For years, I had heard my mother mention a candy from her youth called buttermilk fudge. She always said it was a simple recipe, but she had been unable to find it, and the one she had used as a young girl was long since lost.
I think I may have found it.
In a visit to our local branch of the Jackson-George County Library, I discovered a book called “Candymaking for Beginners.” That’s definitely me–candymaking is a mysterious art and the only one I make with anything resembling confidence is toffee, and even that can be a huge challenge in our humid climate along the coast. Old fashioned fudge, no matter where I attempted it, was usually not a real success.
This recipe is called “Nutty Buttermilk Fudge” and it sounds easy enough that even I, the most candymaking challenged cook in America, can safely attempt it. I think you will enjoy it as well.
This buttermilk fudge, especially accompanied by other treats, whether candy or cookies, would also make an excellent holiday gift. Try packing them on an attractive serving plate or dish, wrapped in colored plastic wrap. This candy, unlike some others, is not really suited to being shipped, so skip this recipe if you are in search of one to ship to loved ones away at college or in the Armed Services.
Nutty Buttermilk Fudge
- 2 c. sugar
- 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1-2 c. pecans or walnuts, chopped (I’m going to leave these out–I’m not a fan of nuts in fudge)
Butter an 8″ pan and set aside.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, buttermilk,baking soda and salt in a very large heavy saucepan. (This is to accommodate the foaming of buttermilk and soda.)
Cook and stir over medium heat, washing down sides of pan frequently with a pastry brush dipped in hot water to remove sugar crystals. Cook until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Add the butter and a candy thermometer.
Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, until candy thermometer reaches 238 degrees F. (soft ball stage) Remove from heat.
Cool without stirring until lukewarm. (110 degrees F.)
Add vanilla extract and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to thicken and lose its gloss.
Stir in nuts (if using) and spread in prepared pan.
Cool until firm and cut into 1″ squares. Store in refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.