For your own family or to give as gifts, homemade candies are a special treat. I remember how my family would gather in the kitchen on cold winter evenings when I was a child to make candy. My mom's favorite was chocolate fudge, my dad's was peanut butter fudge, and mine was seafoam or divinity. We had a black walnut tree across from our home in Southern Indiana. We used them or hickory nuts in our fudge. For you who don't know what a hickory nut is, it is a lot like pecans and we used them in recipes that called for pecans. Like black walnut trees, we had an abundance of hickory trees. One of our activities every fall was picking up hickory nuts to use in our candies, etc. I later, as a mother living outside Indiana, started using mostly pecans. Since I live in Texas now, we have pecans instead of hickory nuts. And my children never cared much for walnuts. In my opinion, just about any nut would be good in this fudge. This chocolate fudge is made with marshmallow creme, chocolate chips, and evaporated milk. My mom always made her fudge with evaporated milk and I still like mine that way today. This recipe is a combination of how my mom made fudge and my own ideas for it.
GRANDMA'S CHOCOLATE FUDGE
4 cups sugar
2 cans (5-oz each) evaporated milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 pkg (12-oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7-oz) marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla
Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil and extend the foil over the edges. Butter the foil and set aside.
Butter the sides of a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Combine the sugar, evaporated milk, and butter in the saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat to boiling. Continue to cook while stirring until the mixer reaches the soft-ball stage or 236 on a candy thermometer. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, walnuts, and vanilla. Stir hard until the chocolate melts. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. While still warm, score the candy into squares. When firm, cut all the way through the squares. Store in refrigerator or a cool place.
Yield: Approximately 3 1/2 lbs
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