I'm going to have to apologize for the fact that I'm a total FUDGE SNOB here, but folks, I just have to say it: this here is the on...

Grandma Baker's MOST Perfect Fudge!

11:32 PM , , ,

Most Perfect Fudge
I'm going to have to apologize for the fact that I'm a total FUDGE SNOB here, but folks, I just have to say it: this here is the one and only fudge recipe worth making

Passed down from my Great Grandmother Baker, I grew up eating this fudge and watching my mother and grandmother work themselves into a frenzy every single Christmas over this fudge recipe. Of all the exciting things we do during Christmas time, nothing works us up quite like making a batch of fudge, you'll see why later. It's intense, folks. And I'm sharing this with you today because, in a way, I feel morally responsible to share with you what GOOD fudge is.

I grew up knowing that this was true fudge, but it wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that others have a different idea of what Christmas fudge is. It was when a co-worker brought in her fudge, claiming it was the "best fudge ever" and I enthusiastically tried some, expecting creamy chocolatey goodness. I nearly spit it out, it was disgustingly sweet and too gritty to chew. Fudge snob here!

If there are two things good fudge should NOT be it's:
1. Gritty. If your fudge always feels like you're biting down on sugar crystals when you eat it, go grab a lighter and burn the recipe card right now. Do it.
2. Sickeningly sweet. Most "other" fudges are guilty of this, like over-sweetened dark chocolate. It's usually also very dark in color. I merely smell it and I've already had enough. Yuck.

Here's the thing about Grandma Baker's fudge: 

It's dreamy creamy!
It's NEVER gritty {when cooked right}.
It's a lovely soft brown color, 
and the salt in the recipe helps ensure that it's not overly sweet. 
Really, this stuff is dangerous. 

Now, this recipe could very well have been found in a magazine or cookbook back in the 1920's when Grandma Baker was making it, I in no way mean to imply that this recipe is exclusive to my family. You could very well be making the same fudge {and I hope for your sake that you have been!} But if you've been making a recipe that calls for 3-4 ingredients, no marshmallow creme, claims to be quick and easy or--worst of all--using one of those dreaded fudge KITS they sell in stores this time of year---PLEASE! I implore you! Stop!

Good fudge is worth the time to make right, just trust me here. 

Yes, I am a total fudge snob. Hate me if you must. But I was raised on the good stuff. I've come to realize that most people guilty of fudge abuse just don't know any better. They never knew what good fudge could be!

Now, who is up to the challenge? 
Who wants to really live!?
Do not fear the unknown, young raccoon. If you follow my instructions you will be alright.
So here we go...
DSC_0740
I have 3 must follow rules. Not tips, RULES.

1. You must never attempt to make this fudge alone. It is not a one-man job. You need your husband around or a friend who can help you BEAT THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of this fudge near the end. Trust me.

2. You must prepare all ingredients in advance. Pre-measure and have everything ready to go, because when you're ready to go, you have to GO. Like, NOW. Fudge doesn't wait around for anyone. When it's done, it's done. Additionally, you should empty the entire jar of marshmallow creme out onto a lightly buttered plate BEFORE starting this recipe. When you're ready to add it in, you will NOT have time to scrape it out of the jar.

3. You MUST use Jet Puffed Marshmallow Creme. No exceptions. No other "marshmallow creme" will do. No sir, no way.
DSC_0742 
First, we're going to combine 1 stick of butter, 4 cups of sugar, one 12 oz. can of evaporated milk, and 1 T. flour in a large pot and heat it over medium or slightly higher--stirring constantly and swiftly. This mixture will scorch easily, your mission is not to let that happen. I like to make a figure 8 pattern around the pot. Stir, again, constantly and quickly. This will take a while...
DSC_0748
Eventually, the mixture will reach a boil, at this point you have another 10-15 minutes of brisk stirring until it reaches soft ball stage. Keep stirring!

NOTE: My photo shows a candy thermometer because I was curious after seeing a "Soft Ball Stage" temperature mark on it. I was, however, wise enough to know to follow my Grandmother Baker's method instead of relying on a candy thermometer. My fudge reached soft ball stage a good 25 degrees before the thermometer would have said. I would have ruined this batch if I'd relied on the thermometer. I've since learned that altitude has a lot to do with this--so it's best for all of us to stick to the tried and true method, sans thermometer.

