fudge cookies

On occasion I’ve mentioned that I grew up eating too many pre-packaged supermarket desserts. As an adult I look back with a fair degree of mortification at my childhood dietary habits but let’s face it – nothing is too sweet, too sickening or too brightly colored for an 8 year old. Perhaps this at least partially explains my grown-up preoccupation with all things home-baked.

 

I must admit though, there is one supermarket cookie I’ve been craving for a bit too long – the Fudge Town cookie. The manufacturer, Burry, stopped making Fudge Town cookies years ago and I’ve missed them. For this reason, I decided to lock myself in the kitchen and not come out until I was able to reproduce the cookie and reproduce it I did. Humility aside, this cookie blows away the original. Think of it as a grown-up super fudge cookie. You are going to love them.

 

fudge cookie bite

 

Of course, I couldn’t lock myself in the kitchen for too long without something to listen to and so I began listening to an audio book called Bright-Sided. It’s an interesting take on the wave of positive psychology that’s engulfed America. How can positive thinking be wrong, right?

 

spring tree
May pole

 

We don’t often think of it this way but the selling of positive thinking is a profitable business in the United States. It’s become so pervasive and accepted that many of us don’t even question it when we’re told we should be grateful for and positive about some seriously ugly situations. Job loss? Illness? Trauma? Difficult home life? Be positive and it will get better. Don’t address or work to change the factors that caused the situation – you can overcome them.

 

fudge cookie and milk
Of course, it’s wonderful to feel positive and grateful. Who doesn’t like to be happy? But it’s not normal to feel that way all the time and frankly I’ve met a few people lately who almost seem to feel guilty about having any negative feelings at all. Sadly, a lot of people have something to gain by getting others to buy into this frequently dismissive approach to dealing with real issues and feelings.
Wow, all of that out of a couple of fudge cookies. Incredible. What’s you’re take on the subject? Positive? Negative? I myself prefer the full menu of emotions -accompanied by chocolate, of course.

fudge cookie

Homemade Fudge Town Cookies

 

130 g unsalted butter, room temperature
145 g sugar
1 egg
6 g vanilla
60 g. melted chocolate, cooled
135 g flour
85 g cocoa
1 g salt
6 g baking soda

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (177 C)

 

Sift dry ingredients together. Set aside.

 

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and mix until light and fluffy about 1 minute. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add melted chocolate and mix until just blended in. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add dry ingredients. Mix on low just until blended and the mixture begins to come together as a dough. Chill 30 minutes. In the meantime, make the filling.

 

Filling

 

35 g milk chocolate, melted
30 ml cream (about 1/8 c)
2 g corn syrup
90 g butter
10 g vegetable shortening
115 g powdered sugar
45 g cocoa powder
6 g vanilla

 

Melt chocolate. Heat cream and corn syrup. Pour into chocolate and mix to blend.

 

Cream butter and vegetable shortening. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add 6 g vanilla and melted chocolate mixture. Beat. For sweeter filling and more powdered sugar. For less sweet filling add more cocoa powder. You want the filling to be thick and fudgy so that it doesn’t smear around when you bite into the cookie. If you want it thicker, simply add more powdered sugar or cocoa powder.

 

Assembly

 

Roll out dough on a Silpat to desired thickness and cut out shapes with your choice of cookie cutter. Place cookies on Silpat-lined cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool. Using knife, spread filling on one cookie, top with another cookie and press down gently until the filling reaches the edge.

 

Bon appetit!

 

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57 Comments
  1. I’m sorry to say that I don’t think I ever had a Fudge Town cookie! I must have had a deprived childhood or else they weren’t available in Wisconsin.

    Yours look delicious! I’ll have to make my own Fudge Town cookies now to make up for not ever having one 🙂

  2. I loved Fudge Towns! I can’t wait to try your recipe. Totally drool-worthy. Funny about the positive thinking. I think no one wants to know us unless we’re happy all the time!!!

  3. I loved Fudge Towns! I can’t wait to try your recipe. Totally drool-worthy. Funny about the positive thinking. I think no one wants to know us unless we’re happy all the time!!!

  4. I LOVE these cookies and I couldn’t agree more with you. I grew up in a world where every negative emotion was suppressed. Only happy, positive ones were allowed. Not anymore. 🙂 When I’m sad, hurt, angry, I let myself be sad, hurt, and angry. Then I pick myself up, take heart, and press on, changing what I can, learning what I can. Raising a glass to REAL life. 🙂

  5. yes yes i remember those cookies all too well. i also remember when they made a xmas version…remember that?
    positive thinking: i do or rather practice it a lot. it does work for me when i “continually” do it. for years i thought i was doing it right, since i was getting what i put out there to the universe but wasn’t receiving it all, until a friend told me that i also have to envision the details. like the details of the house, the details of hubby receiving PhD, etc.. So true you know? Envision all the details, the work and the reward. I live on cape cod, i don’t really share this with the people here–its a different class of people LOL Let’s just leave it at that and eat cookies!

