was the time of year where we went in to our backyard and picked all the fresh oranges off our trees. We’d take them inside, juice them, and be drinking fresh orange juice for the next couple months.

Now, I’ve never been a huge gingerbread fan, but I don’t think there’s a holiday flavor that pairs better with orange, so I figured it was worth my toying with.

This week, things got a little experimental. I’ve been toying with substituting milk-based liquids for each other in a lot of my recipes with the hope that I might find some combo that I really enjoyed. What I’ve learned is that the mother nature doings involved with baking care less about the liquid involved and much more about the fat. With that in mind, I decided to use mascarpone cheese instead of heavy whipping cream. The result….a phenomenal texture that goes really well with the orange and gingerbread spices. 

Disclaimer: I’ve got two different recipes in here. The first, at least to my palate, was a little too heavy on the white chocolate with not enough gingerbread flavor. The second tasted spot on to me. But, the first was still a crowd pleaser, so I figure I’ll include both versions in here.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 10 graham crackers (can also use gingersnaps)
  • Zest from 1/2 orange

Fudge

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses (1/3 cup for second recipe)
  • 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese (just do it)
  • 6 ounces marshmallow cream
  • 1 12 oz bag white chocolate chips (8 oz for second recipe)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Zest and juice from 1/2 orange
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare your baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. I’m not going to tell you what size to use because it doesn’t matter much. Set aside.
  3. Making the crust: Melt your butter. In a food processor, begin to grind together your graham crackers. Start to pour in melted butter, followed by orange zest, and grind until combined.
  4. Pour crust in to your baking dish. Bake for 5 minutes.
  5. Add marshmallow cream, white chocolate chips, orange zest + squeezed orange, and spices to a large mixing bowl. Set aside. We’re going to essentially make a ganache with this (pouring hot liquid over something to make it melt).
  6. In a large saucepan, add butter, sugars, molasses, and mascarpone. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring consistently, for 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and pour over ingredients in mixing bowl. Blend until chips are melted and mixture is smooth.
  8. Pour over crust.
  9. Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  10. Enjoy.

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