So, how do you test the soft ball stage? This is tricky, but it must be done. (Just remember folks, this is show stopping fudge. I received raving compliments on this fudge as recently as last night. It's worth it.)

This is really the only reliable soft ball test: You need a glass of ice water handy, large enough to stick your whole hand into. After the fudge has been cooking 10-15 minutes, you'll notice slight changes. The mixture starts to get a frothy look to it, it starts to lose a little bit of it's opaqueness.   Waste no time here, if you think it might be even close to ready, drizzle a tad of the fudge into the ice water and try and form it into a ball with your fingers (KEEP STIRRING!) It should form a good soft ball--think softened Tootsie Roll texture. You can even pop it into your mouth, if it's nice and chewy, you're good. If it's like a hard Tootsie Roll, you overcooked it. Bummer. If it doesn't really want to form into a ball yet, no go. Test it in another minute or so. If it DOES form a nice soft ball--then it's time to GO GO GO!
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Remember to have your ingredients at the ready for this very moment. Start shouting to your partner that it's time, but please be careful with the molten sugar.

Time out for two variations:
1. We like to add 1 cup of chopped walnuts to ours.
2. Add 1 cup of peanut butter for delicious peanut butter fudge!
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But back to crunch time, here we go:

1. Remove pot from heat, keep stirring! The time is now!
2. Have helper dump in 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips first (keep stirring like lightning!) as well as 1 t. salt, 4 t. vanilla extract, the walnuts or peanut butter (optional), and lastly the marshmallow creme.
3. Shout at each other excitedly, you literally have seconds here to work as one of you--

WHIPS THE CRAP 

--out of the fudge. I mean, stirring more furiously than you could ever imagine. It's not easy, because it's going to start thickening and setting up here. Stir it quickly and thoroughly as possible, it should get a nice glossy sheen.
Whip it good! 
4. Quickly pour into a lightly buttered pan. Remember, the pan is still HOT at this point, one person holds the pan up, the other person scrapes the fudge (which will already be starting to set up) into the pan. Spread it quickly and hope for the best!

{As you can imagine, this process was pretty difficult to get good photographs of.}
DSC_0760 
At this point, pat yourselves on the back, take a moment to catch your breath, and crack open a beer, and fight over who gets to lick the spoon. Go on, you deserve it.
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Let it cool thoroughly before cutting into it...this is the moment of truth!
{Always keep the fudge covered with plastic wrap or your beautiful batch will dry out.}
Tin of fudge
Remember, dear students of mine:
Good fudge is soft but not too soft.
Good fudge is never gritty.
Good fudge is not as dark as dark chocolate.
Good fudge is not overly-sweet. 
Good fudge is creamy and dreamy and to die for. 
Good fudge should not be "easy" or made in minutes. 
Christmas fudge
Still don't believe me? Don't you dare reach for one of those kits! No student of mine ! ::shakes fist::

My mom gets threats every year from her out-of-state friends in case she doesn't deliver the goods. True story.
Perfectly cut fudge

Look, I'm all for the easy, simple things in life. Fudge, my friends, is not something you should cut corners on. Just trust me.

Enjoy!

XO,
Heather
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Grandma Baker's Most Perfect Fudge

Ingredients:
4 c. sugar
1 T. flour
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 stick butter
1 t. salt
1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 large jar JET PUFFED ONLY Marshmallow Creme
4 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

Variation -- Peanut butter fudge
1 c. peanut butter

Directions:
Put sugar, butter, milk, and flour into large pot and cook on medium or slightly higher, stirring briskly and constantly. Once mixture reaches a boil, cook approximately 10-15 minutes until it reaches the soft ball stage. Remove from heat and quickly add remaining ingredients. Beat together quickly, pour into lightly buttered dish and cool.

Tips Rules:
- Prepare all ingredients in advance and scoop out marshmallow creme onto buttered plate in advance.
- Never attempt to make this alone.
- Don't be a cheapo. Buy the good stuff only: Jet Puffed Marshmallow Creme.
- Gritty fudge is due to either under cooking the sugar, overcooking the sugar, or not using a stabilizing ingredient such as corn syrup or--in this recipe's case--marshmallow creme!

