Hey Bill, just wanted to say thanks a MILLION for this....it worked perfectly. Took a bit of tweaking since I couldn't get the half and half here but I ended up producing 5 batches of fantastic fudge and everybody in the neighborhood is going gaga over it. Some of them have never had fudge at all and some (mostly foreigners living here) haven't had homemade fudge since they were a kid. Christmas WIN!
What I had to tweak:
Since I couldn't get half and half, I had to improvise. Plain evaporated milk didn't work. But evaporated milk with a bit of the heavy whipping cream I can get (about a 3:1 ratio) did the trick.
Maybe because I have a cheap candy thermometer, but my syrup never reached the recommended temp of 235-240 degrees. Seemed to top out at 225 no matter what I did. Thankfully I read the instructions about how to tell when you're at the softball stage, then tested continually until I got the desired results.
After cooling to 110 degrees and adding in the butter and vanilla, the mix didn't really change the way they said it would in the instructions. The first time we kept stirring determined to wait until it lost its gloss. I had to call my husband in to help me stir at some point as I have carpal tunnel and my hand was hurting. Just at the moment I noted the mix was losing its gloss, suddenly the entire thing turned very hard and very, very dry and crumbly. That batch was a loss. With the next batch I stirred until it was starting to get hard to stir, and I noticed as I swept the spoon through that a teeny streak of lighter brown color was peeking out. I stopped stirring at that point and poured it into the pan to set. Perfect consistency! I did that for the rest of the batches.
I'd like to try and make some with peanut butter. Anybody have suggestions on how to do that? Do I leave out the butter or use less of it? Or can I just add peanut butter to the final mix without any adjustments?