Maple Walnut Fudge has a silky-smooth texture and a wonderful fall flavor from real maple syrup and crunchy toasted walnuts. Be sure to use real maple syrup, not maple-flavored "pancake syrup" or other imitation syrups. If you don't have walnuts, you can substitute pecans or hazelnuts in this fudge.
A good candy thermometer is a must for this recipe. I recommend testing it before you begin, following these instructions, to make sure that it is accurate.
- 1 cup maple syrup (preferably "dark" or "grade B")
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnuts (toasted and coarsely chopped)
1. Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the maple syrup, cream, sugar, salt, and corn syrup in a medium heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the fudge comes to a boil, then insert a candy thermometer and cook, stirring occasionally, until it reads 238 degrees F.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the candy into the bowl of a large standing mixer.
(Alternately, you can use a hand mixer and pour it into any large bowl.) Wash the candy thermometer to remove stray sugar crystals, then insert the candy thermometer into the hot candy. Allow the candy to cool, without stirring or disturbing it in any way, until it cools down to 110 degrees F. This may take over an hour, depending on the temperature of your room.
4. Once the fudge reaches 110 F, add the vanilla and beat it with the paddle attachment of the electric mixer on medium-low speed. Watch it closely, and beat just until it starts to thicken and lose its gloss. It should gradually become thicker and take on the texture of cake frosting. This process might take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on your mixer. If you have beaten it too much and it gets too thick to stir, add a spoonful or two of very hot water and stir to loosen it.
5. Once the fudge is thickened but not set, stir in the toasted nuts, and scrape it into the prepared pan. Spread it into a smooth, even layer and allow it to set completely at room temperature for an hour.
6. Once set, remove the fudge from the pan using the foil as handles. Cut it into small one-inch squares to serve. Maple Walnut Fudge can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.