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.
Recipe NotesThis recipe is adapted only slightly from The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, 1955.