This is my mom's favorite fudge. I used to make it three or four times a year. It is a pain in the butt to make, and your arms will ache from stirring/beating, (just sayin) but it is totally worth it if you do it right.
Makes about 36 pieces or 1 3/4 pounds 3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup milk 2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
1/4 cup butter 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Line a 8-9 in square pan with foil extending over edges. Butter the pan. Get a small cup and fill it half full with water and set it in a cereal bowl full of ice.
Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in a 4 quart heavy saucepan and stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil.
Boil, constantly stirring, until mixture reaches 234 degrees on candy thermometer
(or until a small amount of fudge (like, 1/4 teaspoon) forms a small soft ball when dropped into the very cold water you have in the ice bowl, and it flattens when removed from water. To test this, drop the spoon of fudge into the water. Grab it with your fingers. If it stays firm but manageable (as in not dripping off your finger) think cream cheese consistency, then it's done. If you don't trust your fudge fondling abilities, rely upon the thermometer) Trust me on this.
Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. DO NOT STIR!!! Cool at room temperature to 110 degrees (lukewarm).
When cool, beat it with a wooden spoon ( like your mom used to use on you when you were younger) until fudge thickens and starts to lose some of it's glossy appearance. Spread quickly into prepared pan and cool completely. Cut into squares.
FOR BEST RESULTS DO NOT DOUBLE THIS RECIPE