I misplaced the great recipe I used last winter and tried a new recipe last week. Here is my recipe as I adapted from multiple websites.
Note: I used 1% milk as that's what I had on hand and felt it was not rich enough. I wonder how it would taste with 4% milk (regular milk) or even with cream? I'll have to try it and see. I had not found any recipes calling for cream in penuche fudge.
Christine's New England Penuche Fudge
4 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
optional: 2 cups chopped walnuts (New England-ish) or chopped pecans (Southern style)
I use typical fudge directions; I'm not reproducing all of them here.
Heat sugars, milk and butter in a heavy saucepan until 238 degrees F (the soft ball stage).
Remove from heat place in bath of cold water. Immediately add vanilla extract to it but DO NOT stir it. Do not touch it, just let it cool to 110 degrees F. (You can see the vanilla extrac sitting on top of the fudge in the photo below.)
Pour into food processor bowl and pulse to process until it loses is sheen and glossiness.
Pour into greased 8 inch square baking pan. Refrigerate to cool. Score and cut fudge then store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
If you do not hit 238 degrees it will be soft and gooey and will not set when cooled.
There is a fine line between not hitting 238 degrees and burning the fudge, that's just the way the process is, there are no shortcuts.
If you stir it when its between 238 and 110 degrees you will make it grainy. Leave it alone to cool and you will have creamy fudge.
More on my fudge making attempts can be read here: Latest Autodidact Project: Fudge. I learned the technique with the food processor and other fudge basics in the book Oh Fudge! by Lee Edwards Benning.