I originally got this recipe from the Hershey website, but I’ve changed it a little and made my own flavor variations. Believe me when I say that old-fashioned fudge is well worth the extra time. It’s deliciously creamy and rich, but firm in texture.
Toasting the Nuts
Grease an 8×8 pan and set aside. If you’re adding nuts to the fudge, preheat the oven to 350 and toast for 15 minutes:
1 c. chopped nuts (I use walnuts for nutty fudge or almonds for a rocky road variation).
Set the toasted nuts aside.
Cooking the Fudge
Use a large pot with a heavy bottom. Add and stir occasionally over medium heat until the candy reaches soft-ball stage:
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. milk (sea level) or 1 ⅔ c. milk (high altitude)
⅔ c. cocoa
⅛ t. salt
Candy stages can vary a lot based on your altitude. My fudge reaches soft-ball stage around 224 degrees, but at sea level, it’s more like 235 degrees. I haven’t used a candy thermometer since mine broke, and I’ve had great success with the cold water test.
Remove the fudge from the heat and DO NOT STIR. Add to the top and let it sit until it reaches 110 degrees (warm to the touch):
1 t. vanilla
6 T. butter
additional ingredients (unless otherwise noted)
Here comes the fun part. Stir the fudge until it starts to lose its gloss. For this recipe, it takes about 4 1/2 minutes, and it gets a lot harder to stir toward the end.
Nutty: Stir in 1 c. chopped, toasted walnuts.
Peanut butter: Stir in 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter. If you’re really skilled, you can make a beautiful swirl. I’m not so talented, so I just mix it in at the same time as the butter and vanilla.
Rocky road: Stir in 1 c. chopped, toasted almonds and 1 c. mini marshmallows. Wait until the last 30 seconds of stirring to add the marshmallows, or they’ll melt.
Spread the fudge in the prepared pan and cool completely. It really doesn’t “pour” at this point, so you’ll have to press it down with your hands. On the bright side, you can eat it pretty much right away since it firms up so quickly. It will continue to get firmer as it cools.
Candy cane: Sprinkle 1/2 c. crushed candy canes over the top after putting the fudge in the pan.
Cut the old-fashioned fudge into small squares before serving. (Yum!)
Find more candy recipes here.