Precision important with brown sugar fudge

Author’s aunt did not believe in ‘fudging’ when making this sweet delight; she also didn’t believe in scraping the pan

Brown sugar fudge makes a welcome gift for a birthday or for Christmas, sedately reposing in an attractive container.

This recipe is presented exactly the way Aunt Mattie wrote it. You may think it’s a small thing to time the boiling for 7 1/2 minutes and have your dial at No. 6, but Aunt Mattie never fudged anything (that’s a 1960s term for faked anything) so I recommend you follow these steps as closely as you can for sweet success.

  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 3/8 c. corn syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 c. whole milk
  • 3/8 c. margarine or butter

Put on the range at medium heat (number 6 on dial), bring to a rolling boil. Keep it at a rolling boil for 7 1/2 minutes or until a firm, soft ball forms in cold water. Set the pan in cold water until it is quite firm. Add one teaspoon vanilla or maple flavour. Beat until you see sugaring forming around the edge of the pan. Add chopped nuts if you like and turn out on flat sheet.

A firm soft ball is about 240 F on your candy thermometer. The old-fashioned test was to let some hot mixture drop from a spoon into a glass that is half full of cold water. If each drop forms a little ball that you can squash with your finger, then that’s the firm soft ball stage.

Aunt Mattie cringed at my mother always scraping every pan until it was almost clean to make sure no food was wasted.

She even did this when making fudge, letting the scrapings fall on the fresh fudge, but for Aunt Mattie, it spoiled the look of its glassy smooth surface. If you are a “pan scraper” like my mom, maybe scrape it into another dish for the cook or the children to sample.

After all, it will need to be taste-tested by professionals to make sure it’s good enough for guests, right?

On Aunt Mattie’s copy written out for my mom, she added this note: “Do not put pan scrapings on top of candy.”

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