When I was growing up, it wasn’t truly the Christmas season until my mother started logging long evening hours in the kitchen crafting treats and sweets for friends and family. Until there were plates and platters, tins and boxes, filled to the absolute brim with rich fudge, sticky peanut brittle or peppermint divinity. There were years I ate so many chocolate coated pretzels I thought I might die of sugar overdose. My favorite was always her sugar cookies, tasting of sweet almond extract and covered in a powdered sugar glaze. Chocolate covered cherries, homemade taffy, salty caramels, you name it, she made it.
Sadly I was usually too busy being a bratty teenager to join her in the kitchen, but I have a few sweet memories of cookies frosted and taffy pulled. This year, knowing that in a short week’s time I’ll again be surrounded by hordes of my Mom’s treats, I decided to try a couple different recipes, one being this peanut butter fudge.
Simple to make and the perfect combination of salty-sweet, I think I have found my “signature” fudge recipe. Those few small squares- straight out of the pan- had to have been the heavenliest thing I’ve tasted in quite some time. Taylor’s face lit up when he popped his in his mouth and I’m sure mine looked the same.
I think the crunchy peanut butter is paramount here, as well as a healthy dose of sea salt. I used regular Jacobsen Sea Salt, but I bet this Vanilla Bean variety would rock your world. There’s something about using only your hands to make this recipe- no oven or appliances necessary- that feels especially rustic and homey. A few minutes of vigorous stirring totally earns you a few knobs of fudge, right?
I made a double batch since most of it is making its way to our friends’ homes tomorrow night, and spread it on a sheet pan to set and create smaller squares. If you are doing a normal batch, an 8″ x 8″ pan will do just fine. Your squares can be as small or as large as you would like. Now get cooking! Trust me, it’s worth it.
- 4 1/2 oz butter
- 1lb 2 oz brown sugar
- 4 oz almond milk
- 9 oz crunchy peanut butter
- 1 vanilla bean
- 10 1/2 oz powdered sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2-3 minutes without stirring.
- Remove from the heat, stir in peanut butter and vanilla seeds.
- Add powdered sugar to a large bowl, then pour the hot mixture on top. Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Pour into a tray and let cool. Top with sea salt.
- Once cool, cut into squares and store in the fridge or freezer.