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Perked Up Penuche

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  Sugar 1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)
  Brown sugar 1 Cup (16 tbs) (packed)
  Light cream 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
  Milk 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs)
  Instant coffee crystals 1 Tablespoon
  Butter/Margarine 2 Tablespoon
  Vanilla 1 Teaspoon
  Almond brickle pieces 1 Cup (16 tbs)

• Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter the foil; set pan aside.
• Butter the sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In the saucepan combine the sugar, brown sugar, cream, milk, and coffee crystals. Cook over medium-high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugars. This should take about 5 minutes. Avoid splashing mixture on sides of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer to side of pan.
• Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, till thermometer registers 236°, soft-ball stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface. Reaching soft-ball stage should take 15 to 20 minutes.
• Remove saucepan from heat. Add the 2 tablespoons butter or margarine and vanilla, but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to lukewarm (110°). This should take about 50 minutes. Remove candy thermometer from saucepan. Beat vigorously with the wooden spoon till penuche is just beginning to thicken; add almond brickle pieces, if desired. Continue beating till penuche becomes very thick and just starts to lose its gloss. This should take about 10 minutes total.
• Quickly turn the penuche into the prepared pan. While penuche is warm, score it into 1-inch squares. When candy is firm, use the foil to lift it out of the pan; cut the candy into squares. Store tightly covered.

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