Questions about this fantastic butterscotch fudge recipe

I made this recently and it was delicious and we ate it all so storage was not an issue.

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter 113 g
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

  1. Combine sugar, brown sugar, sour cream and butter in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugars dissolve and mixture comes to a boil. cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes to wash down sugar crystals from sides of pan. Uncover and cook until mixture reaches the softball stage or candy thermometer registers 240F (115C), sitting occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool 30 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla, and beat with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and begins to lose its gloss. Stir in pecans. Pour into a buttered 8-inch square pan. Cool completely. Cut into squares.
    Makes about 1 1/4 pounds.

First of all, this recipe is delicious, but out-of-this-world burn-your-throat sweet, which leads me to my first question:

  1. Can I cut back on the white sugar, say to 75 percent of the listed amount, and cut the brown to like 85-90 percent of the listed amount and expect the recipe to ‘work’? I want to take off the supersweet thirst inducing edge- because then this recipe would be purrrrrrfect, IMHO. But I have very little experience with fudge and am worried that it may affect the ‘chemistry’ and yield a poor result.
  2. How do I store the stuff once done? It has butter and sour cream in it. Do I NEED to refrigerate it? Will it go bad as in spoiled and dangerous? Or just rancid? Or be perfect for a really long time like fruitcake because of all that sugar?
  3. Would it be possible, in theory, to cook this recipe further and create and Almond Roca innard/Werther’s type of hard candy? If so, I assue this would be ‘hard ball stage’- but what temperature does that correlate to? I have a candy thermometer I hardly use and am ITCHING to use it.
    Thanks in advance for all the sage advice,

Bamboo Boy

Where’s the scotch?

I’m not sure if this is supposed to be joking or not, but, just in case, butterscotch doesn’t contain scotch.

No help?

I’m not a candy expert by any means, so I’m just filling space until one comes along.

My guess is that all you’ll do by reducing the sugar is decrease the amount of candy you make and create a runnier end product. The only ingredients providing any volume are white sugar, brown sugar, sour cream and nuts-- the whole ingredient list. I would experiment with adding flavorings (bourbon, extracts, etc.) or increasing the nuts.

It should be ok to store on the counter for up to a day, but I would stick it in the refrigerator for longer, cut and in an airtight container, especially if it is hot or humid. Didn’t Alton show chocolate fudge getting gooey unwrapped on a humid day?

No guesses on your third question. Try it and report back?

I wonder if you can experiment with adding powdered milk (run it through a food processor first to make it fine!) as a replacement for some of the sugar. That would give you a similar bulk but without the sweetness.

But I’m sure the melting and hardening properties of powdered milk are different than the sugar, so you’ll need to experiment.

Have you tried googling more recipes for this? You may find differing proportions.
Adding a bit of salt (1/2 tsp?) will help with the sweetness. If you’re using unsalted butter, you’ll especially need it.