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The Best Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

Jill is an avid writer, gardener, photographer, DIYer, and cook.

Homemade peanut butter fudge

Homemade peanut butter fudge

I've made (and eaten) a good bit of peanut butter fudge in my time. And I've tried lots of peanut butter fudge recipes.

Too Bland

On several occasions, I've made Paula Dean's peanut butter cheese fudge recipe. It has only a few ingredients, and one of them is a big chunk of Velveeta!

Odd? Definitely! But it's not bad. And although it's a bit bland, it has a firm texture. It's also super fast and easy to make. In fact, those are probably the two best things about it.

Too Sweet

I've also tried various peanut butter fudge recipes that call for marshmallow fluff. These are a little trickier to make than Dean's peanut butter cheese fudge, but they have a better flavor, albeit a very sweet one. (One of the best recipes for this sort of fudge follows the "old-fashioned" one below.)

Just Right

Of all the recipes for peanut butter fudge I've tried, my grandmother Bess's remains the best. It has a creamier texture than cheese fudge and a stronger, more peanut-buttery flavor than fudge made with marshmallow creme.

Old-fashioned peanut butter fudge can be a little tricky to make, especially if you don't have a candy thermometer, but it's well worth the effort.

Hope you like it as much as I do.

This fudge is just right--creamy, peanut buttery and not too, too sweet.

This fudge is just right--creamy, peanut buttery and not too, too sweet.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

25 min

40 min

1 small pan

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch, mixed with a little water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C. creamy peanut butter

Don't have a candy thermometer?

You can still make old-fashioned peanut butter fudge. Instead of taking the mixture's temperature, begin performing the soft ball test after about 15 minutes of cooking. Drop small bits of the cooking fudge into cold water and pinch it with your fingers. When it will form a soft ball, it's ready to remove from the heat.

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Instructions

  1. Butter a 8 X 8-inch pan. Set aside.
  2. Combine cornstarch in a little cold water and set aside.
  3. Combine sugars, butter and milk in a saucepan.
  4. If using a candy thermometer, clip it to the side of the pan with the bottom immersed in the sugar mixture.
  5. Cook sugar mixture over medium-low heat until sugars are dissolved and the mixture registers between 234 and 240 degrees F on the thermometer (the soft ball stage). This will take about 20 minutes. Beat the fudge mixture well with a wooden spoon. Then stir the vanilla and peanut butter in by hand. This will take about 5 minutes or less.
  6. When the fudge mixture reaches the soft ball stage, stir up the cornstarch and water, add it to pan and immediately remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Beat the fudge mixture by hand for a minute or less until it starts to take shape. Then stir in the vanilla and peanut butter.
  8. Scrape the fudge into the buttered pan and smooth it out with your stirring spoon.
  9. Allow it to cool before cutting. It's good warm or cold.

Peanut Butter Fudge With Marshmallow

One of my grandmother's best friends, Gin, was an excellent candy maker, too. Below is her recipe for peanut butter fudge with marshmallow creme.

Allow it's fairly sweet, Gin's peanut butter fudge is very good and has a wonderfully creamy texture.

Recipe for Gin's Sweet Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients

1 C. granulated sugar

1 C. brown sugar

2 Tbsp. butter

½ C. evaporated milk

Pinch of salt

1 scant C. marshmallow creme

½ C. creamy peanut butter

peanuts, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Butter an 8 x 8 pan and set aside.
  2. Cook first 5 ingredients in saucepan over medium-low heat to the soft ball stage.
  3. Off heat, stir in marshmallow, peanut butter, vanilla and (if desired) nuts.
  4. Pour into buttered pan and allow to cool before cutting.

Questions & Answers

Question: Before I make yet another fudge, will this one set at room temperature or will it have to be kept in the refrigerator?

Answer: It doesn’t require refrigeration to set, but I do put it in a tub with a lid so it doesn’t dry out.

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