Caramel! Maple! Buttermilk! When there are such amazing flavors that can be made into batches of homemade fudge candy, why is it that chocolate fudge always grabs most of the attention?
Yes, the traditional kind of dark brown fudge is pretty fantastic — like Can’t fail 5-minute fudge or double chocolate fudge. But after you’ve had your fill of cocoa-based candy, you’re going to be happy that you can try these homemade caramel fudge, maple fudge and buttermilk fudge recipes.
No one ever invented caramel flavor to equal that of melted sugar
Caramelized sugar is legendary in country kitchens, in frostings and fabulous burnt sugar cakes — it adds fascinating flavor.
The trick in caramelizing sugar is to melt it, but not to let it scorch. It’s really not burnt sugar, but melted or liquefied sugar. Stir sugar constantly while it melts, then take it from the heat, continuing to stir until the lumps, if any, dissolve. It will turn a pale to medium golden brown.
The Kansas farm woman who sent us the following recipe writes: “At evening gatherings, our groups especially enjoy Burnt Sugar Fudge. It appeals to teens who have to be careful about eating chocolate.
“This is a large recipe, resulting in enough leftover candy to take to the teacher next morning. We enjoy using and eating different nuts in the fudge. Sometimes I add almonds, other times cashews. We also like to substitute toasted sunflower seeds for the nuts.”
6 cups sugar 2 cups dairy half-and-half or light cream 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups chopped pecans
Put 2 cups sugar in heavy skillet; melt over low heat until sugar liquefies and turns a light golden brown. (Use care not to scorch.)
Combine remaining 4 cups sugar and half-and-half in 3-qt. heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then slowly pour the melted sugar from skillet into mixture in saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, to the soft ball stage (238°).
Remove from heat and vigorously stir in baking soda. Mixture will foam. Add butter without stirring. Let stand until lukewarm (110°). Add vanilla and beat until mixture loses its gloss. Stir in nuts. Beat until mixture thickens. Pour into buttered 13x9x2″ pan. When firm, cut in 96 pieces. Makes about 3-1/2 pounds.
Try this country relative of fudge and see why it’s so popular
Recipes for buttermilk candy are going the rounds in country neighborhoods. When a Missouri farmer’s wife introduced it to guests at a club meeting, she said: “There’s an unusual ingredient in my candy. See if you can guess what it is.”
Everyone was curious, but the hostess had to tell about the buttermilk. “You know what happened then,” one of the guests reported. “We started looking for paper and pens. Our hostess read the recipe, and we all returned home in a candy-making mood. I’ve been making buttermilk candy ever since. You will, too, once you try it.”
1 cup buttermilk 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups sugar 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1/4 cup butter or margarine 1 cup chopped pecans
Combine buttermilk and baking soda in 3-quart heavy saucepan. Let stand 20 minutes.
Add sugar and corn syrup to buttermilk. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. When mixture boils, add butter and cook, stirring occasionally if necessary, to the soft ball stage (236 to 238°) — it will turn a medium brown color.
Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm (110°).
Beat until mixture loses its gloss and starts to thicken. Stir in pecans. Turn into buttered 8″ square pan. Cool until firm; then cut in 36 pieces. Makes about 1-1/2 pounds.
If you’ve ever stood near a Vermont sugar house in late winter or early spring and poured hot maple syrup over fresh-fallen snow packed firmly in a soup plate, you know the delight of eating sugar snow.
But even if you live far from New England, you can experience a maple taste treat. Just make a pan of maple syrup fudge. You can follow a recipe that won a prize in the Vermont Farm Bureau’s maple syrup recipe contest.
The Vermont farmer’s wife who mailed the recipe to us wrote: “After enjoying this fudge myself, and noticing how quickly it became my family’s favorite homemade candy, I know other people will love to make and eat it. I’m glad to pass the recipe along.” With pride in another native food, she added: “Vermonters prefer butternuts in their Maple Syrup Fudge, but you can use walnuts.”
2 cups maple syrup 1 tablespoon light corn syrup 3/4 cup light cream or dairy half-and-half 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Combine maple syrup, corn syrup and cream in 2-qt. heavy saucepan and place over low heat. Stir constantly until mixture begins to boil; continue cooking without stirring to the soft ball stage (236°).
Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm (110°) without stirring or beating.
Beat with electric mixer on low speed until candy loses its gloss and thickens. (This takes quite a while.)
Stir in vanilla and nuts; pour into lightly buttered 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2″ loaf pan. When cool, cut in 21 pieces. Makes about 1 pound.