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Recipe Tin Project: Westerfield’s Fudge

A classic, simple fudge from an old recipe card.

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I’ve never heard of Westerfield’s Fudge before but I found not one, but two, recipe cards for it in my antique recipe tins so I figured it was a “must-make.” One card claimed that it was “never fail” while the other card claimed it was “very good.” And as if I needed any more convincing, you only need five ingredients to make it. I was pretty much hoping I’d found the fudge of my dreams…

This recipe card came to me through the Recipe Tin Project, a project where I cook my way through an old recipe tin full of vintage recipes. But you might have already guessed that. It’s chock full of old recipe cards, most of which seem to be from the ’60s and ’70s. I love food history, and the idea is to breathe new life into these recipes from the past and maybe learn a technique or two from them along the way. The recipes come from different people with different handwriting; some have sweet illustrations while others are on plain (often smudged and stained) index cards.

This card was a basic lined index card (the other Westerfield Fudge one was too) with a few smudges across the top. It’s written in pencil and takes up only the front side even though the writing is rather large… but that’s because there’s not a ton of instruction to go on. The directions are kind of intermingled with the ingredients and sometimes you don’t even get measurements. I was starting to think I should have gone with the other fudge card.

Here, you’re told to combine sugar and a “canned milk” and boil it “real hard” for six minutes. I took that to mean evaporated milk and I boiled it as hard as my stove would let me. Then, you add a “cube” of butter or “ole,” which I took to mean oleo, which is a term for margarine you don’t hear too much anymore. But a cube is a stick, so add a 1/2 cup. Then a “package” of chocolate chips, an indeterminate amount of vanilla, nuts, and a dash of salt.

And then the simple instruction to “beat real good.” Well, I did! And then I smoothed it all into a pan and waited for it to set up enough to slice… Was it the fudge of my dreams? Probably not. It was a little dry, but still chocolatey, and I was left wondering if maybe I hadn’t beat it “real good” enough or boiled it “real hard” enough. But still, a classic simple fudge that was very easy to make.

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Ingredients
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cube butter
  • 1 package chocolate chips
  • vanilla
  • nuts, chopped
  • dash of salt
Preparation
  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, boil the evaporated milk and sugar "real hard" for 6 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add the cube of butter, chocolate chips, vanilla, nuts, and salt. Beat well.
  3. Transfer mixture to a square baking dish to set. Once firm, slice and serve.