Peanut Butter Fudge, full of magical goodness!
I am lucky enough to have one of those people in my family who has 'THE' fudge recipe. You know who I mean, the relative who every time there is a family get together everyone just knows she will bring the fudge (at least she better or she might have an uprising on her hands.).
I am now the proud owner of this very recipe, a recipe I always assumed was under lock and key stored away in a vault somewhere, only allowed to come out at Christmastime and the occasional reunion.
When my aunt sent me the recipe she wrote me about where it came from and this dear reader is the crux of why I adore retro cooking. There is always a story behind a recipe, a little pinch of time and history mixed in with family and loved ones that offers a bit of insight into a time so easily forgotten. Also, in these recipes you will find instructions that you may not be familiar with now, but which the modern 'retro' woman would have been very familiar with. For instance, this fudge recipe instructs that the mixture reach the 'soft ball stage', a common term used in candy making but not often found in the everyday cooks repertoire these days. How easily and quietly these little things slip away from one generation to the next.
This fudge recipe came from somewhere of course and while the recipe would taste just as good if it came out of a magazine she read while at the doctors office, I was happy to hear that it came from some place much closer to me. This particular peanut butter fudge recipe came from a cookbook that was being sold by my older brother through our high school. This was a fund raiser cookbook and consisted of local recipes by family members of our school. While not a mysterious source, still an interesting nugget of information and I was glad to have it and glad to have the recipe! Included below is the original recipe as my aunt copied it that day she was sitting at our kitchen table and visiting us.
This is how we stay connected, this is how we remember home. Now I live over a 1000 miles away from where I grew up, but I have this recipe that takes me right back to my small hometown and our family get together's.
So I encourage you to make this fudge, maybe you will become the person in your family who is known for that special treat that everyone adores and maybe, just maybe, it will be passed on to another generation after you.
Peanut Butter Fudge
3 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup of evaporated milk
1 stick of butter
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
In medium sized saucepan mix sugar, evaporated milk, and butter on medium high heat.
While this is melting, butter an 8x8 dish.
Cook mixture on medium to high heat, it will come to a boil and will need to reach the 'soft ball stage', this means the temperature is either between 235-240 degrees OR you can drop a small amount of mixture into a glass of cold water and if it forms a soft ball with your fingers, it is done. ( I chose to use a thermometer and removed it from the heat when it reached 235 degrees.)
While it boils and comes to soft ball stage, stir often, it will start to foam a little. This takes approximately 5-7 minutes.
Immediately remove from heat and add in peanut butter and vanilla, stir until peanut butter is completely incorporated and mixture is smooth. It may seem too thin to you, but it will set up.
Pour into prepared dish and cool at room temperature, uncovered.
Once cooled, cut into small squares and store in airtight container with wax or parchment paper between layers.
I warn you now, from very recent experience... 1-2 pieces at a time is PLENTY!!