I rarely make candy of any kind, but in honor of Father's Day and in my dad's memory, I decided to make penuche...his favorite fudge. 
Part of every summer in my childhood we spent boating and we always docked at Mackinac Island for a week or so. Even after I married and had kids, we still spent time on the boat and Mackinac was a favorite stop. Once in a while, we drove to northern Michigan and took the ferry over, with all the other "fudge-eaters", a label bestowed on tourists by the islanders. For good reason, as everyone ends up walking around the island holding a half-eaten box of fudge. Here's a little 2 minute video on Mackinac and their famous fudge making.

Practically every other store is a fudge shop as you walk down main street. As you can imagine, the entire town smells of candy (and horses as there are no cars on the island and walking, boats, bikes and horses are the only  methods of travel here) and you can stand outside and watch it being made, window after window. 
Dad was very particular and we always bought our fudge at May's. It was the best fudge store on the island. There was no "grit" in the fudge, just smooth luscious rich fudge. It still is there, family owned and operated. Also, they make the best peanut brittle ever...another of Dad's favorites.

So...he loved penuche. Pronounced 
puh-noo-chee. And while most penuche has walnuts, Dad liked his without, so that's how I made it for this post. It's amazingly delicious, has a butterscotch flavor with maple overtones. If you're going to make it and your family likes nuts, add 3 ounces of roughly chopped walnuts. 



Vegetable oil cooking spray 
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk 
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar 
5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
3 ounces toasted walnuts, chopped (1 cup) , optional


Coat a 5-by-10-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides.
Bring evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 236 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 25 minutes.
Transfer to your electric mixer and beat in confectioners' sugar on low speed. Increase speed to medium, and beat until mixture is thickened and smooth, probably about 5  minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add vanilla and walnuts, if using.
Spread mixture in a pan, smoothing top. Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm. Cut into small pieces. 

    Here we are at Mackinac on the boat...Dad, daughter Tracy and me, 1959


  1. I can almost taste this--one of my favorites as well. What a delicious memory of your father.


  2. Homemade fudge is such a treat! This sounds lovely!

  3. What a lovely tribute to your Dad - and a wonderful fudge recipe:)

  4. I've never tasted penuche, but it sounds like a fabulous treat.

  5. I have never heard or tasted penuche...but from your description it sure taste delicious.
    Nice tribute to your dad...
    Hope you are having a great week Barbara :D

  6. What a sweet story and sweet treat! I've never tasted it but it does remind me a little of maple fudge which is easy to find in resort towns in Wisconsin also. I would definitely opt for the recipe with nuts.

    That's a wonderful shot of you and your father!

  7. Nice post!


  8. ... and in your father's memory - and that of mine too... what WAS it about sweet milk flavors?! - I'll have to make some for the Knight. I know he'll love it too.

  9. Dear Barbara,

    Lovely post with the tribute to your dear Father - the photo is beautiful.
    Also the fudge looks delicious

    Happy Thursday

  10. A lovely picture of your father and delicious looking candy!



  11. Fudge kind of scares me a bit, so I rarely attempt it but this penuche sounds so good! Really rich in flavor. What a sweet (literally) tribute to your dad!

  12. A wonderful tribute to your father, Barbara. I have never heard of or tasted penuche...they look very tempting.

  13. What a great tribute! And how gorgeous are your parents in that photo?

  14. Beautiful memories...Panuche, never hear the name but it looks kind of familiar and definitely yummy.

    ela h.
    Gray Apron

  15. What a nice sweet story. Never heard of that type of fudge before but it looks delicious!

  16. What a lovely tribute to your dad. My own dad has a huge sweet tooth, too, and I bet he would also like penuche. I know I do!

  17. What a lovely post! The pic of you, Tracy & your father on the boat is my fav. I love, love your hairdo.
    And, penuche is new to me. I don't make candy often either, but fudge/caramels are a fav at home. This one I must try. Happy Father's Day to your hubby and the memory of your sweet dad. :)

  18. what a sweet memory of your Dad.

  19. i've had penuche frosting and thought it was WONDERFUL, but i've never had actual penuche candy. great treat, great post. :)

  20. A perfect tribute post to your Father for Father's Day, Barbara. Such sweet memories and delicious sounding fudge too. I'd prefer mine without nuts too, lol...

    That picture is priceless! I just love it! Thank you so much for sharing such cherished memories, Barbara...

  21. That photo is fantastic and how wonderful to think there is a place where horses are the primary mode of travel



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