chocolate almond fudge

the holidays for me wouldn’t be complete without some fudge.  my grandma made tons of the stuff when i was a kid, but i haven’t made it for a few years.  this year i adapted this recipe, substituting in almond butter (it’s what we had on hand) in lieu of peanut butter.  the result was a delicious rich treat.  the fudge turned out a little on the soft side, but still manageable enough to eat with your hands.  i may not have gotten it hot enough since my thermometer tops out at 220 degrees and it really does need to get fully up to temperature to come out just right.  we’ve been storing our fudge in the fridge uncovered on parchment and its been tasty every time i’ve sampled it.

INGREDIENTS:

2½ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup evaporated milk (from a can)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
½ cup unsalted butter, divided
½ cup peanut butter almond butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1. Butter an 8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, using enough so that there is some overhang on the edges.

2. Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, evaporated milk and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.

3. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and stir until the butter melts. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, then cover and boil for 3 minutes.

4. Remove the lid and continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 234 degrees F on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage). Remove from the heat and, without stirring, add the remaining butter, peanut butter almond butter and vanilla. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.

5. Using a wooden spoon, beat the fudge vigorously until it thickens and begins to lose its gloss (can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes). You can also transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat it on medium speed, being careful to only mix until it thickens and loses its gloss. Do not overmix.

6. Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Allow the fudge to come to room temperature, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill it until set. Lift the fudge out of the pan and cut into 1-inch squares. The fudge can be stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator.