I absolutely love my Aunt Clare’s fudge recipe! She has been making this fudge recipe for years for her family as well as mine. Christmas would be getting close when I was little and my step-father would come home from seeing his sister on his lunch hour from work, with the gift of Aunt Clare’s homemade fudge in his hands. It would melt in my mouth and I would have that warm-fuzzy feeling that someone cared about us!
The picture above is from 1954 and looks like Uncle Frank has taken a break from reading the newspaper. Let me tell you a little about Uncle Frank! Such a nice man and just a sweet family guy! When we would visit them, he would serenade me playing the piano without reading sheet music! His fingers would glide over the keys while playing “The Entertainer”. I was so impressed and couldn’t hear it too much! I was amazed he didn’t need any sheet music! It was lovely to watch and I so appreciated his time playing away for me! Again, there was that warm-fuzzy feeling that someone cared about me!
This photo was taken on Aunt Clare and Uncle Frank’s wedding day in October 1953. So traditional and classy! You can tell it was a chilly day with the coat the lady is wearing standing to the left of Aunt Clare. After all, winter typically begins in October in Upstate NY! Look how happy they are….Aunt Clare is just glowing! Just a beauty from head to toe!
Fast forward many years, Aunt Clare is now 93! Uncle Frank has recently passed away. It’s sad to lose the people you so care about. My cousin Ann is a devoted daughter to her Mom (and was to her Dad as well), taking her to doctor’s appointments, taking care of the grocery shopping, and just enjoying spending time with her mother. Aunt Clare is a hoot with such a funny sense of humor.
Aunt Clare was so sweet to my mom, her sister-in-law. Every year she would send my mom her homemade fudge, each piece individually wrapped in foil, from Upstate New York to Central Florida where my mom retired. My daughters and I would visit my mom during the Christmas season and my mom would share the much-coveted fudge with me. Again, there were warm-fuzzy feeling times two! First of all, the magical fudge, and second of all, my mom was sharing it with me and the girls! Sweet memories!
When Christmastime comes around at my house, Meg & Kate begin asking “When are you going to make Aunt Clare’s fudge?” It’s a tradition in December and sometimes a surprise just because during the year. So I thought I would share these special thoughts and this recipe with you. I hope you enjoy this recipe half as much as our family does!
Aunt Clare thinks this recipe is from a 1932 cookbook by General Foods. An oldie but a goodie!
Prepare greased, foil-lined 8″ x 8″ pan before you begin making the recipe. After you insert foil in the pan, take a stick of cold butter and gently rub it back and forth and in the corners of the pan as well as the lower sides to help the fudge not stick to the foil. It all comes together pretty quickly so you need to be prepared ahead of time with this step.
This is the unsweetened chocolate, milk, sugar, and salt coming to a boil after you have been stirring constantly. Do not step away or the mixture will burn. The entire process of preparing this fudge prior to putting it in the refrigerator only takes about 8 minutes. It’s worth every minute!
When you remove the mixture from the heat and add butter and vanilla, you will begin to smell the aroma of this delicious homemade fudge. And it tastes even better if you can believe that!
This gives you an idea of the thickness following the softball stage in cold water. You want it a little thick so you have to drag a spoon through it to get it out of the pan, but not too thick that it is setting up and getting hard while still in the pan.
This is right after the fudge mixture is poured onto the prepared foil. It is also right before it gets put in the refrigerator to cool down for about 30-40 minutes.
And voilà out of the fridge and ready to be cut into squares. I use a very sharp knife to cut right through top to bottom. It makes fewer crumbles and prettier pieces that way. Just remember that because it is homemade and fabulous the pieces won’t be perfectly cut. It just tells people that it is homemade! Then you are ready to serve the fudge or wrap it into individual pieces to make them stay fresh longer. Well, that’s our Aunt Clare’s fudge recipe! It’s so much more than just a recipe to me. Look how kind and loving Aunt Clare was to our family each year. It’s special to be able to give that warm-fuzzy feeling back in return to someone else. Just think of how the world would be a better place if everyone showed a little kindness to others. No doubt this recipe will be made for many years to come in our family and for friends. Let us know how you like it!
Aunt Clare’s Fudge, Gluten-Free of course
- 2 squares unsweetened chocolate
- 3/4 cup cold milk
- 2 cups sugar dash salt
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
Prepare an 8″ x 8″ pan with greased foil before you begin. Add chocolate to milk and place on low heat. Cook until smooth and well blended, stirring constantly. Add sugar and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved and the mixture boils. Continue cooking, stirring frequently (not constantly), until a tiny amount of mixture forms a very soft ball in a glass measuring cup of cold water. Keep testing the softball stage with a rinsed-out cup with fresh, cold water added. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour at once into a greased 8″ x 8″ pan (lined with foil and greased with butter). Place in refrigerator. When cool, remove fudge from the pan while still sitting on foil. Peel foil off fudge and place fudge without foil on cutting board and cut into desired sized squares. Wrap squares individually in foil to help lengthen the amount of time the fudge stays fresh and moist.