My sister and I make this recipe, which is a variation of an old Hershey's Cocoa recipe that is actually rather hard to find now, so I keep my copy safe for those times when I just have to have really GOOD fudge.
3 cups of sugar
2/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 big spoonful peanut butter
Butter 8 or 9-inch square pan. (I have been known to use a pie plate.) Set aside. In heavy 4 quart saucepan combine sugar, cocoa, and salt; stir in milk. Cook over medium heat stirring consistantly until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Boil without stirring to 234 degrees F (soft-ball stage is my method). Remove from heat, add butter, peanut butter, and vanilla. DO NOT STIR! Cool at room temperature to 110 degrees F. Beat with wooden spoon until fudge thickens and loses some of its gloss. Quickly spread into prepared pan; cool. Cut into squares.
There just is no better fudge than this, at least that's the opinion of our brother, the fudge expert, and the rest of us agree. We used to make this a lot when we were teenagers. In fact, when I had to call my sister for the recipe one time we were discussing it and she told me she usually pours hers into a glass pie pan. I do, too! Why, you'd think we grew up in the same kitchen!
This recipe is perfect any time of the year, but our family just can't have Christmas without it! Don't let the soft ball stage part intimidate you; it's really not difficult to make, and it's well worth the time.