Nanny’s Brown Sugar Fudge

I have been a bad blogger this last week. I have been so busy between work and personal life that I just didn’t have the time to think about photographing and blogging.. I have some exciting news in the works and because of this exciting news I have been working on remaking the look of my blog. I am so proud of myself for finding the instructions on what code to use for creating the navigation links at the top of my page!! I am working on finding the correct code for 3-columns to help pull things together better also. So, what you are seeing here is still a “work in progress” and is not complete yet.

With everything piling on top of me, I realized yesterday morning I had to get cracking and make something for the Family Recipes event that I co-host with Laura of The Spiced Life. I opened up my emails sent to me by my Aunt Ann with scans of Nanny’s recipes and decided on something that I could give to my and Grumpy’s dad for Father’s day. (Happy Father’s day daddies!)

Nanny used to make a penuche frosting that was to die for. So, when I saw this recipe for brown sugar fudge that was one she made I knew I was going to make it. I only had to pray….and pray hard that I didn’t fail at making it. Fudge has been something I have failed at many times. I don’t understand why because I grew up with mom making it almost every Saturday night to go with our popcorn while we watched TV shows like Lawrence Welk & Green Acres. Oh, am I telling you how old I am by mentioning that? 😉 In any case, I have never been good at making fudge so I don’t make it. Much.

Which brings me to a story I probably should tell you – although embarrassing to me, my ex-husband (Dana) thought it was hilarious and actually now I can laugh at it. Some. he he. When he and I were first married I decided to make fudge for him while he was at work. It turned out gooey and so, in order to “hide” it from him I actually put it on a shelf in the spare bedroom closet. Then I totally forgot about it. I wonder now why I just didn’t throw it out? When we bought our own home a few months later Dana was cleaning out that particular closet…..and found my failed fudge!! ha ha. Well, it wasn’t gooey anymore. 😉 but it also wasn’t edible! Ok, now you can all laugh. Oh, you already were? LOL. Yeah. A candy maker I am not. But I still like to try sometimes! All that said, I am very proud of that piece of fudge up above. I did pretty darn good this time! I can just hear my Nanny say “Shelby Mae, lets have “just a taste” of that fudge.”

Now that I have shared a few memories with you, I will share the recipe my Nanny’s would make for Brown Sugar Fudge. Including a few “pointers” since Nanny just wrote the basic instructions. (as if I know what I am doing! ha!)


Brown Sugar Fudge
recipe from Mae Iris Whitton – my precious Nanny
2-1/2 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk (I used half and half since my evaporated milk I pulled out of the cupboard was outdated..and it worked just fine)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
3 Tablespoons butter (I used unsalted)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Walnuts (she didn’t have a measurement so I took a good handful from the bag and chopped them prior to putting in the fudge)

Combine ingredients 1-4. Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Soft boil. Remove from heat and add butter. Do not stir. Cool to 110 degrees. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Beat. Pour into greased pan.

Don’t you just love those directions? They are from a lady who knew what she was doing. If I didn’t grow up with my mom making fudge I wouldn’t know what all of that meant. So, this is what I did.

When it say’s to bring the fudge to a soft boil, this means bringing it to a temperature of 234 degrees. I use a candy thermometer. My mom, she would just test it by dropping a bit of the hot syrup into a small bowl of cold water and if she could form a “soft ball” then she knew the fudge was ready. Well, since I am no good at candy making I need a thermometer!

Make sure you let the syrup cool to 110 degrees. You may look at the pot and think your have a failure before – and resist the urge to stir!! By letting it cool you are dramatically reducing your “beating” time.

When you do beat the fudge, beat it until it “just” begin’s to lose it’s shinyness (mom would say until it begins to lose it’s gloss). Then you want to make sure to get it in your pan as quickly as possible to let it set. If you stir it too long you will have hardening fudge in your pan before you can pour.

I lined my 9×9 pan with wax paper and then sprayed it with some Pam spray. This allowed me to lift the fudge out after it had set and cut it into clean squares.


  1. says

    You hid that fudge in the bedroom closet? That is really hilarious!!! You did a great job though with your grandmother's fudge recipe and if I had a candy thermometre I would love to try this recipe.

  2. Anonymous says


    My Gramma used to make this for me. I remember asking her for the recipe 20 years ago, I got the ingredients and "cook it then beat the jeapers out of it". I have attempted to relive my memories of my time with Gram, by making fudge several times..sometimes we would have to eat it with a spoon, next time cut it with a chisel and hammer. Tasted like love though. Now I will have to try again, with more specific instructions. Thanks for the recipe and walk down memory lane. Robin

  3. says

    What a funny store, thanks for sharing. I love your fudge, it looks like a great recipe.
    Im glad your doing better and feeling better. It's so easy to put on weight and taking it off is harder. Im glad your working out and getting back to feeling better!
    I have to be so careful in what I eat..I will be 44 June 22(tomorrow)!
    Take care!

  4. says

    Looks great! I love penuche frosting, so I'm sure I would love this recipe. I just picked up a candy thermometer recently, so I'll have to give this a go. It looks delicious.

  5. says

    Aaah, the last time I had penuche was when my grandmother made it for me as well. Good to see the recipe being revitalized and enjoyed by perhaps another generation! Your fudge looks delicious, Shelby.

    I am most excited to hear about your good news. I can full with anticipatory glee at what it could be.

  6. says

    We haven't tried making fudge yet. I remember my mom making it when I was little, though. And every time we go on holidays, we end up at the little homemade fudge store and come out fully loaded with luscious little squares. We really should give this one a try!

  7. says

    Great post! And don't worry, I still have nothing. Bad me! Actually I finally picked something to make with my mom this week but my dad is in the hospital, so we shall see. If it doesn't happen I may need to extend the deadline by a few days (I am headed up to see them tomorrow AM).

    The fudge looks gorgeous!

  8. says

    I want some now! It looks scrumptious. LOL about the hiding thing – when I cook at my mother's place, I frequently have to hide stuff – but she's like a bloodhound and usually finds it.

  9. says

    Your failed fudge story is too funny! But if it had been me, no such problem – I don't mind eating my 'failures' as long as the problem wasn't taste-related! 😎

    Thanks for sharing your Nanny's recipe – I'm bookmarking it right away to make. I have a caramel recipe that I'm clinging to for now that came from my foster grandmother, who also gave me her candy thermometer. I hope it proves to be a magic wand!

    Different topic: love your new blog layout! Is this the Minima layout? If so, I can send you a link for instructions on how to turn it into a 3-column format. In exchange, would you share with me the code on how to create those great navigation links at the top of your page?

    Feel free to e-mail me at!

  10. says

    Thank you so much for being so gracious. I am so thrilled I got assigned your blog this month. This post just drew me in and I am honoured to share your Nanny's fudge with more people. It's a spectacular recipe. So happy I can finally comment and follow you.

  11. Anonymous says

    This recipe looks very much like my mothers fudge recipe, I believe it actually came off of the Pacific Canned Milk label. I tried to make it many times while growing up and failed every time but being a kid, I just ate it anyway (YUM). Fortunately as an adult I have had success!!!!! so everyone gets to enjoy it. I am not a fan of nuts in my fudge so I don't put the walnuts in when I make it and this recipe works well with or without. Sadly my mother passed at the young age of 64 which was 17 yrs. ago, so thank you for the memories and I think I will go make some fudge now!

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