Melted 2 cups of sugar, 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of buttermilk, and 1 tsp baking soda. It has just come to a boil and needs to cook until it turns a dark golden brown and reaches softball stage.
It's reached softball stage, I've added the 1 tsp vanilla, and now it has to sit and cool down to 200 degrees. See how shiney it is?
After it cooled to the appropriate temperature, I beat it with the electric mixer until it thickened and lost its gloss. (I didn't get a picture of that step.)
Sorry about how dark the picture turned out, but here it is all ready. There are two layers in the plastic container and another six pieces off to the side. Two thumbs up! YUM!
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup butter (1 stick)
More butter for the pan and foil (see below)
1 Tbsp white corn syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Line foil in an 8” x 8” pan leaving approximately 5 inches of overhang on each side for lifting fudge out after it cools. Butter the foil and set aside.
Butter sides of a LARGE, heavy saucepan. Use a larger pan than you think you’ll need because when the syrup boils, it will rise A LOT in the pan. Combine first 5 ingredients in pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan.
Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Do not stir while syrup is boiling. Continue to cook until syrup reaches softball stage (approximately 238 degrees). Test by dropping about ½ tsp of syrup in a glass of ice water. Syrup should easily form a ball in the water but flatten when held in your hand.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Leave the candy thermometer in the pan and let the syrup sit until it cools to approximately 200 degrees. Remove thermometer and beat with an electric mixture until mixture thickens and is no longer glossy. (This took mine about 2-3 minutes.) Stir in nuts if using. (I waited and pressed them into the top of half of the fudge after it was in the buttered pan so we could have ½ with nuts and ½ without.)
Pour mixture into the foiled and buttered 8” x 8” pan. Allow to cool completely. Lift fudge from pan using the foil handles. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.
This recipe said it makes 4 dozen pieces of fudge, but that’s totally ridiculous. I got 25 normal-size pieces and 5 smaller pieces.