Fudge

This recipe was given to me by Linda Kester Hamblin on September 18, 2004.  This is her favorite fudge recipe.  It was her grandmother's recipe (Jessie Handforth, b. 1897).  Great care must be taken to ensure that no sugar hardened on the sides of pan get into the fudge or the fudge will be gritty.  You can also use half and half in the recipe in place of the cream.  Some Internet tidbits that will help prevent "gritty" fudge include, "once the fudge mix comes to a boil until it has cooled to lukewarm STIR AS LITTLE as possible," "stir a little to prevent scorching, but the less stirring the better,"  "Once it has reached the proper temperature, turn off the heat and move gently to a cooler spot and DO NOT shake, stir, move or anything until it has cooled to lukewarm.  You can wash sugar crystals off the side of the pan a couple of times as it cooks with a damp cloth or brush."  "And don't rush the cooking process by having the heat up too high.  Good fudge cooks slowly but surely."  This fudge has a rich chocolate flavor.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 (1-oz.) squares of semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream or 2/3 cup of milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt

Butter an 8x8-inch dish before starting to make fudge.  In a 2-quart saucepan, place the white and brown sugars, semi-sweet baking chocolate and heavy cream.  Cook and stir over low heat until a small amount place in a little dish of cold water forms a soft ball (this will not take long).  Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla, and salt.  Let fudge cool until lukewarm and then stir until fudge starts to thicken.  Pour into buttered dish.  Cut when cool.