5/6/07

My Incredible Vanilla Fudge

For the record, I don't like sweets. I don't like chocolate. I don't like desserts. I make them all the time and my family loves them, but they will be the first to tell you that I will dish up and serve dessert for all of them and then help myself to an extra helping of vegetables. It's not that I make a conscious decision to avoid them, it's just that I happen to think vegetables and main dishes taste better than candy and sweets.

Having admitted that, I also have to say that when I DO want something sweet, it hits me hard and there is no stopping until I get it. Lately that has been for fudge. On vacation in Myrtle Beach last week we past the fudge shop at Barefoot Landing and another the next day at Broadway At The Beach. I didn't stop in either time because I refuse to pay $5 for 4 pieces of homemade fudge when I know perfectly well I can make it at home for pennies on the dollar. But that scent and craving stayed with me. As I sit here now, I'm munching on some fresh homemade vanilla fudge and I have some cherry almond fudge cooling.

My Vanilla Fudge

2 c sugar
5 oz. (small can) evaporated milk
1/4 c milk
2 oz. Vanilla Caramel non-dairy liquid coffee mate style creamer
1/8 t salt
3 T butter
1 t vanilla extract


Butter the inside edge of a heavy saucepan. Add sugar, evaporated milk, milk, non dairy creamer and salt. Cook and stir with a wooden spoon over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low so it simmers and cook and stir every few minutes until it reaches soft ball stage, which is approximately 238 degree's. This will take about 30 minutes if done correctly.

At soft ball stage (have a wide glass of ice water handy and pour in some of the candy mixture. If it gathers itself into a ball that you can pick up and handle but it's still pliable, then it's ready) remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Don't stir it in, just let it set for about 35 minutes until the mixture cools a bit. When the mixture is likewarm beat the mixture with a HAND HELD electric mixer on LOW (not a large kitchen aid) by putting the beaters right in the pan and mixing, or if you don't have one, then mix it by hand with a wooden spoon. With the electric mixer on low, beat about 2 minutes until the mixture starts to be come thick and loses it's glossy texture. If mixing by hand it will take about 8-10 minutes.

Pour into a glass 8" dish that has been buttered or greased. It will start to set up within a couple minutes. Let set until firm and then slice and serve.

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