Raw cashews are available at health food stores. Rose water is available at pharmacies and specialty food stores. Almonds, pistachios or walnuts may be substituted for the cashews.
2 cups raw cashews (1/2 pound)
Place cashews in a bowl, cover them with boiling water, and soak them for 1 hour.
Drain the nuts, put them in an electric blender or food processor, and reduce them to a fine paste (adding some milk or water if the paste begins to clog).
Heat a well-seasoned frying pan (at least 9 inches in diameter) over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the nut paste and sugar. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook the mixture for about 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan frequently. When the fudge is thick and sticky, stir in the butter.
Pour the fudge into a buttered 9-inch square pan. Spread the fudge evenly by patting it gently with a spatula.
When cool, brush the top of the fudge with rose water and let it dry briefly. Press the edible silver leaf over the fudge, if using, and cut 1 1/2-inch square or diamond-shape pieces using a knife dipped in cold water.
This fudge keeps for 3 weeks if stored in a tightly sealed container at room temperature and will keep for several months if the container is stored in the refrigerator.
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