Old Family Recipes Are Often the Best – and This is One of Them
Candy-making can be difficult, and success is often dependent on current local humidity levels. My mom had it down to an art, something I have never been able to replicate. I’m better at baking than at candy-making, but her recipe is so delicious, I have to share it.
This recipe has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. It is far better than any commercially prepared peanut butter fudge that I have ever tasted — and I’ve tasted it in fudge shops all over this country. Mom always made it at Christmas, and even got occasional requests for it in place of birthday cakes. Yep, it’s that good.
My Mom’s Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe:
Prep time: 5 min. Cook time: about 20 min. Ready in: 25 min.
- 1 &1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 – 2 tablespoons vanilla flavoring
- 1 – 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- Cut butter into small pieces in a heavy skillet.
- Add all the other ingredients except peanut butter.
- Cook on medium-low heat until the mixture thickens.
- Add the peanut butter, stir until evenly distributed.
- Pour onto a buttered platter, or onto a marble candy slab.
- Allow to cool, then cut into small squares.
As the butter and sugar melt, they will begin to caramelize. This produces a beautiful golden-brown mixture seen here in the spoon.
This is a bit undercooked. Watch it carefully, and test often, because it can quickly become overcooked. When it will not drip off of the fork, it is done, and ready to be poured onto a buttered plate or platter, or onto a marble candy slab. After it cools, it can be cut into squares.
Don’t trash that butter wrapper! Use it to grease the platter, plate, or marble slab that you plan to pour the fudge onto. It contains just the right amount. Your fudge will not stick.
I always say every recipe has a story, and this one certainly does:
It’s been a while since I attempted to make a batch of fudge. I messed it up so badly, I haven’t tried again. Mom’s recipe said, “cook until thick”. Unfortunately, she didn’t say on what temperature. It seemed to take forever to become thick enough. Then, suddenly, it was too thick. It tastes fine, but is a bit crumbly. Definitely, I don’t have her touch. Maybe you will have better luck.
She also used this recipe for cake icing on plain white cake. It’s easy: you simply don’t cook it as long, so it doesn’t get as thick as fudge. Of course, we called it Peanut Butter Cake. My brother and I almost always requested this for our birthday cakes.
I had a habit of eating the icing, and leaving at least part of the cake. My dad, on the other hand, usually ate the cake and left part of the icing. We then would swap plates. I would finish Dad’s icing, and he would finish my cake. One day, in exasperation, Mom exclaimed, “From now on, I’m not going to ice the cake. I’m just going to give you (me) the bowl of icing, and give you (Dad) the cake!” Mom and Dad are gone now, but I still smile whenever I think about that day.