This is my mother's recipe with just a few minor changes. I add corn syrup to help prevent graininess, and I use a few modern conveniences: a candy thermometer and a stand mixer.
A stand mixer can be used to beat this fudge. Just cool as directed then let the mixture do the heavy work.
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped nuts, optional
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Butter the sides of a medium saucepan (2 to 3-quart size). Add the brown sugar, evaporated milk, and corn syrup; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling, stirring frequently, to soft ball stage or when candy thermometer registers about 235 F.*
- Remove from heat and drop the butter onto the mixture, but do not stir. Let cool (without disturbing) until it registers about 120 F on the candy thermometer. This will take about 25 to 35 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until the fudge just begins to thicken and loses its glossiness. You could also transfer the mixture to a stand mixture and beat with the paddle beater.
- Add chopped nuts and beat for a few more minutes, until it is thick but not hardening. Pour or spread in a greased pie plate or 8-inch square pan.
- Score when set and cut into squares when firm.
*To test for soft ball stage:
Use fresh cold water each time you test the candy. In about 1 cup of cold water, spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of hot candy. Put your hand into the water and push the candy to form a ball. Gently pick the formed ball up (if it will not form a ball, it is not done) - the soft ball will flatten slightly when removed from the water.