Fudge is an easy way to start playing with candy. The trickiest part is at the end and being sure you stir it enough, but worst case scenario it doesn't perfectly set up and you have to eat all the evidence before anyone finds out!
Combine 3 cups of maple syrup, 3/4 c of cream, and 4 T of unsweetened cocoa powder in a stainless steel pan and bring to a boil. The recipe we modified from the Fannie Farmer cookbook says to cover the pan and make it simmer for a few moments, but we're really not sure why. But hey, if Fannie says so, right? The recipe also called for using either unsweetened cocoa powder or 2 oz of unsweetened chocolate, but after trying both versions we like the more intense flavor you get from the cocoa powder.
Bring the mixture to 234 degrees F, soft ball stage, and then remove it from the heat and add 2 T of butter, cut into small pieces. Don't stir! Leave it to sit until it drops down to 111 degrees F, add a splash of vanilla and then begin stirring. And stir. Then stir some more. Then, think about stirring. You stir until the gloss is gone and the mixture thickens, then pour it into a greased pan, 8" * 8" is our favorite size. Cut through and score the fudge before it hardens all the way so it cuts easily into tasty squares, then enjoy!