3 C. granulated sugar
1 1/2 C. half-and-half or light cream
2 Tbl. espresso powder or 2 tsp. instant coffee crystals
3 Tbl. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbl. butter (no substitutes)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C. toasted chopped walnuts
Coffee beans (optional)
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of
pan. Butter the foil; set the pan aside. Butter sides of a heavy 3-quart
saucepan. Combine sugar, half-and-half or light cream, espresso powder
or instant coffee crystals, corn syrup and cinnamon in the saucepan.
Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy
thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, continue boiling
at a moderate, steady rate, stirring mixture occasionally, until
thermometer registers 234 degrees F, soft-ball stage (25 to 35 minutes).
Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil. Remove saucepan
from heat. Add butter and vanilla extract, but do not stir. Cool,
without stirring, to 110 degrees F (about 55 to 60 minutes). Remove
thermometer from saucepan.
Beat mixture vigorously with a clean wooden spoon until fudge just
begins to thicken; stir in nuts. Continue beating until fudge becomes
very thick and stiff, and just starts to lose its gloss (about 10
minutes total). Spread fudge immediately into prepared pan. Score fudge
into squares while warm, and if desired, press a coffee bean into each
piece. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Cut into
squares. Store tightly covered. Makes 1 7/8 pounds (64 servings).