Have you ever had a craving for fudge-not the deli market kind, which is often too soft, and loaded with preservatives, but the old-fashioned kind your grandma used to make? Some people say the Hershey’s recipe I use is difficult. It isn’t difficult if you follow the directions and use a candy thermometer. The worse-case scenario (believe me, I’ve experienced it) is fudge that doesn’t “set up,” or fudge that’s too dry. Even worst-case scenario Hershey’s fudge can be spooned over ice cream (too smushy), or smothered with icing (too dry). Don’t be afraid to make tried and true Old Fashioned Hershey’s Fudge. The results will make you wonder why you ever purchased store-bought fudge.
*I don’t use the Special Dark Cocoa. I use the regular kind. I will eat the small Hershey’s Special Dark candy bars, but only with peanut butter.
*I also added pecans, smooth peanut butter, and Christmas sprinkles to my fudge. I didn’t have milk, so I looked on my phone for milk substitutes. Since the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup of milk, I added 3/4 cup of water to 3/4 cup of evaporated milk. Don’t confuse this mere substitution with those “3 Minute Fudge” recipes that use sweetened condensed milk. Those are the too-soft ones I was referencing. They taste fine, but they don’t have the body and presence of Hershey’s Old-Fashioned Fudge.
You can tell by looking at the smudged paper that I’ve been using this recipe for a long time. It lives in a special folder that contains about 20 of my favorite recipes that aren’t in my recipe box. For one reason or another, I printed them and never transferred the info to an official recipe card. It’s okay though, recipes in my special blue folder are easier to reach than the ones in my recipe box. ON TO THE INSTRUCTIONS!
Foil and butter an 8″ square pan. I used a round one, because I couldn’t find the square one. I am a hacker when it comes to cooking and making crafts. If I don’t have something, I substitute with something else. However, I do have one child with sharp taste buds who notices the slightest differences. Don’t use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise when this child is at the table!
Put the sugar, cocoa and salt in a decent-sized sauce pan (another word for pot). Stir in the milk, and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. At this point, I clipped my candy thermometer to the pot. DO NOT let your thermometer touch the bottom of the pot. If you do, you’ll get the temperature of the pot, rather than the fudge.
Remove the pot from the stove, then add butter and vanilla. Do not stir. Leave the thermometer in the pot, and allow the fudge to cool to 110 degrees. When the fudge reaches the desired temperature, it should be luke-warm and glossy.
Beat the fudge with a wooden spoon until it gets thicker, and looses a little bit of its sheen. Don’t wait too long-the fudge will get stiff and dry if you do.
At this point, I quickly added about 1/2 cup of pecans and two huge serving spoonfuls of smooth peanut butter (I know that isn’t very scientific) to the fudge. See how thick the fudge is in the picture below? Also, once you add the peanut butter, the fudge won’t look as silky. If you forgo the peanut butter, it will maintain that silky look that some people prefer. Personally, I’d rather taste peanut butter in my fudge. Quickly pour the fudge into your buttered, foiled pan.
I smoothed my fudge with the back of a spoon, then added some festive Christmas sprinkles. I didn’t stir the peanut butter in completely, but left it kind of marbled.
Let the fudge cool completely, then cut into small squares. A little bit of fudge goes a long way! I put my fudge in the freezer to cool, because I didn’t want to wait any longer to eat a piece. Leave it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Cutting fudge is like cutting brownies, if you don’t let it cool, you won’t get the results you want. Also, don’t put it in the freezer and forget about it. Your fudge will be really stiff and hard to cut if you do that.
You’re all finished! I hope you enjoyed my Old-Fashioned Hershey’s Fudge recipe!
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