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Growing up, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a big tin of my mom’s deliciously creamy peanut butter fudge sitting around the house. This fudge is a truly decadent holiday treat. Delightfully creamy, your eyes will roll back into your head as it melts in your mouth with a blast of buttery roasted peanut butter and just a hint of salt.
Here are my two biggest pieces of advice for making this fudge taste spectacular – use a really great peanut butter and a really great vanilla extract.
I recommend using something like Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla – a well-known favorite among professional and home bakers and the only vanilla extract that I use.
As for peanut butter, choose one that has a strong roasted peanut flavor and one that does not have added ingredients such as other oils or extra sugar. There is plenty of sugar in this recipe as it is and it truly doesn’t need any extra sweetness. Ideally, you want the ingredient label to include only two items: peanuts and salt. I love Peanut Butter & Co’s Old-Fashioned Smooth Peanut Butter (but be careful with the same brand’s “Smooth Operator” flavor as it does add extra sugar)
I mean, whatever you use is gonna produce some tasty fudge, but those are my two little tidbits that’ll really elevate your fudge into something special and remembered.
This was the first Christmas that my kids really got into enjoying the delicious treats lying around and this was one of their very favorites of the season. I know it will be one of yours, too! Enjoy!
|Mom's Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge|| |
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- 1 12oz can evaporated milk
- 1 7oz jar marshmallow creme
- 1 16oz jar of creamy peanut butter (you can use crunchy as well)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside. Fill a small bowl with cool water and set it next to the stove. In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar and evaporated milk. Stir to combine. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan so that the tip is submerged in the liquid but is not directly touching the bottom of the pan.
- Cook on medium until the mixture reaches soft ball stage, or about 235F. Test this by dripping a small amount of the mixture into the bowl of cool water using a spoon. Use your fingers to try to form the mixture into a ball under the water. If the mixture disintegrates into the water, it is not done yet.
- Once soft ball stage has been reached, remove the pan from the heat and mix in the marshmallow creme, peanut butter, and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously until all ingredients are well-combined and the mixture is smooth.
- Use a silicone spatula to scrape the soft fudge into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Allow to cool completely - it will usually take several hours for the fudge to fully set up.
- Cut into squares by running a sharp knife under hot water and making cuts in the fudge, wiping off the excess between each cut. Keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
To really elevate this fudge into something special, choose a high quality pure vanilla extract such as Nielsen-Massey, and a peanut butter with a strong roasted peanut flavor and with only peanuts and salt on the ingredient label. Avoid peanut butters with added oils and sugar.
Cooking the fudge:
Cooking the mixture to the correct temperature is the most important part of this recipe. If it is does not reach soft ball stage, the fudge will not set up. If it is overcooked, the fudge will be hard and chalky instead of smooth and creamy. I highly recommend using a candy thermometer in conjunction with the cool water test to make sure that you cook the fudge the right amount of time. It's not as hard as it sounds, promise!
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