Maple Walnut Fudge

Smooth, sweet, creamy maple fudge, just like you’d find at your favourite shop! All it takes is a little time and a few simple tools to make this decadent treat at home. A great holiday treat to share or gift!

I’ve had this recipe photographed and ready to post for months, but somehow never got around to actually getting it online. Fudge is a great Christmas treat, so I’m finally going to share it with you! If you’re looking for some other last minute Christmas candies, I’ll have two quick ones to share with you later this week (probably Wednesday.) In the meantime, you can check out a great recipe with some non-holiday rambling! (I’m pretty sure that’s actually an Easter tin – shows how long this has been in the queue!)

maple-walnut-fudge

Fudge is one of my latest sweet treat obsessions.  I used to make “quick” fudge with sweetened condensed milk once in a while, but then I bought Sally’s candy cookbook and realized that “real” fudge isn’t that tricky. It’s become one of my favourite sweets to make, especially for bake sales.

maple-fudge

Have I mentioned that I love bake sales? As someone who has far more ideas for treats than testers to eat them, I love getting to share my creations with the public! I start brainstorming ideas weeks in advance. We always have a “pantry table” at our church suppers and I have tons of fun making treats to fill it up. At the last turkey supper there was a bit of a wait and they started handing out my molasses cookies to tide people over!

maple-fudge-by-the-bluenose-baker

This fudge is one of my pantry table go-tos, but I had originally made it for the school Spring Fling, back during sugaring-off season. It’s a great holiday treat, so here I am, going against my convictions, posting a maple recipe in the fall. See my previous rant on the subject here.

You can tell just from the list of ingredients that this is going to be decadent! Brown sugar, maple syrup, heavy/whipping cream, butter, baking soda and vanilla.

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You’ll need a large, heavy pot. I’m using my Le Creuset monstrosity (a wedding gift) because it’s pretty, but I often use a metal pot as it’s a bit easier to lift.

You’ll also need a candy thermometer. I made candy for a long time just using a regular instant-read thermometer, but my candy thermometer is one of my new favourite toys. Since it clips to the side of the pan, you can check it at a glance, without having to hold the thermometer or wait for it to come to temperature.  Mine was a Christmas gift, but you should be able to find them at most housewares stores. Sometimes they’re called deep fry thermometers (and you can use them for that too, not that I plan to!)

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A little further on in the process, you’ll need an electric mixer, preferably a heavy duty stand mixer.

Rub a bit of butter around the sides of the pan. This helps to keep the fudge from sticking to the side and crystallizing while it’s cooking.

Combine the sugar, cream, maple syrup, butter and a pinch of the baking soda.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring very frequently. Depending on your stove, this will likely take 15-20 minutes. Once it’s boiling, if it doesn’t foam up high, add the rest of the baking soda. If you notice splashes sticking to the sides of the pan, wipe them down with a pastry brush dipped in warm water (if you greased the sides of the pan, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.)

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Boil the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches a temperature of 238° (soft ball stage.) This will take an additional 8-10 minutes.

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Immediately remove the pan from heat. Carefully (oven mitts!) pour the fudge into the bowl of your stand mixer (grease it with a little butter first), or a wide, shallow bowl. Don’t scrape the pan!!

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Put the bowl on a cooling rack and let the fudge cool at room temperature to 100°. This will take an hour or two, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

In the meantime, line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment.

Once the fudge has cooled, mix in the vanilla. With the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat on medium speed until the fudge is very thick and no longer glossy. This will take anywhere from 8 – 12 minutes, and can feel like forever! Just when you think that it’s never going to set and your fudge will be a total failure….it’ll start to thicken!

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Time for the walnuts! Feel free to leave them out for a nut-free treat, but they do add a nice crunch.

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Toss them in and beat just enough to distribute them evenly.

Scrape the fudge into the parchment-lined pan, smoothing the top.

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Let the fudge cool at room temperature, then cut into squares and refrigerate.

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Fudge makes a perfect homemade gift! Do you give any treats as holiday presents? I’ll be making cookies this week to give to neighbours and a few others who’ve helped us out this year. Still haven’t decided exactly which ones to make yet!

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Maple

  • Servings: 36
  • Print

Adapted from Canadian Living

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup whipping (35%) cream
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • I cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Grease the sides of a large, heavy pot with butter.

Combine the sugar, cream, maple syrup, butter and a pinch of the baking soda in the pot.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring very frequently.  Once it’s boiling, if it doesn’t foam up high, add the rest of the baking soda.

Boil the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches a temperature of 238° (soft ball stage.) This will take an additional 8-10 minutes.

Immediately remove the pan from heat. Carefully pour the fudge into the greased bowl of a stand mixer, or a wide, shallow bowl, without scraping the pan.

Cool the fudge to 100° and line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment.

Once the fudge has cooled, mix in the vanilla. With the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat on medium speed  for 8 – 12 minutes, until the fudge is very thick and no longer glossy.

Mix in the walnuts.

Scrape the fudge into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Let set at room temperature, then cut into squares and store in the refrigerator.

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