A foolproof recipe for Penuche Fudge! It only takes a few minutes to put together this easy brown sugar fudge. It’s similar to my favorite Chocolate Fudge recipe, but instead uses brown sugar and white chocolate. The texture of this fudge is where it’s at! It just melts in your mouth!

penuche fudge

I kept busting out random giggles every few minutes, and Eric kept saying, “It’s really NOT that funny.” But it is. It was. It looked like a murder scene.

penuche fudge

This morning I woke up while it was still dark to hear Eric rummaging in the medicine cabinet. I assumed he was getting some ibuprofin for a headache and then would be off to the gym. But then I heard a loud CRASH and an “Oh no.”

Shattered glass and bright red nail polish, all over our vanity, the wall, the floor, Eric’s pajamas, my charging phone. It fell from the cabinet where I had put it last night after touching up my manicure, right in front of the ibuprofin. Where it definitely does not belong.

penuche fudge recipe

Why does something so NOT funny make you laugh like a maniac??

Forty five minutes of scrubbing and lots of bleach later, our bathroom is mostly back to normal. I feel like this is the kind of accident where 6 months from now I will notice a random drop of red on the ceiling or in some other corner. Also, you would be amazed how little scrubbing it takes to go from zero to “we were going to remodel this bathroom anyway, right??” Haha! I’m glad we got it mostly back to normal so that we don’t have to deal with a bathroom reno and a new baby at the same time!

brown sugar fudge

He’s almost here! Christmas is next week and this baby is due tomorrow. Hopefully in my next post I’ll be able to include some pictures of our baby boy!

Fudge Forever

But first I need to tell you that I am SO excited about today’s Penuche fudge recipe! One of the top recipes on my site (and definitely my most popular recipe at Christmas time) is My Mom’s Fudge, a foolproof, no-fail fudge recipe using chocolate chips and marshmallow creme. It is so easy, takes just a few minutes to make, and honestly I’ve never bought fudge in a store that tasted better. It has the BEST texture. Ever. Today’s Penuche fudge has the exact same perfect melt-in-your-mouth texture.

penuche fudge

My mom’s recipe is based off of the fantasy fudge recipe that used to be printed on the marshmallow fluff jar (I don’t know if it still is?) She made a couple changes to it. I had no idea until I posted the recipe on the blog that it was the recipe on the jar! I call it My Mom’s Fudge because that’s what it is: the fudge that we made every Christmas for every neighbor on our block for as long as I’ve been alive.

What is Penuche?

Penuche is a candy made from brown sugar, butter, and milk. No other flavors are added besides vanilla, so the caramel-y brown sugar flavor really stands out. It’s called Penuche in New England and Praline fudge in the South. Today’s recipe is not exactly Penuche, it’s a more fudgy version of penuche.

penuche fudge recipe

Penuche Fudge: Brown Sugar Fudge

This recipe for Penuche Fudge is a little bit different than other recipes I’ve seen, because it incorporates white chocolate and no powdered sugar. The white chocolate plays an important supporting role (and the higher quality chocolate you buy, the better), but the dominant flavor of this fudge is brown sugar molasses-y goodness, with maple overtones (even though there’s no maple in the recipe.)

penuche fudge

Is White Chocolate Really Chocolate?

But first let’s talk white chocolate. The quality of white chocolate you use in this recipe is VERY important. Your fudge will taste as good as your white chocolate, so make sure to buy a white chocolate that has COCOA BUTTER listed in the ingredients. Guess what doesn’t have cocoa butter? ANY brand of white chocolate chips. They are mostly made of oil and milk powder. (If it doesn’t have cocoa butter, it’s not really white chocolate.)

how to make penuche fudge

I made this recipe once with Ghirardelli white chocolate chips (no cocoa butter! come on Ghir!), once with a cheap brand of almond bark (no cocoa butter, no surprise), and a third time with chopped Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bars, which has cocoa butter listed as the second ingredient.

The batch with the real white chocolate was WAY better tasting, obviously. But if you are penny pinching, you can totally make this recipe with fake white chocolate. The fudge turned out fine on all 3 versions. But real white chocolate just tastes better. If you want to read more about all the fake white chocolate out there and read about the best kind to buy, check out this Serious Eats article. Bottom line: if there is cocoa butter in the ingredients, then it’s real white chocolate, and it’s going to taste 10x better.

