Making Goat Milk Fudge
The Goat Milk Candy Recipe that Won My Heart...
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Earlier this year I participated in a fun contest on Instagram held by Sugar Top Farm, LLC, that consisted of guessing when one of their does would give birth and how many kids she would have. I happened to have the winning guess, and the prize was a package of peanut butter goat milk fudge.
I didn’t expect to win, I was more playing along because I love games and farm fun, and most importantly, baby goats. When Kristin Plante contacted me with the news it was a pleasant surprise, only … I don’t like fudge. I still thanked her and figured I would give it to my family. My family is filled with fudge lovers. I don’t get it.
The goat milk fudge arrived and it was packaged nicely. I opened it, somewhat suspiciously, and decided that I should at least try it. I love goats and I consider myself someone who tries everything once. I’d never had goat milk peanut butter fudge, and honestly, it didn’t smell or look like I expected, so I gathered my bravery and cut off a little piece and nibbled on it.
And WOW. Oh my goodness, Kristin’s fudge was hands down the best thing that has happened to my taste buds this year. It was packed with flavor, perfectly sweet, and slightly lighter than regular fudge. I — barely — decided I should share with my family. I left one bite each for my partner and my mom, but the rest of it I shamelessly ate the very day it arrived. I was hooked.
The next day I posted on Instagram about this glorious goat milk fudge and contacted Kristin to openly beg for a recipe and request an interview. She told me she’d think about it. “I’ve spent years perfecting this recipe, and the nature of fudge is so finicky,” she said.
I waited. Kept my fingers crossed. I tried not to appear completely personally invested, though I certainly was. A small part of me could even understand her reservations. I’d have to think about giving up that recipe too.
Then, the best thing happened. Kristin agreed to share her recipe, some cooking tips, and a little history about Sugar Top Farm! We set up an interview and got to work. The family got their start with goats back in February of 2013. Their daughter, Mallory, wanted to buy a goat for a 4-H project. After doing some research, they decided to purchase an Alpine goat.
The trouble then came with finding a good quality, purebred Alpine herd near their home in Vermont. They contacted a couple of breeders, but no one was selling during that time. After a couple of weeks, one farmer called Kristin and offered to sell Sugar, a 2010 Alpine doe who miscarried for two years. They jumped at the offer and brought her home, and with their care and attention, they helped her maintain her future pregnancies, become a wonderful mother, and provide lots of milk.
Since Kristin homeschools her kids, she asked Mallory what plans she was formulating for Sugar’s future. Mallory decided she wanted to milk Sugar and use the milk for the family’s drinking needs and make yogurt, cheese, goat milk ice cream, and that delectable, award-winning fudge. Mallory, then 8, was the kitchen help and taste tester for their creations. “I’ll never forget the way her face lit up when we tasted the fudge, and she said ‘Mom, we can sell this!’” Kristin reminisced. After that first batch of fudge, the family started Sugar Top Farm, LLC, and went into business.
Kristin spoke to me about the trials she overcame when perfecting her fudge recipe. She warns that fudge is an incredibly finicky sweet to make, and differences as simple as a thunderstorm rolling in can affect the outcome. To combat this, Kristin recommends calibrating your candy thermometer every time prior to starting a batch of fudge. It might also be helpful to make fudge on a clear day with minimal humidity to encourage the best outcome.
To calibrate a candy thermometer, clip it onto a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, take a temperature reading and write it down. Water boils at different temperatures based on altitude and you’ll need to know the number for your location. For me, that’s approximately 202 degrees Fahrenheit. When I calibrated my candy thermometer, it tried to convince me that water boils at 208 degrees F. At that moment with that weather, my thermometer reading was 6 degrees F higher. Soft-ball stage candies are heated to a temperature of 235 degrees F, but I would have to let mine cook until the thermometer reads 241 degrees F to compensate for the difference.
“Start with high-quality, organic ingredients for a great end product,” Kristin told me. She gives her goats a significant amount of attention and love, in addition to only providing superior feed absent of antibiotics, hormones, or steroids. Kristin, though not currently, has worked as an experienced vet tech and provides the best care to her herd. She believes that attention and quality care leads to happy goats, which leads to great milk. The other ingredients should be locally resourced if possible, but also of good quality.
Another tip is to really keep an eye on the fudge while it is cooking. “You can run a stick of butter around the rim of the pan to keep the fudge from boiling over,” Kristin added, mentioning she wishes she’d learned that one sooner. The fudge will boil up to the butter line and drop back down.
We shared some cooking mishap stories, and she told me a good rule of thumb is to use a pan that is bigger than you think you’ll need to account for the boiling the candy will do. “I’ve boiled over several pots of fudge in the last few years, so don’t feel bad.” She said, offering support to me and anyone else who has troubles cooking.
Kristin said the best advice she can really give is to care about the product and pay attention to detail. Fudge is difficult to get right, and it’s a touchy sweet to make. Small details really make the biggest differences when it comes to creating the best end product. Although Kristin is supportive, kind, and forthcoming with information, after tasting her fudge there is no competition: She is the pro. I will be going to her for all my fudge purchasing needs because it is truly the best.
The Creamy Peanut Butter Goat Milk Fudge recipe that Kristin shared with me was her first flavor they made. The family submitted that variety to a couple of local fairs, where they won some Best of Show and blue ribbons for it. Looking towards the future, Kristin plans on expanding their herd and entering the ADGA competition this fall with her fudge.
In addition to her first award-winning flavor, Kristin makes Chunky Peanut Butter, Maple (seasonally), Pumpkin (seasonally), Chocolate Almond, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Almond, and Maple Almond. I haven’t tried the other flavors, but I am eager to do so.
The recipe can be found below, but I highly recommend visiting Sugar Top Farm and buying some of Kristin’s fudge, too. Drop her a visit and a follow on her Instagram or Facebook page, both under Sugar Top Farm, LLC or visit her website at sugartopfarm.com.
Creamy Peanut Butter Goat Milk Fudge
By: Kristin Plante, owner — Sugar Top Farm, LLC
- 3 cups of organic cane sugar
- 1.5 cups of organic raw goat milk
- 1 pinch of Himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla
- 1/4 pound of organic cultured butter
- 8 ounces of organic creamy peanut butter
Method: Mix cane sugar, milk, and salt in a saucepan until well combined. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture reaches soft ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, butter, and peanut butter. Stir until butters are melted and the mixture is well combined. Pour into a greased or parchment-paper-lined pan of your choice. Allow cooling completely before cutting.
Have you tried this homemade goat milk fudge recipe? How did it turn out?
Originally published in the November/December 2019 issue of Goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.