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Traditional Penuche

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1996)
3 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Candy
Servings 32


  • 1/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for greasing
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste


  • Line a brownie pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Butter the sides of a 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Whisk together the Greek yogurt and whole milk until smooth, then dump into the prepared saucepan.
  • Add the sugars and heat over medium until it comes to a boil, stirring frequently with a silicone spatula.
  • Brush sugar crystals off the sides of the saucepan as needed with a silicone brush dipped in hot water.
  • Once mixture comes to a boil, insert and attach the candy thermometer and select a new silicone spatula to stir with, so as not to reintroduce any sugar crystals that will cause texture issues.
  • Maintain a moderate boil heating over medium to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Cook until thermometer reaches soft ball stage (it may be labeled on your candy thermometer but if not, that's around 236-238 degrees Fahrenheit) (this could take 25 minutes or so).
  • Transfer sugar syrup to the bowl of your stand mixer and add to it the butter and vanilla bean paste. Do not stir. Re-insert the candy thermometer.
  • Let it sit until it reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit (about 40-50 minutes), then remove the thermometer and insert the paddle attachment.
  • Beat on medium-low speed until it lightens in color and thickens. Continue until it becomes very thick. I was advised to mix until it reaches a matte finish, but it was still a tad glossy when it would have been the perfect consistency. Be careful not to over mix!
  • Spread in the prepared pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
  • Store in an air tight container in refrigerator.


Make sure the mixer bowl and paddle are bone dry before adding the sugar syrup. You can add 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts when the mixture just starts to thicken, but be careful not to add it too late--it may seize the candy.