How to Make Penuche Fudge

penuche fudge recipe

Make sure to rub the sides of the pot with butter to avoid creating sugar crystals. Same idea when you add the sugar: dump it all in the middle to avoid getting it on the sides.

penuche fudge recipe

Here’s what a ROLLING boil looks like. Do not start your 5 minute timer until there are bubbles ALL the way across the top of the mixture. It will start bubbling on the edges first. That doesn’t count.

how to make penuche fudge

Once the 5 minute timer goes off, add all your chopped white chocolate and stir until there are no lumps. Work quickly! Here’s how your marshmallow creme looks coming out of the microwave. I heat it until it starts rising above the lid of the jar. This is my favorite hack for making fudge. It makes it so easy to scoop out. Totally unnecessary, just makes it easier.

penuche fudge recipe

how to make penuche fudge

The fudge looks like it has lumps, but those are actually air bubbles. The fudge turns out smoother and creamier than you can imagine! I love to line my pan with parchment paper to make it really easy to lift out and slice. And then proceed to eat an entire row single handedly. (oops.)

penuche fudge recipe

This penuche fudge is also really, really amazing paired with toasted pecans. I am generally a no-nuts-in-fudge-purist, but even I will admit that the brown sugar and pecan flavor is pretty killer. You can either press a pecan half on top of each piece, or mix chopped pecans into the fudge before pouring.

This is my last post before Christmas! Merry Christmas to all, thank you so much for being a part of my blog!

More fudge and candy recipes you will love for the holidays!

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Easy Penuche Fudge Recipe (Brown Sugar Fudge)

4.92 from 12 votes
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 30
A foolproof recipe for Penuche Fudge! It only takes a few minutes to put together this easy brown sugar fudge. It's similar to my favorite Chocolate Fudge recipe, but instead uses brown sugar and white chocolate. The texture of this fudge is where it's at! It just melts in your mouth!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, (1 and 1/2 sticks)
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 & 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 12 ounces white chocolate bars, high quality* not chips
  • 1 (7-oz) jar marshmallow creme (fluff)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. If you are using foil, coat with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • Prepare the ingredients you will need last, because you are going to be in a hurry later. Chop your white chocolate into small chunks for faster melting. Take the lid off your marshmallow creme and peel off all traces of the foil lining (so that you can microwave it later for easy scooping. Microwaving is optional). Set out your vanilla and salt.
  • In a 3 quart HEAVY saucepan over medium high heat, melt 3/4 cup butter. Before it melts all the way, use your spoon or knife to rub the sides of the pot with butter, almost all the way to the top. This helps prevent sugar crystals from forming on the edge of the pan, which can cause your fudge to not come to the right temperature.
  • Add 2/3 cup evaporated milk. Add 2 tablespoons corn syrup.
  • Add 2 and 1/2 cups brown sugar to the center of the pot. Be sure to avoid getting sugar on the edge of the pan to avoid the sugar crystals that I mentioned before.
  • Use a wooden spoon to stir slowly until the butter has melted completely and been fully incorporated.
  • Bring to a full rolling boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a long wooden spoon. Once it starts boiling (that means bubbles coming up from the CENTER of the pot, not the edges of the pot), set a timer for 5 minutes and turn the heat down to medium so that you don't burn your fingers off--it should be at a rolling boil the full 5 minutes. Stir constantly. If you want to use a thermometer, boil until it reaches about 236 degrees F.
  • When the timer goes off, remove from heat and immediately add the chopped white chocolate. Stir until the white chocolate has melted completely and there are no lumps. You will notice that if you stop stirring even for a few seconds, the fudge will start to harden, so work quickly.
  • Take the lid off your marshmallow creme, remove all traces of foil, ignore the label that says  "Do not microwave in jar," and microwave in the jar for about 20 seconds, until you see the marshmallow start to rise above the lip of the jar. (You don't need to microwave. It's just a hack to make it really easy to get the marshmallow out of the jar, which can be a pain.) Use a spatula to add all the marshmallow creme to the fudge and stir. You will notice that if you stop stirring even for a few seconds, the fudge will start to harden, so work quickly.
  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to the fudge. Beat the fudge with your wooden spoon, scraping the bottom and sides well, until all the marshmallow has been incorporated and the fudge is an even light golden color with no streaks.
  • (At this point, add chopped toasted nuts if you are into that. I haven't made it with nuts but I would guess between 2/3 cup to 3/4 cup chopped pecans will do ya.) 
  • Immediately pour into the prepared and lined square pan.
  • Let cool to room temperature. This usually takes 3-5 hours depending on the temperature of your house. Once the fudge has had a half hour or so to cool, cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid so it doesn't get dried out. You can refrigerate the fudge to speed up cooling, but let it come back to room temperature before attempting to slice it.
  • When you are ready to serve, lift the parchment paper or foil out of the pan. Use a long chef's knife to make even slices. Store on the counter covered. Fudge will keep on the counter for about 3-5 days before getting dried out.
  • You can freeze fudge! I do this every year for the holidays. Freeze in a block and allow to come to room temperature before slicing, or slice and arrange in a sealed container, then freeze. I prefer the latter, then I can just pop it out of the freezer and add pieces to the cookie plates I'm assembling.

