Soft-ball stage (234°) is a candy-making term. Drop a small amount of boiling mixture (in this recipe, the sugar, milk, and butter combination) into a glass cup of cold water. When it forms a soft ball that flattens as you remove it from the water, you've reached the soft-ball stage.
Southern Living NOVEMBER 2006
1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat; boil, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 234° (about 7 minutes).
2. Remove from heat; stir in marshmallows and chocolate morsels until smooth. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla.
3. Pour into a buttered 8-inch square pan; cool completely. Cut into 1-inch squares.
Roasted Pecan Fudge: Preheat oven to 450°. Soak 2 1/2 cups pecan halves in water to cover 20 minutes; drain well. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. salt evenly over the bottom of a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Arrange pecans in a single layer in pan; sprinkle evenly with 2 more Tbsp. salt. Place pecans in hot oven, and turn off oven. Let stand in oven 1 hour and 30 minutes. Toss pecans in a strainer to remove excess salt. Coarsely chop pecans, and cool. Prepare Simply Heaven Fudge as directed, stirring in chopped pecans with vanilla. Makes about 64 pieces. Prep: 15 min.; Soak: 20 min.; Stand: 1 hr., 30 min.
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