Happy National Penuche Day!!

Not so long ago Dunkin Donuts was giving away free donuts on National Donut Day and yesterday (July 21st) was National Junk Food Day! I got a little curious and wanted to know if there was a national food day for July 22nd. Apparently there’s a national food day for every day of the year (no joke)!  Today (July 22, 2009) is National Penuche Day, now some of you might be really lost and have no clue what penuche is. Well, I was right there with you. I have never heard of penuche in my life. According to resources, penuche is a fudge type candy, its lighter than fudge and is made from brown sugar. Penuche is popular in New England as well as some southern states. Penuche is also used as a frosting which is known as Panocha, typically used on a Hawaiian prune cake. As odd as the name sounds I decided to make it. It was INCREDIBLE!  A salty, sweet, fudge like candy. It was penuche gone wild. I definitely recommend you make this (see recipe below), the original Martha Stewart recipe called for toasted walnuts but I added chopped pecans instead. Remember to wish all of your family and friends a Happy National Penuche Day!

                                                        5 ounce can evaporated milk
                                                  1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
                                                      10 tablespoons unsalted butter
                                                     1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                     1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
                                                        1 teaspoon vanilla
                                                     1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a medium saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, butter and salt - bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until a candy thermometer registers 236 degrees.

Carefully pour mixture into a mixing bowl - add the confectioners' sugar and beat the mixture, scraping down the sides as needed, until it has thickened and is smooth, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.

Grease a 5"x 9" loaf pan and line it with plastic wrap. Pour the mixture into the pan, smooth the top and place pan into the refrigerator until the fudge is firm, about 25 minutes. Use the plastic wrap to pull the fudge out from the pan and cut into pieces.


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