A Christmas Tradition: Old Fashioned Fudge

Picture of A Christmas Tradition:  Old Fashioned Fudge
Grandma was the best fudge maker. When the snow started flying, out came the wooden spoon and saucepan. And, oh boy, did we gather around for the best treat in all of the north woods. FUDGE!!!

Linuxmom will do her best to share this treat with you. Anyone with a sweet tooth will be delighted when they find this treat in their stocking! (The size of the piece of fudge is up to you....BEWARE it's been known to disappear before it's packaged!!!)
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Step 1: The Ingredients and Equipment

Picture of The Ingredients and Equipment
Baking chocolate (unsweetened)
Sugar (granulated)
Milk (the richer, the better....)
Vanilla (pure, not imitation..)
Cream of Tartar or Corn Syrup
Chopped Walnuts (if desired)

Saucepan (2quart)
Spoon (wooden, of course)
Candy thermometer (not needed ...grandma never used one)
Measuring cup
Measuring spoon (don't think grandma used this either)

Step 2: The recipe

Picture of The recipe

3 Cups of Granulated Sugar
2 Squares of Unsweetened Chocolate (1 square equals 1 ounce)
1 Cup of Milk
2 Tablespoons of Corn Syrup or 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar

1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of butter

Butter sides of sauce pan. Add sugar, chopped chocolate, milk and corn syrup (or cream of tartar).
Place over low heat on stovetop. Mix well to dissolve sugar. Stir constantly until mixture boils.
Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 234 degrees on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture forms a soft ball in very cold water. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Cool mixture to until pan is lukewarm to touch. (Do not stir while cooling!) When cooled, beat vigorously until mixture loses glossy appearance. Quickly stir in nuts and pour onto buttered pan.
Spread evenly. Cut into pieces when cool and firm.
RedTurtle5 years ago
I must've done something wrong :(

My fudge never got creamy like yours looks in the picture. Mine has a really grainy texture like the sugar never quite dissolved.

Any advice?

as a child I watched my Mom make this very fudge...rarely was it grainy, but when it was it was because it was over cooked/got too hot. she never used a thermometer. I too have made it and had it come out perfectly. just takes some practice.

linuxmom (author)  RedTurtle5 years ago
Low heat until the sugar dissolves. And stir constantly. Grainy fudge is part of the learning process.  Hope the hints help.

The grainy fudge wasn't any worse than the spoon fudge, now was it? Be honest - it still tasted good!
linuxmom (author)  whisperonthewind4 years ago
Honestly, I'll take fudge at any stage of the process (bites for Linuxmom anyone??) and trust me no grainy fudge ever got tossed in our home!!
I'm eager to give this another shot. Any idea how long that part should take?
CatAuror191683 months ago
*no question mark at the end*
CatAuror191683 months ago
I love the way you have all these things in your equipment list and then you say afterwards that your grandma wouldn't have had them ?
My mother had one like this, and it's gotten lost. Best I can remember, it was 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup milk, 1 square of chocolate (baking), a lump of butter (probably about a Tbsp) and a capful of vanilla.

The rest would be just as you have it, although we rarely got to put nuts in and we never had corn syrup or cream of tartar.

Sometimes we wouldn't cook it enough, and we would be "forced (?)" to eat it with a spoon, but considering that it tasted the same, and was the consistency of creamy caramel, there really was no punishment there. Sometimes, we even tried to do it that way, and now fondly remember Spoon Fudge!
SC-Ghost4 years ago
Great Instructable! I just made a big batch of fudge and it turned out great. This was my first time ever making fudge and I am very pleased.
mousewrites5 years ago
Question that is likely very obvious:

In step X, you say to remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, and cool, but specifically call out to NOT stir during cooling.

I'm assuming you mean mix in the butter and vanilla, and THEN let cool?

I made this once and did the above, and it basically came out, but I wanted to make sure I was reading that right.
laurasbuffy5 years ago
Thank you, thank you!  This is very like my favorite fudge recipe--I misplaced it 15 years ago and have regretted the loss every Christmas since!
linuxmom (author)  laurasbuffy5 years ago
So this Xmas will be merry and bright.........enjoy!!
We added some chipolte powder, along with cinnamon. It gave it a nice spice kick.
SallyForth5 years ago
Finally - a real fudge recipe. Your family must be very pleased with you (and your cooking)! I've been making this for 40 years but as I got older I began to want it less sweet and with a more intense chocolate flavor. I gradually changed the recipe until now the flavor of my fudge is more like Dark Chocolate than Milk Chocolate. My ingredients are almost identical to yours but the proportions are different. 2 Cups of Granulated Sugar 3 Squares of Unsweetened Chocolate (1 square equals 1 ounce) I use the best dark chocolate I can find. 2/3 Cup of Half and Half (In a pinch I've used milk and even skim milk but NEVER evaporated milk) 2 Tablespoons of Corn Syrup or 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar 1 1/2 teaspoon of good vanilla (I prefer the extra boost) 2 tablespoons of butter For your step 3 I loosely cover the pan with a lid for the first few minutes and the resulting steam keeps the sides of the pan washed free of any sugar crystals. For your step 4 I've always let the fudge cool at room temperature and then after beating it I've always turned my fudge out onto a buttered slab (these days I use a Silpat mat) and I run a butter knife through the fudge in patterns until it sets up into one big "cowpie". My kids have always loved getting their own cowpie on their birthdays. My daughter came home from college last month for a visit and of all the gifts she got she was most pleased I remembered her cowpie. Once, for fun, I made a fudge "cake" for a friend. I made a regular batch as the usual large circular cowpie. Then I made a second batch and poured it out into a medium circle and a small circle and stacked all three of them into a 3 tiered layer of fudge as a fudge "cake". It was a hit at the party but if I ever do it again I will put foodsafe discs under the layers to make it easier to cut. (Similar to what they use on wedding cakes) I also make ginger fudge and peanut butter fudge in the same manner. ps. Don't try this on a humid day or you will become very frustrated.
linuxmom (author)  SallyForth5 years ago
Love this..dark chocolate is my FAVORITE. I'm curious about the ginger fudge... As for cooling the fudge in ice water, I guess we were an impatient bunch. Thanks for the comments........looking forward to see an instructable from you one of these days!
LinuxFamily'09 They will make you fudge(you just may not get it)
Hmm..maybe i'll make a pan of this for my dad...I still haven't figured out what to give him.
linuxmom (author)  Weissensteinburg6 years ago
Ah, you're a procrastinator..........
I'm Jewish...we have a few extra days.
Cool! I made the candles. They're burning now. Great job. I may do this as a little business.
linuxmom (author)  mg0930mg6 years ago
Hope you voted!
voted for what? the election? haha. I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean.
linuxmom (author)  mg0930mg6 years ago
Royalties for mom????? Thanks for the kind words.................
PKTraceur6 years ago
Whoa... Tux is your kid? (lol...)
linuxmom (author)  PKTraceur6 years ago
And the kids need a vote!
linuxmom (author)  PKTraceur6 years ago
Tuxgirl6 years ago
Hey mom , how much did linuxh40r leave for me ?????
LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Nov 27, 2008. 6:32 PMlinuxmomsays: Just imagine what I could do with that instructables rolling pin..... REPLY[flag] Nov 28, 2008. 10:06 AMLinuxH4x0rsays: hit me over the head when I try to take some before its done? REPLY[flag][delete] Nov 28, 2008. 10:17 AMlinuxmomsays: Perhaps.......... REPLY[flag] That just might come true this time...
linuxmom (author)  LinuxH4x0r6 years ago
Nah.........I'll just have to make another batch!