Notes

*The quality of white chocolate you use in this recipe is VERY important. Your fudge will taste as good as your white chocolate, so make sure to buy a white chocolate that has COCOA BUTTER listed in the ingredients. Guess what doesn't have cocoa butter: any brand of white chocolate chips. They are mostly made of oil and milk powder. I made this recipe with Ghirardelli white chocolate chips (no cocoa butter! come on Ghir!), a cheap brand of almond bark (no cocoa butter, no surprise), and a third time with chopped Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bars, which does have cocoa butter listed as the second ingredient. The batch with the real white chocolate was WAY better tasting, obviously. But if you are penny pinching, you can totally make this recipe with fake white chocolate. The fudge turned out fine on all 3 versions. But real white chocolate just tastes better. If you want to read more about all the fake white chocolate out there and read about the best kind to buy, check out this Serious Eats article. But bottom line: if there is cocoa butter in the ingredients, then it's real white chocolate.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 159IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 204
Keyword: Brown Sugar, easy, fudge, Penuche
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this Penuche fudge. But here is what I did to simplify recipe. Cooked milk, sugar and butter 9 minutes because I live over 5000’ elevation. Tested in water for soft ball stage. Put all chopped white chocolate, marshmallow cream, vanilla and salt in Kitchenaide mixer. Poured cooked mixture ove it and beat until gloss gone. Thru in chopped nuts. Poured into a 10”x6” pan.
    Looks perfect!

    1. I love these tips Debbie, great idea using the kitchenaid! Genius. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    To die for! I have always loved penuche. Thank you for posting this quick and easy recipe. It came out as tasty as that that I had as a kid a bajillion years ago. A local candy shop sells a truffle that is basically penuche dipped in melted chocolate chips with chocolate sprinkles. It’s their number one seller. My friends are going to flip when I give them a box of my homemade candies for Christmas and they get these copycat truffles.

  3. Hi….followed the recipe to the letter….had all ingredients ready to go in advance – fudge turned out pretty dry…what could I have done to avoid this outcome??

    1. So sorry this happened to you Lyn! It’s a case of overcooking the boiled mixture. Next time boil for only 4 minutes and see how it goes! You are looking for a soft-ball stage temperature of about 236 degrees.

  4. Hi, I’ve made this recipe 3 times and I’m absolutely thrilled with it! I made a couple small adjustments which make it better for me, personally:

    I omit the marshmallow all together. I found that it doesn’t really add anything and it simply makes the fudge lighter in color and texture, and I preferred it to be darker. I also substituted real maple syrup for the corn syrup, as I rarely have corn syrup handy, and this seemed like an easy call. It also gives it a hint of maple flavor, which adds to the complexity. And finally, I added plenty of chopped walnuts. I just love the complexity of texture and the more neutral flavor they bring as a counter-note to the sweetness.

    1. Thanks for sharing your notes Adam! I’m totally going to try this without the marshmallow to see how it goes. And chopped walnuts is a great idea. Thanks so much for reviewing!

  5. Hi. Brown sugar fudge (I call it this because I don’t know how to pronounce penuche) is my favorite. Can I make it without corn syrup? Will it not set without it? I’m nervous to try, but I can’t use corn syrup. I accidentally (not truely accidentally as it was really a decision I later regreted, but I tell my husband accidentally) bought 12 16oz tubs of marshmellow fluff. I NEED to make brown sugar fudge.

    1. Accidentally, haha!! I feel your pain Sharon! I’m not sure how it would work without the corn syrup. I think it won’t be as smooth. What if you added maple syrup or agave syrup? If you can’t use those, add in sugar in it’s place and see how that goes.

    2. I’ve been looking for this recipe. I always make about 30lbs of fantasy fudge (different flavors) for the holidays. This year I’m borrowing your version with the brown sugar and switching out the vanilla for maple and then adding/topping with bacon bits. Something new! A past favorite had been white chocolate with dried cherries. Wish me luck!

      1. 30 pounds!! You’re amazing Kim! What a fun tradition. LOVE the cherries version! I’m going to have to try that! And the bacon on top! I’m coming over to your house for Christmas! ;)

  6. Yum….love marshmallow cream chocolate fudge…grew up with my mom, too, making it at Christmas. Perhaps your and my pallet enjoy similar tastes in candy. I will try the Penuche recipe and expect to like it. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Although this penuche fudge looks awesome, I’m looking forward to seeing your new little one. Praying your delivery goes well!

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