POST EDIT 12/21/2015: First, thank you SO much to all the people who've left a comment. I love hearing back from you and knowing that so many people have tried this recipe! I'm going to post a video of a YouTuber showing the soft ball stage test just below. After making two batches of this fudge for myself this Christmas, I've learned I have a slight tendency to jump the gun! Remember, boiling while stirring for 10-15 minutes. I've done the soft ball test and IMMEDIATELY gone as soon as it sets up into a soft ball, then got fudge that set up and cut nicely, but was every so slightly too soft. So I'm going to remember to give myself a minute or two before jumping into stirring all the ingredients once I reach that soft ball stage. Still, totally edible, so yummy, and not grainy at all! I'm happy with it, but have realized if I check it too often, I catch it at the very start of soft ball stage, rather than well established soft ball stage. Does that make sense? Good luck and Merry Christmas! -- Cheers, Heather








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  1. Yes, yes! Good fudge for sure! Thanks for all the great rules of good fudge! Blessings, and Happy New Year.
    New Follower,
    Susie

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  2. I think the first bloggers may be good, That's beneficial, continue to keep it up i'm looking out pertaining to your further ideas! Mali gold

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  3. This fudge is so good that it brings tears to my eyes to remember making a close version of it for years and years. I quit making it when I moved to Flagstaff, AZ. I could never get the fudge right when I lived at 6,800 elevation. I tried three or four times and gave up.

    I am now on a special diet and can't have sugar anymore. Your recipe and pics made my mouth water. Thanks for the recipe and memories!

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    1. Thanks for this lovely comment! I'm sorry you can't have fudge anymore :( Boo! We're in Denver, the high altitude gives many of our baking attempts a lot of trouble too.

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  4. Mine never got glossy.. we whipped and whipped and whipped.. it was still pretty good. like fudge should be.. but real homemade marshmallow would make it soooo much better

    Edit: i see now in the picture you have a 13 oz jar of marshmallow i wish id noticed that.. the largest jar the store here has is 7oz.. i should have got 2... too late now

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    1. Prakriti, thanks for the comment and trying out my recipe! I'm sorry I didn't specify jar size for the marshmallow cream. You should play around with homemade marshmallow cream and tell me how it turns out! We've always used the big jar of Jet Puffed with great success.

      Cheers,
      Heather

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  5. Your directions were the best - my husband and I had a lot of fun. As your instruction said - all it was all mixed and put in the pan - then we had a beer and patted ourselves on our back. And yes it does take 2 people. This is the best fudge ever - I can't stop eating it. Your instruction were fun and easy to follow.

    Tom and Susan in Blacksburg, Virginia

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    1. Dear Tom & Susan,

      This comment made my day! I'm so glad you had success with my family fudge recipe. Thank you so much for the lovely comment and for visiting my blog.

      Cheers,
      Heather

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  6. What amount does this make (1 lb, 1.5 lbs, etc.) and what size dish to you spread it into to get about at 1x1 serving size?

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    1. A common 9 x 13 Pyrex casserole pan is what my family has always used, it makes for a good 1 inch fudge. I've never weighed it myself--but good question! My research on similar recipes shows that this recipe should yield about 5 lbs. Enjoy!

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  7. Thanks for the recipe. I'm entered in to a fudge contest at work. I'll let you know if we win! !

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  8. Im DROOLING! Over the fudge I'm going to go WHIP up now & over the gorg pyrex & corelle! Thanks & Merry, Merry, Merry!

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  9. YOU!!!.....my dear, know what GOOD fudge is! I knew my family couldn't be the last man standing when it comes to Holidays+Family+Fighting=FUDGE! Every year it is a fudge frenzy when the Holidays hit. If the WHOLE family isn't together, we all are sending pictures, face-timing and emailing each other about whos fudge looks the best, taste the best and so on. It felt as if I was reading about myself, my family and my love for fudge as I read your post. Seriously....this post brought a HUGE smile and a certain kind of "proudness". (I was thinking, WOW someone else "gets it") :) I knew I couldn't be the only snob when it comes to fudge. I am always curious as to what the "professional" bakers, chefs, cooks out there put in their fudge so I love to read their "tricks" And I always walk away from the computer disappointed and saddened at what I find. Then there are the "Fudge Kits"....seriously?!, "Microwavable Fudge".....well, that's a disgrace, and "Quick and Easy Fudge".......NO SUCH THING!! So, needless to say you made my evening! In fact, you may have just taught me something that could possibly get me bragging rights from the family. Our family fudge recipe is almost identical to yours, down to the 2 T of peanut butter (same thing, my Grandmother is the one that started this) Except we don't add the Flour.....but everything else is the same. Especially the stir, stirring, the stir, the beating, beating and beating. You always have to "shake it off" when your finally done stirring. I can feel the burn just thinking about it. LOL! So anyway, you have me so curious about the Flour I may have to secretly bend the rules and go try this. So, thank you again for sharing your love for fudge! Anyone reading this.....SERIOUSLY you don't know good fudge until you try this recipe. Once you taste it you will then smile and say, "oh!....I get it!" But you MUST abide by the RULES. These aren't TIPS, they are RULES! Sorry for the longggg rant but I am so tickled that this recipe is STILL alive other than the Norris and Poole Family!!!! ~From one snob to the other~ :) Kayla

