Seven Days of 60s Food: Million-Dollar Fudge

Once I started with this 60s food thing, I found it hard it stop. You’ll note, for example, that this is actually the ninth recipe I’ve posted. Now you know why Gen and I are writing a series and not just a one-off.

The main source text I’ve used is Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook, which was first published in 1957. While she’s obscure now, as a professor and then as a chef at several prominent hotels and department stores, Corbitt shaped food ways in Texas between the 1940s and 1970s (you can read about her here and here). My mom and grandma still use her cookbook on a regular basis. When I ordered myself a used copy, I was surprised to find a dedication from Ms. Corbitt herself scrawled in the front cover and a recipe that she’d typed for the recipient on Neiman Marcus stationary. Clearly I had to make it.recipe typed on 60s stationary

Million-Dollar Fudge

Adapted from Helen Corbitt’s Recipe

2 1.55 oz Hershey bars, chopped finely

1 7 oz. container marshmallow cream

1 8 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup pecans, chopped

1 8 oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon butter

Line a 9 x 9 square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. Place the chopped Hershey bars and pecans and the chocolate chips in a large bowl. Scoop out the marshmallow cream and add it to the bowl. In a sauce pan, bring the sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and butter to a boil. Stir it continuously for 6 minutes (be careful as it will be extremely hot). Pour it over the other ingredients and stir quickly until the fudge is well mixed. Transfer the fudge to the baking dish and smooth the top. Allow to cool several hours before removing and cutting into squares.

dish filled with fudge squares with teapot in background


I’d never made fudge before. It was easy and turned out well. It was a hit at my local RWA chapter meeting; my son actually cried when I took the rest of the fudge with me to share. (Don’t worry: I brought a few pieces home for him.)

I had to employee some Googling to determine how large Hershey bars and bags of chocolate chips were in the late 1950s, but this seems to be the right texture. I did find the fudge a bit on the sweet side and perhaps not quite as densely chocolate flavored as I’d expected, so if I were to make it again, I’d be tempted to try dark chocolate bars or bittersweet chocolate chips. But for a truly vintage recipe, it can’t be beat.

I’ll have a wrap-up post tomorrow, but don’t forget that Gen’s been working on a cocktail countdown that dovetails with this food series.

Thank yous are due yet again to Elisabeth Lane from Cooking Up Romance!

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