  6. I agree, and thanks for writing about the positive thinking. I still struggle with feeling guilty that I’m not happy and cheery all the time. P.S. Still in love with your food photos.

  7. I want one of your Fudge Town cookies right now! I could make them myself with your recipe but somehow I don’t think they’ll turn out as lovely as yours. 🙂

  8. Oh El, you always make me laugh and think. Sounds spot on to me. I constantly feel like I have to apologize if I’m not super cheerful. It terrible & I’m not sure why I do it!!!! Cookies and fab photos to the rescue. Where did you ever get that May Pole picture? Did you taje it in Germany?

  9. I went back and read your link about the superhero cape. How insulting for anyone to think that’s really ok when people are suffering. You weren’t kidding!!! I guess I’ll read the book.

  10. I have a skirt with nearly the same pattern as those napkins… hmm.

    I was thinking as I walked home today that I’d really like to get out and photograph the dandelions. Here’s some proof that it looks lovely.

    Also lovely are these cookies, which I may or may not have had before (although the name isn’t familiar). I may or may not make them:)

  11. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Dish- the May Pole picture was taken at a May Day celebration on the MA coast. Not Germany though that would be nice.

    Emma, it’s fabric from the fabric store. No skirt was harmed for the photograph ;>)

  12. Wow- these look divine! I too cringe at the thought of some of the foods I loved as a child. Oh the horror of all that processed, sugary junk! Oh well- if it inspires something like these homemade cookies, maybe it’s completely worth it. Beautiful post!

  13. I can not tell you how happy I am to read this post. I’ve been considering going back to just “being me”, and it’s not all sugar and spice….I’m so happy that you share these opinions with us, it makes you so much more interesting and what I’ve come to love about your site.

    I’ve been pondering being more “me” in my blog. I think you are right when you said “Don’t address or work to change the factors that caused the situation – you can overcome them”. You have to address the change and the factors that caused the situation while thinking positively, just positive thinking isn’t enough.

    You can overcome them, certainly, but unless you address it, things will rebound again and again. BTW, never heard of those cookies before but they sure sound super yummy.

  14. Thank you soooo much for this post. I’ve been sick for 3 years now and when I walk into the doctors office the nurse says,”be positive” I could scream. Right, be positive. She’s not vomiting every day. Everyone tells me that I find it so insulting. People just don’t want to hear how anyone is really doing because then they might be obligated to do something about it. Am I supposed to say sorry for being negative now? I do love your pictures and your blog.

  15. What fabulous sandwich cookies! They look so delicious and addictive.

    It is not always easy to feel happy everyday, but at least food has the power to wash away most depressive feelings…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  16. I’m not familiar with those cookies, but I’m thinking I would have loved them! Hate it when our favorite things are no longer available. Sander’s Almond Tea Rings were MY favorite….long gone.

  17. I can’t recall Fudge Town cookies though I would imagine I had one at some point. My mom baked a LOT. Usually from scratch but sometimes from prepackaged mixes.

    Not sure about the emotions thing. Usually when I’m feeling like crap I just have to go with it. What I don’t like is that some people bitch about everything and that drives me crazy! But I guess we all have our days, right?

  18. Yes, yes! I totally remember Fudge Towns but haven’t thought about them until just now, looking at your post.

    I grew up in New England; I wonder if they were a regional brand?

    Amazing how memory is jogged just by an image. I can see myself on my swing set on a summer day, with a handful of those cookies wrapped in wax paper. I can smell and taste them…

  19. What beautiful pictures! I definitely remember Fudge Town cookies- your version looks much better, though 🙂 I’m craving cookies and milk now!

  20. Oh, I remember eating Fudge Town cookies by the package as a kid. I can practically taste them now.

    I agree, this push for positivity isn’t necessarily helpful. I see it all over the place–perhaps starting with youth, who get a trophy and a certificate for everything they do, whether they win or lose? I think the buck up, chin up attitude can be helpful, but it also results in repressed emotion that can fester and release in unexpected ways. I assume this audio book comes in print, too. I want ot check it out.

  21. I hadn’t thought of Fudge Towns in probably 25 years. And then you had to go and remind me — with photographic evidence that I can relive my youth.

