Sunday, December 13, 2009

Irish Butter Vanilla Fudge

‘Tis the season for our favorite sweet treat!

Oh yes, it’s chilly outside (even in Georgia!) and it’s that time of year for our Christmas traditions. The kinds of things that conjure up childhood memories and make the holidays ‘bright’, such as sharing community, being with family and eating together (eating lots together!). And of course, it’s a time for indulging just a little more with sweet treats to be eaten around the Christmas tree and drinking yummy hot chocolate, right? (We’ll go back to broccoli in January, along with the new Gym membership!)

Everyone seems to have that special secret sweet treat they make once a year, and for me that means getting out my saucepan, wooden spoon, candy thermometer, and reaching in to my pantry for those three simple ingredients, butter, sugar and milk. Oh yes, ‘Irish Butter Fudge’, nothing like it! My kids get excited now when they smell the browned boiling butter and sugar, and begin to count the hours until it’s ready to cut and eat. And As a child I remember taking turns with my mother to beat the fudge in to perfect submission after it had reached the soft ball stage. Oh yes, it’s worth it just for the wonderful aromas that will fill your home when you prepare this. Very ‘Christmassy’

When I moved to the South the common love of both fried foods and sweets between the Irish and Southern diets made it easy to discover an endless availability in country stores of home made fudge, and we enjoy the American fudge. However, it’s very different from the Irish variety. In my experience American fudge recipes generally have marshmallow cream and come like ice cream in many flavors like rocky road, peanut butter, pumpkin or filled with nuts. Nothing wrong with that, it’s just that when it comes to fudge the Irish are purists and feel you should not add to or change a good thing. I suppose, the closest thing I have tasted in the American South to Irish Fudge is New Orleans Praline.

My fudge was debuted at my Holiday Open House recently and I could not make it fast enough to sell to my friends and loyal customers. I have also incorporated the fudge in to an Oatmeal banana scone recipe for my cook book which could be best described like buttered banana bread with of course a totally Irish twist.

So loosen the belt and enjoy the season!
Merry Christmas!

Irish Butter Vanilla Fudge

· 10 oz unsalted butter
· 1 large tin (396g) sweetened condensed milk
· 7 fluid oz (200 g) whole milk
· 40 oz (5 cups) sugar
· 1 tsp vanilla


1. Grease a 11x7x1.5’ pan.
2. In a medium saucepan combine butter, milk, sweetened condensed milk and sugar and bring to a boil.
3. When fudge reaches 115 degrees C on a candy thermometer begin to stir fudge constantly for the next 15 minutes until fudge reaches the soft ball stage. (to test fudge is ready drop a little mixture in to a glass of ice water and it should form a soft fudge ball when ready).
4. Remove from heat and begin to beat by hand. Add vanilla and continue to beat for about 5 minutes or until mixture becomes fudge like.
5. Quickly pour in to prepared pan. Mark pieces with a knife after about one hour and cut when set after 2 hours total.
6. Store in a dry air tight container (best not refrigerated).
(Remember...if you want to print this recipe for your own use I suggest cutting and pasting it into a new doc. Don't print this page unless you wish to deforest the planet!)


  1. I'll gain a few pounds on this incredibly delicious fudge but I will have enjoyed every little bite! Thanks for posting the recipe!

  2. Thanks for posting this Judith I will try this as soon as I can. Hope to see you at the next feis!

  3. Hi there Judith...just found your blog via 'The Ulster Scot' a supplement in the Belfast News Letter. Have read with great interest all your recipes...hmmmmm...the chicken fried steak really appeals....and lots of others...but hey, I don't put porridge oats in my wheaten well, we won't fall out about that.
    Kind regards and Happy 2010 from Cookstown, Tyrone among the bushes.

  4. I have tried this recipe twice and it does not turn out. All I get is a big sugary glob. Any Sugestions?

  5. LOVE IT!!!!!
    see you next feis!


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