Forget Snowmageddon. Let’s talk fudge.
Specifically, let’s talk about the fudge made at Aunt Belle’s Confectionary in Park Rapids. If the early wintry onslaught is getting you down, consider this instead: rich, chewy fudge, made fresh daily, each bite a dense explosion of all the wonderful things that are bad for you — cream, butter, sugar — but who cares when it tastes this good?
Aunt Belle’s, which also has a summer location in Walker, has been the purveyor of this fine fudge for over 30 years. While the store has changed ownership over the decades, the fudge recipes have been handed down to each owner.
The fudge (which sells for $7 per half-pound) is cooked in a copper kettle over a flame before being poured out onto a water-cooled table, where it’s shaped, and depending on the variety, infused with additional ingredients. From there, Aunt Belle’s serves it up in giant slabs from which customers can order anything from a bite to several pounds. The end product is luxuriously creamy and smooth, and plenty sweet without being treacly, a far cry from the sad versions that show up in grocery stores for the holidays.
Regular offerings include old standbys like chocolate and chocolate walnut as well as a few novelty flavors like cookies and cream and peanut butter. While you can’t go wrong with any of them, one of the most decadent is the maple nut fudge, its sugary sweetness offset by the generous amount of walnuts swirled in.
Here’s the good news: snowed in? No worries. You can order Aunt Belle’s online, now through Dec. 31. The fudge holds up surprisingly well in the refrigerator if kept wrapped in plastic or wax paper. Besides, if you’re going to expend calories clearing a driveway, don’t you deserve a treat?
Aunt Belle’s Confectionary, 110 South Main, Park Rapids, MN 56470; 218.732.7019
The store closes for the season Dec. 31, reopening in the spring