White Christmas Fudge
This delicious, bright white fudge with bits of candied cherries will put you in a holiday frame of mind.
Combine the sugar, sour cream, milk, butter, corn syrup and salt in a large, heavy saucepan with steep sides. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Cover and cook over medium heat 2 or 3 minutes to wash down sugar crystals from the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches soft ball stage (236°F on a candy thermometer, or use the cold water test (see Note below).
Remove from heat and let mixture cool until it reaches 110°F or until pan is barely warm to the touch. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, and beat with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to thicken and lose its gloss. Quickly stir in the candied cherries and chopped pecans.
Pour mixture into the buttered dish. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 1-1/2 pounds of fudge.
Note: Lightly toasting the chopped pecans will make a big flavor difference in this or most any other dish. Spread them out on a baking sheet and toast at 350°F for 4 or 5 minutes or until you begin to smell them.
The cold-water test for soft ball stage is this: Fill a cup with very cold water. Spoon a small amount of the boiling candy mixture into the cold water. If the syrup forms a soft ball in the water that flattens when removed, it is at soft-ball stage. Quickly remove your candy from the heat, or you will find yourself at hard-ball stage, and your fudge will be dry, crumbly and hard.
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