    Somehow, whenever I try to duplicate a packaged food, I get it wrong (if you can do Near East Rice Pilaf, I’ll be forever in your debt). Do you suppose a little positive thinking …

  22. I am getting definitely all positive feelings about those Fudge Town cookies! 🙂

    I like to think positive, but when I want to, not when being dictated to! 😉

  23. Oh, El! These are delighting me…I do a housemade Oreo at the Marge farmer’s markets and it’s very, very similar to these (except with a vanilla filling). They even look the same. While I don’t remember Fudge Towns, I am excited to try a different filling in my own (peanut butter would be good, too, eh?) Thanks for the inspiration and, as always, lovely photos!

  24. I never had these cookies before, but from the look I know that I will like them. Love all the pictures…gorgeous. Hope you are having a wonderful week El 🙂

  25. I can’t believe I’ve never had a Fudge Town. I guess I’ll have to make my own. Delicious photos and I agree 100%.

  26. I’ve never had a Fudge Town cookie. I was raised on prepackaged foods as well and thought that I tried everything on the cookie aisle.

    I don’t understand people who stick their head into the sand. Aside from chronic depression, I think that a jolt of stress (and perspective) whenever these life events happen – job loss, illness and difficult situations – is good. It motivates you to take action and can be a catalyst to getting “unstuck”. Although, I’ve met some people who are chronically negative, and that has its challenges too. They all too often underestimate the possibilities and don’t try to reach their potential because of it.

  27. Loved this — right down to the slightly unsettling but perfect vision of the May pole girls. Recreating a classic cookie (I don’t think we had them out west, but I’m not sure) is pretty excellent! I won’t spam your comments with my rather fiery opinions about the epidemic of positiveness we’re confronted with in our culture. What I like least about it is that it seems to be a surface level thing and something that just rolls off the tongue in every situation. “Good job! That’s okay, you tried!” is my fave. I actually think it’s damaging. Then there’s the sub-level snarkery that goes on after a particularly innocuous positive comment. Tip of the iceberg :). Lovely images as always, and great questions!

  28. Love these cookies! And the pairing of chocolate and optimism go very well together. What better way to get a serotonin boost!

  29. My take on the positive psychology movement is that it attempts to balance out the more traditional approach to psychology which has often relied heavily on revisiting past and current negative experience in our lives. I don’t think the end goal is to erase all negative emotion, but rather to take a balanced approach to life and try to cultivate more positive feelings in order to counterbalance the negative ones. At least that’s the impression that I’ve gotten from what I’ve read so far.

  30. Those cookies are just perfect – I never knew what store-bought sweets and desserts were until I was 10 (when my father got married again and his wife did not want to cook for us). That’s pretty much why I started to cook and bake and ended falling in love with it.
    I completely agree with you on positive thinking – so true!

  31. These look so decadent and give the feeling of that wonderful homemade warmth!

    Positive or negative emotions, I’m sure these cookies will soothe and comfort and celebrate too!

  32. I get very annoyed with the super-cheerful, when it’s fake. Positivity is one thing, cheesiness is another!! I’ve never heard of fudge town cookies but they look awesome!!!!

  33. Beautiful cookies. I have a weakness for fudgeos, this just might replace them!
    I read an article in Psychology Today a couple of years ago about how feeling down sometimes is normal, and that people who strive for total happiness all the time are bound to fail and will end up feeling worse. It was really interesting, and reminded me of a few people I know.

  34. these remind me of the girl scout cookies that I have tried to recreate, unsuccessfully! I am going to try my hand at these!

  35. i have a friend who ate these cookies growing up! I would love to make them for her, but the recipe is written in grams. Do I have to weigh the ingredients or can I convert the ingredients to cups and teaspoons?

  36. Hi I have a friend who ate these cookies as a child. I would love to bake these for her for her bday. I just have a question…. The ingredients are given in grams, can I just convert them to cups and teaspoons or do I need to weigh each ingredient? Thank you!

  37. I have been searching for Fudgetown cookies for years, and have written about them in my own blog, asking people to help me find them. I can’t wait to make them. What did you use to make the signature hole in the middle so that you can pop out that delicious button of filling?

  38. Fudge Towns were my favorite cookies wa-aaa-aay back in the late ’60s. Each box contained several little cello-wrapped portion-controlled packs of six. I especially liked the “Funilla” variety. I guess I can try leaving the chocolate out of the cookie in your recipe to duplicate them. (BTW, I’m assuming that you use unsweetened chocolate in the cookie? You didn’t say.)
    The closest cookie I’ve found to the original Fudge Towns is a fudge cookie made by Dare, but it’s not quite the same.

      1. Hi. I really want to make these (I miss my Fudgetowns) but I don’t have a kitchen scale. Can you please convert this recipe? I would truly appreciate it.

      2. Hi Bonnie, Thanks for your note. I’ll be happy to do it the next time I make them but I can’t guarantee when that will be.It’s a busy season!

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