- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
- 4 cups (804 g) granulated sugar
- 1 12 oz (354 mL) can of evaporated milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8 oz (227 g) mini marshmallows or marshmallow fluff
- 2 cups (340 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1-2 cup (120 g) peanut butter
- Using a large, thick-bottom sauce pan combine butter, sugar, and evaporated milk. Stir on medium-low heat with a wooden spoon until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
- Once the butter is melted and sugar dissolved, leave the pot to reach soft-ball stage on its own. Do NOT touch it or stir it, no matter how much you want to.
- While you wait, prepare a 9×13 pan by lining it with foil.
- The mixture will begin to bubble though remain light in color. As you watch it, you’ll see as it slowly begins to caramelize. It will take on a darker color and the bubbling will take on a smoother look.
- Leave your pot on medium-low heat no matter how tempted you are to crank it higher and reach softball faster.
- As the fudge nears soft-ball stage (within a few degrees, or passing the water test*), melt peanut butter in a small bowl in the microwave (30 seconds on level 10). Stir the peanut butter and set aside.
- Once soft-ball stage is reached (235-241 F) or (112-116 C) remove the pot from heat. Immediately stir in vanilla and marshmallows. Allow about half the marshmallows to melt before adding the chocolate chips.
- Mix until homogenous and pour into 9×13 pan. Drizzle peanut butter over the top and swirl with a skewer or knife. Be careful not to mix peanut butter in completely, just enough to make a pretty design.
- Allow up to 2 hours to set.
- A thick-bottom pan is important because fudge and caramel will burn easily. A thick-bottom will help with heat distribution, keeping it even and preventing hotspots. I burned a batch of white fudge several years ago and had to disguise the burnt bits as candy cane chunks.
- Stirring during the cooking process can introduce sugar crystals back into the mixture from the sides of the pan. Some candy-makers like to wet down the sides of their pots with a wet cloth or towel to dissolve any crystals. I find it’s not usually necessary for this recipe if you leave it to do its own thing. Reintroducing sugar crystals causes fudge to be grainy instead of smooth and creamy.
- I don’t like candy thermometers. They’re liars. *I prefer to tell when the fudge is ready by using the water test. Take ice water and use the wooden spoon to drizzle some mixture in. When the mixture hits, it should immediately seize and hold its shape. You should then be able to handle the cooled mixture and roll it into a ball. If it disintegrates any time during this process, the fudge is NOT ready. It must cook longer. The longer it holds together, the closer the fudge is to being done.
- When cooking the fudge, low and slow is the way to go. It’s better to wait than try to force the process. Cook the fudge too fast and it will break. This means the fat will separate out from the rest of the mixture and the fudge will be greasy and not set.
- Most fudge can be fixed by adding it back into the pot with a half cup of water and a tablespoon of corn syrup. Cook low and slow again until it passes the soft-ball stage water test.