I saw a recipe a few years ago for New Orleans Praline Brownies from Betty Crocker that topped brownies with a praline frosting. The recipe was not for me because the frosting and brownie together were wayyyy too sweet. The frosting did not “adhere” to the brownie so it fell off as I ate the brownie (I recognize that this could be due to “operator error”). As a whole the recipe did not work for my tastes.
Break that recipe into parts and I could not stop thinking about the frosting by itself. It was melt-in-your-mouth heaven!
I LOVE brown sugar and that was a main ingredient in the frosting. I kept thinking that it was more like a fudge and set out to see if I could make that conversion. I have tweaked it here and there through the years, but the main recipe really is intact.
As with any fudge recipe, it was tricky. Sometimes it was too soft, sometimes it was crumbly. But it was always decadent and delicious. I have added dried fruit and nuts every time and that has always been heavenly. A nice feature of this “fudge” is that it does not involve boiling to soft ball stage, which is a beautiful thing since I have yet to master my grandmother’s chocolate fudge. Mine has always ended up in the “rock hard” stage leaving me to think that maybe, just maybe, my candy thermometer is not reading right. It can’t be me at fault all those times can it?
Any hoo, I do not have to deal with that step in this recipe. Wahoo!
Brown Sugar Fudge
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 tblsp unsalted butter
1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
optional mix-ins: nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, coconut, toffee etc…I used 1 cup coconut, 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts and 1 cup chopped dried apricots.
Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper so that the edges overlap to make it easier to lift the fudge out. Spray the parchment paper too.
In medium to large saucepan, add cream, butter, brown sugar and salt and melt over medium heat, stirring often until it comes to a boil. Continue cooking at a boil for 3 to 5 minutes (I cooked it for 3 minutes) stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, powdered sugar and your “mix-ins”. Let cool about 5 minutes, stirring often. Pour/spoon the fudge mixture into your prepared pan.
Let cool to lukewarm then lift the fudge out of the pan using the parchment paper handles. You will want to cut the fudge while still “warmish” so that it does not crack and crumble. Give a test slice to make sure that it has cooled enough otherwise it will mush. If not cool enough, try again in 5 minutes.
Pack it in a beautiful tin or container and you have a wonderful gift. Make sure to sneak a few pieces for your self!