Nanny's Christmas Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge: A Holiday Tradition
I can't remember when we did not make Christmas candy as a family. Mama had a heavy metal saucepan she made it up in and stirred it with a wooden spoon. At Christmastime, the smells and tastes in our house were divine. Without fail, she made peanut butter fudge and chocolate fudge. Sometimes she would add a batch of divinity to complement it, but it really needs nothing else. Sweet memories of candy making at Christmas. My sisters and I still gather about a week to 10 days before and make several batches to give to our children's teachers and to have on hand for our own celebrations. I hope you enjoy trying this delightful recipe
It is important to prep your pans for easy removal. We use some of the salted butter to grease the pans all the way around the sides and bottom. You want pretty fudge when you go to take it out.
This is a very simple recipe with very few ingredients, which you probably already have on hand: Peanut butter, salted butter, vanilla, sugar, milk. That's it!
1 cup milk
3 cups sugar
1 stick salted butter
1/4 tsp. salt (if you use salted butter, you won't need very much salt at all)
1 tsp vanilla
3 heaping tbs peanut butter
Cook this over medium heat until it begins to boil. Boil until it reaches the softball stage. This means to put a little bit in a bowl of cold water. Drain the water and see if the residue forms a soft ball between your fingers. It is very important that the candy has reached the proper stage. If you cook it too fast, it will become crumbly when set. Remove from heat. Put in 3 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Use your electric mixer to beat this while still in the pan. As soon as it begins to thicken, pour into a buttered small rectangular pan. (I know that is vague, but I use a glass casserole dish that is one size smaller than a sheet cake pan. See Pan Preparation above.)
This recipe makes 3 lbs. I do not recommend doubling the recipe but cooking small batches at a time, as it is hard to pour when hot. The pan is really heavy as it is, and if you try a double batch, you might have disastrous results.