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    1. This comment is a HOOT and made me day, even when I first read it. I forwarded it to my mom to read, we loved the response. Sorry it took me so long to respond--but THANK YOU for the super kind comment!!

      I'm so relieved someone else knows good fudge as I do ;-) Sometimes, when I look around at parties at Christmastime and see "other fudge" I get so down...

      ;-) Again, thank you!

      Cheers,
      Heather

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  10. Hello can you leave the chocolate out too make just vanilla fudge?

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    1. Is that what divinity is? Chocolateless fudge? Anyway, no I've never tried that because what's fudge without chocolate ;-)

      If you find a comparable recipe, however, do let me know!

      Cheers,
      Heather

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  11. This was the best fudge I ever made! Your tips and recipe were awesome!! Thank you!! I just had a problem that we were biting salt granules when we ate the fudge. Do you think I didn't whip it long enough? I just used regular table salt. Not sure what the problem was!

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    1. I'm so glad it was the best fudge you've ever made!! Thank you for trying it out :-)

      As for the salt issue, I've never had that happen before. I wonder if adding the salt before, while still cooking the sugar/milk mixture would help it break down more? Next time, maybe I'll try that and see how it affect the recipe.

      Thanks so much!

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  12. Replies
    1. @Karis, not sure why this didn't show up under your name!

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  13. Could I use a beater on low instead of whisking? Im very pregnant and will proberly pull a muscle whisking vigirously haha

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    1. I think that actually MIGHT work. Let me know if you try it! I can't say for sure since I haven't, but it sounds like a possible solution!

      Thanks and best wishes!

      Cheers,
      Heather

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  14. I am soooo sorry I broke one of your rules! I thought being a very strong girl with lots of baking experience I would be able to handle this recipe alone. I was wrong. :( I was able to struggle through everything, poured it into my pan, and turned around to see... RIGHT NEXT TO ME I forgot to put in the vanilla. Although it was still the best fudge I had ever eaten (which was almost the whole first "ruined" batch) with the help of my roommate the second was even better!! Thank you for sharing this super fun super tasty recipe with us! I took some to a small group of friends and it was gone in about 10 mins. They also said to say thank you. :)

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  15. I am very sorry about my question, but I don't know if the T is for tablespoons or teaspoon? Please let me know, I am not good in the kitchen, and thanks, God bless you.

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    1. The big T is for tablespoons! Sorry :-S

      Cheers,
      Heather

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  16. So I used this as my first ever fudge making experience recipe. I have to say that waiting and waiting and waiting for it to come to a boil was almost maddening! But after that - not so bad. I did have my youngest daughter (14) help me and she was fantastic, stepping in to stir if I needed a break, and grabbing that teaspoon of salt that I THOUGHT I had premeasured, and putting it with all the other ingredients long before it was needed! (whew!) I wish I had used a different pot with a long handle - would have helped when it came time to scrape it out into the 13x9 pan. Also-that marshmallow crème sticks to EVERYTHING, even the buttered plate! Ugh - that was bad, too. But all in all, for a first time fudge maker, I would say I feel much more accomplished having done this rather than melt some things in a microwave safe bowl. LOL! Thank you for sharing this. Also, at the risk of sounding stupid (but hey - fudge beginner, here, remember) If adding peanut butter, do you do it all at the same time with the chocolate and marshmallow? And if so, could you just put all of that together in one bowl to be added, or is there some reason to add things one at a time? If you get this and have a chance to reply, that would be super! But in any case - wanted to thank you again for posting this recipe and the fun blog post with it.

