Today's tantalizing treat comes from the 1937 Household Searchlight Recipe Book. I love the way that so many old cookbooks from this period include an entire chapter devoted to candy!
This wonderful vintage cookbook has twelve pages full of old-fashioned candy recipes. The book calls this recipe "Brown Sugar Squares", but it's so much more than just a brown sugar confection. The toasted almonds and coconut give this unique fudge a remarkable flavor worthy of a name as memorable as it is -- hence, Squirrel Nut Fudge.
Here's the fudge...
...and here's the squirrel.
Here's how to make your own (squirrel not included):
Squirrel Nut Fudge
from the Household Searchlight Recipe Book, 1937
(makes 25 1" x 1" pieces)
For the fudge:
2 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 3/4 Cups Evaporated Milk
2 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Sweetened Flake Coconut
1 Cup Finely chopped blanched almonds (lightly toasted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the ganache topping:
1/2 cup high quality chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips)
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
Step 1: Line a 6" x 6" pan with foil to make candy easier to remove when it is done. Butter or spray the foil. Note: You can use a large pan. The candy will just be thinner.
Step 2: Boil sugar, evaporated milk and corn syrup in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly over medium-high heat, until it reaches 234 F on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage).
Step 3: Remove from the heat and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla extract.
Step 4: Transfer to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, or use a hand-mixer and beat until thick and creamy. Candy will lose its shine and resemble smooth peanut butter when it is ready for the next step (approx. 10 minutes).
Step 5: Stir in the coconut, nuts, and salt. Press into prepared pan.
Step 6: Prepare chocolate ganache by melting chocolate and heavy cream in the microwave or in a small saucepan. Whisk till smooth and glossy. Spread evenly over the fudge.
Step 7: Refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove from pan. Peel off foil. Cut into 1" x 1" squares.