This month for First on the First, it’s all about penuche. If you’re not familiar, penuche is fudge made from only brown sugar, butter and milk. Traditionally it has no other flavorings. In the spirit of kitchen creativity, I did not go traditional. Instead, I made pumpkin spice fudge perfect for autumn. Penuche has somewhat of a caramel flavor to it which pairs perfectly with pumpkin spice resulting in a delightful autumn candy.
In the past, I’ve loved making different candies. My Lavender-Vanilla Bean Marshmallows were pillowy goodness that were so much better than store-bought marshmallows. It doesn’t get any easier than Chocolate Toffee “Crack.” Oh and Cherry Pistachio Nougat is ridiculously delicious with salty nuts and tart cherries enveloped in chewy snowy white nougat. But when it came to making penuche, my first batch was an epic fail. I’m talking, it was anything but fudge-like. It takes a special kind of person to make a batch of fudge that should be thick and smooth and have it disintegrate into a dry, crumbly mixture. I’m that person. How does that even happen? Talk about feeling defeated.
I took a breather for a few days and spoke to the gals in our group of First on the First participants. After getting some sage advice about moisture levels and the intricacies of candy making, I went back to it. My second batch yielded MUCH better results! Now, don’t let my fudge fail deter you. I’m here to guide you so that you learn from my mistakes and don’t end up with penuche crumbs. In the end, this pumpkin spice fudge is actually a breeze to make so long as all your ingredients are bone dry and you work quickly.
In no time at all, you’ll be sinking your teeth into a dense piece of autumn fudge goodness. We’d love to have you join in! Take a gander at the other penuche creations and then make some of your own.
- Basic Penuche by Hidden Ponies
- Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting by Go Running Mama
- Penuche Topping by Suitcases & Sweets
- Traditional Penuche by poet in the pantry
- Hazelnut Penuche by Omeletta
Don’t forget to share your results with us! We’d love to see your creations. Not into candy making? Next month, we’re going to try making homemade cheeses! So excited for that challenge. I’ve made fresh ricotta from scratch before and used to make Grilled Pizza with Fresh Ricotta & Strawberries but now I’m ready to take on something new.
One Year Ago: Apple Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Two Years Ago: Croissants
This delightful pumpkin spice brown sugar fudge is the perfect autumn candy.
- 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prepare an 8x8 baking dish by linking with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on either side to allow you to lift out the fudge later. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add both sugars, milk, butter and salt. Heat mixture over medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixture reads 236 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer, 20-30 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat on medium high until thick and smooth. Reduce speed to low. Add pumpkin spice and vanilla extract and beat just until incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Spread mixture into prepared pan and smooth top. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before cutting into squares.