A shot of espresso adds depth of flavor and a dark, rich color to these pretty candies. The recipe makes a lot so wrap up a few candies to share with friends.
Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Butter the foil; set pan aside.
Butter sides of a heavy 3-quart saucepan. In the saucepan, combine sugar, half-and-half or light cream, espresso powder or instant coffee crystals, corn syrup, and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to boil at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally, until thermometer registers 234 degrees F, soft-ball stage (25 to 35 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil.
Remove pan from heat. Add butter and vanilla, but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to 110 degrees F (55 to 60 minutes).
Remove thermometer from pan. Beat mixture vigorously with a clean wooden spoon until fudge just begins to thicken; stir in nuts. Continue beating until fudge just starts to lose its gloss (about 10 minutes total).
Immediately spread fudge evenly in the prepared pan. Score into 1-1/2-inch squares while warm. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Cut fudge into squares. If desired, drizzle pieces with melted chocolate and top with coffee beans. Makes about 1-7/8 pounds (64 pieces).
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.