Honey and Macadamia Nut Fudge

Honey and Macadamia Nut Fudge

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, hazelnuts or pecans
Chopped nuts for topping (optional)

Line a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with foil, extending foil over edges of the pan. Butter the foil; set pan aside.

Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In the saucepan, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, half-and-half, milk and honey. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils and sugars dissolve (about 8 minutes). Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to boil at a moderate steady rate, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 234° F, soft-ball stage (15 to 20 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.

Remove pan from heat. Add butter and vanilla, but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 110° (50 to 60 minutes).

Remove thermometer from pan. Beat mixture vigorously with a clean wooden spoon until fudge just begins to thicken; stir in the ½ cup nuts. Continue beating until fudge just starts to lose its gloss (about 10 minutes total).

Immediately spread fudge evenly in prepared pan. Score into 1¼-inch squares while warm and, if desired, sprinkle with additional chopped nuts. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of the pan. Cut fudge into squares.

Makes 1 1/4 pounds.
(about 36 pieces)