Penuche is another old American fudge recipe. The key ingredients are brown sugar and walnuts or pecans, so the fudge tastes like a Praline. We made fudge for the holidays when I was growing up, and penuche was on the top of the list, right next to anything made with peanut butter. Whenever we took a road trip, we were sure to stop at Stuckey’s and pick up a box of Penuche fudge.It’s simple to make. I use a digital candy thermometer so that I don’t have to guess when the hot candy mix reaches the soft ball stage. I never could get that right.Once the mixture reaches 238°F, or forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water, remove from heat and cool until lukewarm (110°F). Add vanilla and nuts and beat until mixture looses its gloss and a small amount dropped from spoon holds its shape. Once you start beating the fudge, you’ll have to work quickly or it will become hard and sugary. Press the fudge in a well-buttered pan and cut immediately. Store in an air tight container. I like to eat Penuche with a cup of hot black coffee.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup liquid half-milk and half-heavy cream, or half and half
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- In a 2 quart saucepan, melt butter; grease side of pan well. Pour in liquid; bring to a boil; stir in sugars until dissolved. Cover; boil 1 minute, or until all sugar crystals on side of pan have melted. Uncover; cook gently, stirring, to 238°F on candy thermometer, or until a little mixture in cold water forms a soft ball.
- Cool, without stirring, to 110°F, or until outside of saucepan feels lukewarm to hand. Add vanilla and nuts. With spoon, beat until mixture loses gloss and small amount dropped from spoon holds its shape.
- Pour into greased 8"x8"x2" pan or 9"x5"x3" loaf pan. Cut while warm.
This recipe is adapted only slightly from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, 1955.