Line 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over pan edges; butter the foil. Stir together sugar, cocoa, and salt in heavy, 4-quart saucepan; stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a full, rolling boil. Boil without stirring until mixture reaches 234 degrees on a candy thermometer or until a small amount dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from water. (Bulb of thermometer should not rest on bottom of saucepan.) Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Do not stir. Cool at room temp to 110 degrees—lukewarm. Beat with wooden spoon until fudge thickens and starts to lose some of its gloss. Quickly spread into prepared pan and let cool completely. Cut into squares. Store in tightly-covered container at room temperature. Makes about 3 dozen pieces or 1-3/4 lbs. For best results, do not double the recipe.
For Nutty-Rich Cocoa Fudge
Immediately after beating cooked fudge as directed, stir in chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts and quickly spread into prepared pan.
Increase cocoa to 3/4 cup. Cook as directed. Add 1 cup marshmallow crème along with butter and vanilla. Do not stir. Cool to 110 degrees. Beat 8 minutes; stir in 1 cup chopped nuts. Pour into prepared pan. (Fudge does not set until poured into pan.)
Prep time 25 minutes; cook time 25 minutes; cooling time 2-1/2 hours
Judy Stoney, Clinton
(from “Hershey’s Best-Loved Recipes”)