Here is a fun nature themed treat that your whole family is sure to love. Make them just because or as part of a tree themed study unit. These were a huge hit in our house and my kids loved counting the "tree" rings in their fudge cookie.
I paired these cookies with a coniferous tree unit where we learned about foraging for white pine needles and making pine tea, as well as their lifecycle and different types of pine cones.
Did you know that some deciduous trees have a type of cone called a serotinous cone? It has allowed certain pine tree forests, like the Lodge Pole Pine forests of the North West, to continue to thrive even after forest fires. These seed cones are closed shut with resin and remain closed and viable until fire burns through the forest. When a wild fire does spread through the trees, the resin melts and the cones are dropped to the ground, allowing the seeds to repopulate the fire damaged forest. This is one reason why you see trees of about the same height when you travel through a burn area.
If you try these, I would love to see them. Tag me @huckleberrycreektoys on Instagram!
Fudge Log Tree Rings
1.5 sticks of butter
6 oz evaporated milk
3 cups sugar
10 oz mini marshmallows
1/2 cup peanut butter or nut butter substitute
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1. Add butter and evaporated milk to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat to melt the butter.
2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Once fully dissolved heat to boiling. Boil and stir frequently until temperature reaches 234 degrees.
3. Remove from heat and stir in marshmallows. Separate into 2 bowls. In one bowl add the nut butter and in the other bowl add the chocolate chips. Stir until mixture is smooth.
4. Lay out either 2 silicone mats or pieces of parchment paper. Place the chocolate mixture on one mat and the nut butter mixture on the other mat. You may need to split the mixtures in half, depending on how large your mats or pieces of parchment paper are. Roll out the fudge. The thinner the layer, the smaller the rings of your tree will be.
5. Once you have both flavors rolled out, set the nut butter layer on top of the chocolate layer and start rolling.
6. Once you get to the end of your roll, cut about an inch off the nut butter layer so your chocolate layer creates a nice seal, and hides all the nut butter.
7. Once your log is rolled, cut the jagged ends off your log and take either a cake tester or a tooth pick and create ridges in the outer chocolate layer so it resembles tree bark.
8. Slice your log into tree rounds and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from https://www.handmadecharlotte.com/lumberjacks-rejoice-a-recipe-for-fudge-tree-rings/