Vanilla Cashew Nut Fudge

  • Serves: Makes 81 pieces
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Fudge and photo by sugarpie © Sarah Phillips 
The texture is wonderfully smooth and the fudge just melts in your mouth. It has a deliciously bold vanilla flavor with soft milky undertones. This recipe is an award winner. It's adapted from the kitchens of Carol Gillespie of Chambersburg, PA who is a 1st Prize winner in the NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE and Better Homes & Gardens recipe contest.

2 1/2 cups sugar 
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Nestle's White Morsels
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème
3/4 cup roasted and salted cashews, chopped; measure and then chop
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract


1. Line a 9-inch-square baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Grease foil with butter. Butter sides of 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan.

2. Combine sugar, coconut milk and 1/2 cup butter in prepared saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan, making sure the bottom of the thermometer does not touch bottom of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate without stirring, until thermometer registers 238 degrees F, softball stage (about 15 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in morsels until melted and smooth. Stir in marshmallow crème, nuts, vanilla and coconut extracts until well combined. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan; cool for 3 to 4 hours or until firm.

4. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into 1-inch squares with a bench or very sharp knife.

Store fudge in a cool, dark, dry place in an airtight container (tin or plastic), between layers of waxed paper or individually wrapped for about 1 to 2 weeks. Fudge stored in an air tight container at room temperature will "ripen" over the first 24 hours. That is, the texture will become creamier and more velvety.
Fudge stored in the refrigerator can last 2-3 weeks when kept in an airtight container.
Fudge left out in the open will last a couple of hours depending upon the foot traffic in the area.
It can also be frozen quite successfully for long term storage, about 3 to 6 months. Just be sure to wrap well in waxed paper, the foil, and placed in an airtight container so it doesn't absorb flavors from the freezer. Thaw fudge in its wrappers and storage container at room temperature. It will take about a day to thaw.

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