This will be our family's first Christmas without my mother, and I know it will be a sad one in many ways, but a happy one knowing she's in a better place. For years, Momma made fudge for Christmas for friends and family. It is somewhat different from other recipes as, once made, it really needs to stay refrigerated until ready to serve, she always advised. But I found that once it got to room temperature, it was excellent, too. Just a little too soft if it stayed out all the time, though there was usually never enough left to worry about that once the family got their hands on it.
The trick to this recipe is boiling the sugar and evaporated milk exactly nine minutes, no longer. Watch the pot carefully because it will boil over. So, here's her recipe, one I've never printed, but one I think she would be happy that I shared. This fudge should be creamy, not granular. If it's granular, you've done something wrong. Wish I could tell you what, but it's happened to me before and I honestly don't know why. But if could have something to do with that nine-minute thing.
Shirley Patterson's Favorite Fudge
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 small (6-ounce) package chocolate chips
1 large (12-ounce) package chocolate chips
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter (no substitute)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Combine sugar and evaporated milk in large pan and boil for exactly nine minutes (use a timer). Watch very carefully and stir constantly as this mixture will boil over. After 9 minutes, remove from heat and add chocolate, vanilla and nuts, if using. Mix until chocolate is melted and mixture is well combined; spread into 9- by 13-inch dish and refrigerate overnight or until fudge is set. Cut into small squares.