Gramma E’s Christmas Fudge
My wonderful Gramma E. holding my cousin.
When I was a kid, every Christmas we got a giant box of goodies in the mail from my Gramma E. There was so much stuff in there we kids went nuts! Once she made Raggedy Anne and Andy dolls. Another time she made sock monkeys. Then, down in the bottom, was the homemade candy. Did I tell you my Gramma E was the best cook on the planet? I particularly loved her chocolate fudge with walnuts. Sometimes she made them with black walnuts they got from the farm. How she got the shells off and the meat out is the subject for another story! Back then people actually liked black walnuts and so did I. She sometimes made them with English walnuts. I would take a out a small piece and savor it for a long time. My sister would gobble the whole thing in one bite but I would sit there and lick the darn thing to make it last as long as I could. I was a weird child.
Grandma E’s Fudge Recipe
Makes one 9-by-13 size pan of fudge. You decide how big the pieces will be.
• 4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 1 can evaporated milk
• 1 stick butter
• 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
• 1 ounce unsweetened baker’s chocolate
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped or not chopped
Combine sugar and milk. Bring it to a very slow boil and boil for 10 minutes.
Watch the pan!For some reason this boils over very fast! If you turn your back before you get the heat right you will have a gigantic mess. If it starts to boil over, it is allowed to stir it once or twice to make the mixture “settle down” and to check that it is not burning on the bottom. Do not stir vigorously. The milk and sugar will crystallize. Keep watching and pretty soon you will have the temp right and you can relax a bit.
After 10 minutes remove from the heat and add the vanilla, the unsweetened baker’s chocolate, and the chocolate morsels.
Stir until completely melted.
Once it is all melted add in the nuts and butter.
(Note: I am crazy about nuts. You could say I am nuts about nuts, so I add 3 times as many nuts as my Gramma’s recipe says. In this batch I added a cup of chopped pecans and a handful of whole, lightly salted pistachios. I also love dark chocolate, so instead of semi-sweet morsels I used dark chocolate morsels.)
Stir until the mixture is no longer glossy. It will be a little stiff. I’m not sure what not “glossy” means and Gramma is not here to ask so I just stir for a while until it gets a bit stiff.
Spoon into a buttered 9-by-13 pan and spread it out to the edges. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares of any size you want!