Celebrate National Fudge Day With Family Recipe

Legend has it that fudge was invented by a group of college students. Other sources trace the origins of fudge back to a 17th century Scottish treat. No matter where it came from, today’s the day to celebrate it–it’s National Fudge Day!

For those of you who started your fudge recipe collection with our post on National Fudge Day 2011, here’s another to try! The index card that has been in the family for years is stained and battered, but it’s in Mom’s handwriting, so why mess with a good thing?

This fudge keeps well. We usually make it for family picnics and dinners. (It’s also a big part of the homemade candy baskets for Christmas–you can make it as early as the end of October, cut, package and freeze it in ready-to-pack portions.) It’s one of the first candies children in my family are taught to make, usually around age 7, with adults to supervise and pour the hot candy into a large enamel broiler pan to cool. The broiler pan bottoms make the fudge a perfect thickness when cut into 2-inch pieces.

The suspicion is that this recipe first came from the back of a bag that once held a national brand of chocolate chips, or the jar of marshmallow creme. Mom always patronized the Amish grocers and bulk foods stores, though, so that particular candy supply always came into our house in big tubs or bags. (The marshmallow creme did too. Take your own containers to the Amish stores if you can.)

The recipe could be from anywhere. But the memories are all ours–and now you can make your own fudge and fun with your family.

4 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 can evaporated milk (6 ounce size)
1/3 pound butter (5 1/3 oz) [margarine can be substituted, but butter makes fudge smoother]
1 jar marshmallow creme (8 oz)
4 cups chocolate chips (32 oz)
1 cup nuts [if desired: roughly chop the roasted nuts of your choice.]

Lightly grease the bottom of a broiler pan with dab of butter.

In a large, heavy bottomed pan, mix the sugar, milk and butter over medium heat with a large wooden or heat-resistant spoon. Stir constantly, until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil five minutes, and remove from heat. (If using a candy thermometer, this is the soft ball stage, 235-245 degrees; the timed boil works just fine if you don’t have a candy thermometer.)

Beat in the chocolate chips until nearly melted, and then add the marshmallow creme. Beat until mixture is well mixed; there should be no streaks of white, chocolate or the butter-sugar mixture. Pour into the broiler pan bottom and cool. Depending on the room temperature, it’s set and ready to cut in 2-4 hours.

  • If using a non-stick broiler pan, you may find you still need the butter to release the fudge. Try and see. Also, never cut into your non-stick pan with a metal knife or utensil! Use a non-stick, non-scratch knife like this.
  • Don’t attempt to rush cooling by putting fudge in freezer. The sugar will crystallize, and fudge will turn out crunchy and nasty. The same will happen if warm fudge is put over ice cream. (There’s another recipe for hot fudge!)
  • Keeps on countertop about one week.
  • Makes just over five pounds of fudge.
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