Given a choice of lining the pan with foil and spraying the foil with cooking spray versus buttering the pan, my personal preference is to use the foil method.
It makes getting the fudge out of the pan much easier. You can just grab the foil at the sides and lift the fudge right out of the pan.
Many fudge recipes require that you let the fudge cool to 120F. Definitely do this. It will result in a creamier fudge. I find it takes about 30 minutes for the fudge to cool from the soft ball stage down to 120F, so put your feet up and relax.
Don't substitute margarine for butter.
Use 2% or whole milk.
DO stir as the sugar is dissolving.
DO NOT stir once the sugar has dissolved unless the recipe explicitly says to do so.
DO NOT stir as the mixture cools.
DO stir once cooled and then QUICKLY put into the pan, and I do mean QUICKLY!
The amount of time you need to beat the fudge once it has cooled down varies so don't be concerned
if you're beating the fudge longer for one recipe than another. For example, I find that the chocolate fudge recipe
doesn't need to be beat for more than a few minutes whereas most of the fruit-based fudge recipes need to be beat
for longer before they reach the right consistency.
If your fudge is too sugar-like instead of creamy, you need more of a substance that prevents the melted sugar from
turning back into crystals. The following substances will prevent sugar from turning back into crystals: corn syrup,
butter, milk solids, and chocolate.
Most fudges will last one week outside of the fridge and 3 weeks inside the fridge. This will vary depending on how moist the fudge is. If very moist, it may last less than this.