Peanut butter fudge is an easy treat to make. This one take only 4 ingredients (5 if you count vanilla) and if you can manage to boil water you have the necessary skills to make it. It caters perfectly to your sugar and peanut cravings.
This is by no means a health food , and may induce sugar comma if not taken in moderation ? . But kidding aside this is a great alternative to have on hand when you have a bunch to kids to entertain (make sure that no one is allergic though), or when you need a gluten free treat in a hurry ! Any other nut butters can be substituted as well.
My kids love peanut butter – but during the school year we pretty much avoid it because the school is nut free campus. There haven been a few times when I have accidentally reached for it when making school lunches. In an abundance of caution, I don’t restock it once the schools open. Come summer break it is another story …
Here is one other think we all love – fudge. This is the must buy whenever we visit those quaint little towns and go looking for souvenirs. My leaner (read younger) self had no problem buying a slab of fudge from the farmer’s market and polishing it off before we got home. There was this maple syrup fudge from a stall is Vista , years ago , yum just doesn’t quite describe it !
Anyway typically around Christmas we make chocolate fudge. I have s soft spot for the old fashioned chocolate fudge -made from scratch with cocoa and granulated sugar. Making this kind of fudge is a little tricky. One has to be pretty attentive to the mix the whole time to get the right consistency, and it helps to have the candy thermometer on hand too!
This peanut butter fudge recipe on the other hand is a easy ! No need for candy thermometers , or vigorous stirring. 5 to 10 minutes of active time is all it takes . Just wait for it to cool and slice and dig in ! Look at the steps and see how easy it is .
- Boil milk ,butter and sugar for 2 minutes .
- Turn off the heat and add peanut butter and vanilla.
If you want to set it as hard candy – do not add butter. Butter softens the texture a little , but you can still see and feel the texture of crystallized sugar.
Type of peanut butter to use
You can use any type of peanut butter – but I prefer the smooth variety. You can use store bought or home made. The oil tends to separate in the all natural varieties. If that happens stir it back into the mix before using.
The store bought peanut butter usually has added sodium. There is no need to add extra salt to this recipe even if you were making your own peanut butter.
How long to cook
Heat the sugar, milk and butter over medium heat stirring continuously. It is important to stir to prevent the sugar from sticking to the sides and caramelizing. Once the mix comes to a boil keep the heat just enough to keep it boiling (not simmer), but not so hot that the sugar caramelizes or burns. For the recommended amounts in the recipe here it takes 2 minutes of boiling the sugar syrup.
Can I double the recipe ?
Yes you can ! The pictures above were taken when I made a double batch. Doubling or even tripling can be done without any changes to the cooking time. That said if you want to make larger batches use candy thermometer. Once the sugar mix has come to boil keep cooking until the temperatures reaches soft ball stage in the candy thermometer.
Another important thing to keep in mind is not to waste any time after the sugar mix is taken off the heat. Mix in the peanut butter quickly so that the mix cools and sets uniformly.
What is soft ball stage ?
What you are looking for is close to the soft ball stage in the candy thermometer. At soft ball stage the temperature of the sugar mix is between 235° F to 240° F (118° C to 120° C). There is another way to test this if you do not have candy thermometer. Set a bowl of cold water near the stove. Add a drop of the sugar mix into the water. it should immediately solidify and settle at the bottom of the bowl. Take it out immediately and it should feel soft – and that is soft ball stage .
Here is the recipe for easy home made peanut butter fudge .
Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
- 2 C Granulated Sugar
- 1 C Peanut Butter preferably creamy
- 1/4 C Milk
- 2 Tbsp Butter
- ½ Tsp Vanilla Extract Optional
- Grease 8 X 8 pan and keep it aside.
- Take the sugar, milk and butter in a thick bottomed pan. Bring to boil over medium heat stirring to combine everything. Let it boil for 2 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent the sugar from caramelizing or sticking to the bottom. If you feel the heat is too much reduc e to low.
- Turn off heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla extract, if using. Stir well until the mix is uniform. Stir to mix and pour into the prepared pan.
- Let cool and slice – for a slightly harder version refrigerate and slice .
- Most store brands of peanut butter have sodium added. When using no sodium peanut butter or making your own add a pinch of salt.
- When making large quantities use a candy thermometer and heat the sugar mix to soft ball stage before turning the heat off.
- Add the peanut butter as soon as you turn off the heat – do not let the sugar mix cool down .
- The color of the fudge varies slightly based on the sugar used – I have used raw sugar hence the brownish fudge.
- If the oil has separated from your peanut butter stir it back in before using.
Important: Values are only estimates. Actuals vary depending on ingredients and serving size.
Trust me – these won’t last long !
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