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    1. Sounds like it was a success for your first time! Well done. It's a learning experience for sure. I was SUPER nervous making this for the first time without my mom! And that was after helping her make it my whole life.

      Yes, add the peanut butter at the end with the marshmallow creme and chocolate. I don't see why you couldn't mix those together first! I'm going to have to try that...it could be a time saver! Great idea.

      Cheers,
      Heather

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  17. I bought some home made fudge at a bake sale, and it was sooo good, dark chocolate and not to sweet but seriously good. I have tried to find out who make it with no luck, and I have been looking for a good recipe on the net, and I think this one sounds the best. I may try it with dark chocolate. I will let you know how it turns out. Fudge scares the ---- out of me, I have read a few too many horror stories about making it. So this will be my first kick at the can making fudge, wish me luck.

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    1. Let me know how it goes with the dark chocolate! Good luck, you can do it ;-)

      Cheers,
      Heather

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  18. I made this alone :) skill, but damn if my arm doesn't hurt haha. I used a stevia/sugar blend to make it a little less sugary (lot of people in my family can't eat sugar) so we'll see how it comes out- cooling now. Thanks for the great recipe! My grandma is old Betty Crocker book has a recipe where you melt a bag of powdered sugar with butter and cocoa and chocolate chips....it's sooo wrong

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    1. You're a brave woman to go it alone! Hope it turned out well :)

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  19. NOTE: My photo shows a candy thermometer because I was curious after ... ohrtestsieger.blogspot.de

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  20. Thank you so much for your recipe. I just made my brand new first batch of fudge ever and it looks awesome!!! We'll see tomorrow if the coworkers like it...

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  21. I am going to try this over and over, I think I pulled the mixture off too soon I put it in the water and it was turning to a soft ball. I took it off of the heat and added the rest of the ingredients and stirred like crazy It wasn't hard to mix them together it wasn't setting in the pot like you said it would be I went back over the recipe and It doesn't Appear that I missed anything. Well I'll let you know how it turns out it was a glossy milk chocolate color. Just to double check

    4 Cups Sugar
    1 stick butter (8 tbsp)
    1 tbsp Flour
    12 fl oz Evaporated Milk
    medium heat 13-16 minutes until Soft ball forms

    After this I expected to stir my arm off but it was relatively easy and didn't really set I added the big Jet Puff Marshmallow Creme 13oz 1 teaspoon salt 4 teaspoons Vanilla and 12 oz ghirardelli chocolate chips It's still in the fridge but I'm drinking wine and pouting because I can't figure out what I did wrong. Alicia

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    1. Aww! Sorry you had such trouble. If it didn't want to set up, I'd say you did not boil it long enough.

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  22. So glad you told to have a helper. My hubby burnt himself a couple times but it was all in the name of fudge. Praise the lort.

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    1. It helps if one person holds the pot steady while the other person whips like mad! I've had a few burns myself. Ouch!

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  23. First time making fudge! I'm about 11 and I'm having my mom help me with this. I'm making it for a friend as a Christmas present. I hope she likes it!! Thanks so much! Seeing the other recipes on the internet I was really skeptical... but this one I feel as if I've hit the jackpot! thanks so much!!!

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  24. Should this be kept in the refridgerator?

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    1. You CAN, but it might dry it out. No, just an airtight container will usually keep it up to a couple weeks. All that sugar doesn't promote spoiling!

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  25. Thank you so much for responding! I made this last night and it turned out perfect! Thank you for sharing this awesome family recipe! I'm going to adopt it if you don't mind 😄 I've been looking for a perfect fudge recipe for a long time!

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  26. Okay, I am stubborn and about to embark on this recipe ALL BY MYSELF! My kids are at school; my husband is at work; my dog has been walked (and doesn't have opposable thumbs); the fish in our outdoor pond need to stay in water. So it's me or no fudge...

    What do you mean by "big pot" ? Are we talking about a stockpot thing where you make big soups? Or just the biggest size "normal" pot you'd make a lot of macaroni in?
    (S0rry I can't sign my name. I don't get how to "log on" and this is my first comment EVER on a blog!

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    1. Wow, good luck! I hope you have a strong stirring/whipping arm!

      By big pot I mean a stockpot. You need something with high sides so as not to splatter molten sugar on yourself while whipping in the marshmallow creme and chocolate. Have your ingredients ready to go--especially the marshmallow creme out of the jar--and you should be okay!

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