Caramel-Pecan Fudge

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup half-and-half or light cream
2 TBS butter (no substitutes)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans (you may omit)

1. Line an 8x4x2 inch loaf pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil.
2. Butter side of a heavy 2 quart saucepan. Combine sugars and cream in the pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan.
3. Reduce heat to medium low; continue to boil at a moderate steady rate, stirring frequently until thermometer registers 236 F, the soft ball stage (about 15 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil
4. Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter and vanilla but do not stir. Cool without stirring to 110 (about 40 minutes)
5. Remove thermometer from pan. Beat mixture vigourously with a clean wooden spoon until the fudge begins to thicken. Add nuts. Continue beating til the fudge becomes thick and starts to lose its gloss (about 10 minutes total)
6. Spread fudge immediately into the prepared pan. Score into squares while warm. When firm, use foil to lift out of pan and cut into squares. Store in a tightly covered container. Makes 1 1/4 pounds. Do not double recipe as it ruins texture.
~*~ From a magazine ~*~