fudge with bourbon sugar

My sister’s drink of choice is a Manhattan with Maker’s served up. (Full disclosure: I just googled what “served up” means – chilled first then served without ice). My brother a shot of Tullamore Dew and a light pilsner. (“If I got a little more change jingling and a jangling, I go for a Balvenie DoubleWood,” – he asked me to include that.) But me, not much of a dark spirits drinker. Once in a while I choose the diet coke of whiskey drinks: Jack and Ginger, but generally it’s just not my thang.

My friends at Catskill Distilling Company, however, are producing some game-changing booze – whiskey and bourbon and rye that is so smooth that even a ninny like me can sip them straight up. And I’m not the only one who’s loving their products. The Village Voice has crowned them as Best Local Distillery for 2014. The NY Times ranked CDC’s Most Righteous Bourbon as one of their top 10 bourbons.*  During my last trip to the hometown, I visited their distillery in Bethel, NY.  As Cal walked me through the facility, a very Wonka-esque operation with bronze and stainless steel stills shipped piece by piece from Germany, I was already envisioning how I would use their Most Righteous Bourbon to make Bon Appétit’s chocolate fudge with bourbon sugar….

And make that fudge I did. I brought it to a holiday party hosted by my friends, Anna and Michele, and we gobbled it up while taking in the stunning views of NYC. Now I just need a cocktail recipe to put the bourbon leftovers to good use…  this or this would do just fine. Suggestions welcome.  Cocinamos!

(Scroll down for guidance)

Chocolate Fudge with Bourbon Sugar, taken directly from here.


(makes 32)

Bourbon Sugar:**

  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 72%), coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)


Bourbon Sugar

  • Preheat oven to 150° or as low as yours will go. Scrape vanilla seeds into a small bowl; stir in demerara sugar and bourbon. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let dry out in oven overnight, leaving door slightly ajar. Mixture should feel like demerara sugar again in the morning.
  • Do Ahead: Store bourbon sugar airtight at room temperature up to 2 months.


  • Line an 8×8” baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on 2 sides; lightly coat with nonstick spray. Heat chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch water), stirring occasionally, until almost completely melted. Set aside.
  • Combine condensed milk, butter, bourbon, corn syrup, and kosher salt in a small saucepan; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Heat over medium until barely hot (same as the chocolate).
  • Gently stir one quarter of milk mixture into chocolate with a rubber spatula. Add another quarter of milk mixture, stirring to incorporate (it might look broken and greasy; don’t worry, it will come back together). Continue with remaining milk mixture in 2 additions, stirring vigorously until fudge is very shiny and almost elastic, about 5 minutes. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle with bourbon sugar and sea salt. Let cool, then cover and chill at least 4 hours.
  • Turn out fudge onto a cutting board and slice into 2x¾” rectangles, 2” squares, or triangles.


* See more recognition of Catskill Distilling Company here.
** I found this to be way too much sugar…. I used less than half on the fudge… looks like I’ll be having boozy coffee for the next month.



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