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Penuche fudge is a classic and delightful confection made with brown sugar, giving it a rich, caramel-like flavor. Unlike traditional chocolate fudge, penuche has a unique taste and creamy texture that sets it apart. It’s perfect for holiday treats, gifts, or simply indulging in a sweet moment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making this delicious treat.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • Nonstick spray (for preparing the pan)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Pan

  1. Line the Pan: Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, allowing some overhang on the sides for easy removal. Lightly spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray.

Step 2: Cook the Sugar Mixture

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium saucepan, combine the light brown sugar, granulated sugar, evaporated milk, unsalted butter, and salt.
  2. Heat the Mixture: Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Boil to Soft Ball Stage: Once the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook without stirring until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage (238°F or 114°C) on a candy thermometer. This will take about 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: Cool the Mixture

  1. Remove from Heat: Once the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  2. Cool Slightly: Let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes. This will help it to thicken slightly.

Step 4: Beat and Add Flavorings

  1. Add Vanilla Extract: Stir in the vanilla extract.
  2. Beat the Mixture: Using an electric hand mixer or a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it begins to thicken and lose its gloss. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

Step 5: Add Confectioners Sugar and Nuts

  1. Sift in Confectioners Sugar: Gradually add the sifted confectioners sugar, beating until fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
  2. Add Nuts: Fold in the chopped pecans or walnuts.

Step 6: Pour and Set

  1. Pour into Pan: Pour the fudge mixture into the prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
  2. Set: Let the fudge cool completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator until firm. This will take about 2-3 hours.

Step 7: Slice and Serve

  1. Remove from Pan: Once the fudge is set, lift it out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper.
  2. Slice: Cut the fudge into small squares using a sharp knife.
  3. Serve: Enjoy your homemade penuche fudge! Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes

  • Consistency: If the fudge seems too soft or doesn’t set properly, you might not have cooked it to the correct temperature. Using a candy thermometer ensures accuracy.
  • Nuts: Feel free to omit the nuts if you prefer a smooth fudge or if you have nut allergies.
  • Storage: Penuche fudge can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or refrigerated for up to two weeks.

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