When I was younger, Penuche was something that was around during every holiday. My aunt Maddie made the best penuche but, being the young brat I was, I didn’t appreciate it until many years later. When I was brainstorming some recipes for Christmas Week, I knew that this recipe that has escaped me for many years had to be attempted. After making it, I have a greater appreciation for not only the recipe but my aunt who must have had a boatload of patience to make it by hand. I used my mixer and even then it was a lesson in patience.
I also learned a few things – not every recipe on the interwebs is right – especially when I tried a recipe and it failed miserably. I finally decided since I didn’t have my aunt Maddie’s recipe, I’d have to turn to another expert – Ms. Martha – and play with her recipe and technique which wound up working perfectly. The key is patience – oh – and a really good candy thermometer. While I mucked up the first batch, the second batch was the charm.
Sadly, while I can’t learn this recipe from my aunt Maddie – it is good to make a version I know she’d be pleased with. Make this for the holiday and create a family classic of your own!
On to the recipe:
Gather your ingredients
Adding the evaporated milk to the pan
Look at this lava pool of boiling sugar
Whipping up the penuche
Now – try to just have one bite!
Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
This rich and buttery creation is a family favorite.
1 hr, 30 Prep Time
30 minCook Time
2 hrTotal Time
- 1 1/2 cups of light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 5 ounce can of evaporated milk
- 1 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prep an 8x8 pan by spraying it with a non-stick spray and lining with a bit of cling film - letting it hang over the sides by a few inches for easy removal. Spray again lightly with the non-stick spray.
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the brown sugar, evaporated milk and butter.
- Stir constantly with a silicone spatula or whisk until it comes to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and continue to stir occasionally until the temperature reaches 232 - 234 degrees F.
- Remove to a heatproof mixing bowl and, using the low setting, beat in the confectioners' sugar. Turn the speed up to medium.
- When everything has thickened a bit (about 3 - 4 minutes), reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla.
- Spread into the 8x8 pan
- Let chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
- Remove from the pan and cut into small pieces.