Easy Penuche Fudge Recipe (Brown Sugar Fudge)
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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: 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.)
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.)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
- My Mom’s Fudge << this is the classic no-fail recipe that today’s recipe is based on!
- Caramel Nougat Pecan Rolls << my number 1 favorite thing to make for neighbors every year!
- Sticky Sweet-and-Salty Chex Mix (Christmas Crack) << such a fun and EASY neighbor gift!
- How to Make Dulce de Leche << if you’ve never tried this, now is the time.
- Caramel Cake with Caramel Icing << the richest, most decadent cake you will ever have!
- Oreo Truffles << these are a classic! A fun a addition to a Christmas cookie plate.
- Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies << these are the fudgiest brownies ever!!
- The Best English Toffee Recipe << a classic for the holidays!
- Chocolate Nutella Fudge with Sea Salt from Cookin Canuck
- Fudge Christmas Trees from Hungry Happenings
- Easy Peppermint Fudge from Kitchen Fun with my Three Sons
Easy Penuche Fudge Recipe (Brown Sugar Fudge)
- 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
- 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.
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