In my younger Michigan days growing up, my cousins and I anticipated many things on Christmas Day.
There was the huge get together of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins; there were some who were from out-of-town and we hadn’t seen in a while.
There was the inevitable visit from Santa Claus mid-way through our family gathering, bringing with him his huge sack of presents. He always seemed to know what we wanted also….odd huh?
There was the gathering around the table where each of us kids had their own little cake with a candle lit on top of it. We’d sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and all blow our candles out.
Sometimes my Uncle Clarence would lead us in Christmas carols. Sometimes someone would read a touching Christmas story or poem.
But nothing was as highly anticipated as my Aunt Rae arriving from Indiana with her fudge and homemade buckeye candy.
Aunt Rae was always sweet and made me laugh. When I used to make the long drive from Oklahoma to Michigan each year, the kids and I would stay with her and she would make the most incredible biscuits and sausage gravy for us in the mornings.
She made two kinds of fudge – chocolate and peanut butter. Both were delicious and every last crumb left on the pretty Christmas plate she brought it on was snatched up and eaten with joy.
Aunt Rae is still with us today although resting comfortably in an retirement home. She still brings a smile to my face when I think about her and so I decided to share with you her fudge recipe.
This recipe is so easy, I could hardly believe it the first time I made it and I could kick myself for not trying it sooner.
Before you start cooking, measure out 1/3 c. of peanut butter and 2 1/4 cups of powdered sugar and have them on hand with either a whisk or a hand mixer ready as well. You’ll need these later and won’t have time to scrounge around for them so have them prepped and ready!
If you like fudge with peanuts in it, you can use chunky peanut butter or you can add chopped pecans or walnuts later in the game. Today I made one batch with smooth peanut butter and one with chopped pecans.
Okay – let’s make fudge! Start by dumping one cup of sugar into a two quart pot. Add 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 stick of butter ( or 1/4 of a cup) and 1 tablespoon of corn syrup. Stir all of this together in the pot until it begins to bubble. Continue to stir this (so it doesn’t scorch) for exactly one minute. Then remove it from the heat to a hot pad. Now is the time to quickly add in your peanut butter and powdered sugar. Yes, just dump them right in. Also, if you’re adding chopped pecans or walnuts…this is the time! Then take your hand mixer and get to mixing, quickly! It will cool fast and you need to get it mixed before it does. Mix it just until all the powdered sugar and peanut butter are all evenly stirred in and it’s smooth and creamy. Then take a rubber spatula or large spoon and spread it evenly in an 8 x 8 pan (no need to spray or butter the pan). It will already be firming up and cooling so just press it hard with the back of the spatula and get it all into the corners and edges. Then pop it into the refrigerator to cool for about an hour. Then take it out and cut it into squares. And sneak a taste before anyone even knows you’ve made it. I love my Aunt Rae’s Fabulous Peanut Butter Fudge and I know you will as well.
Thanks Aunt Rae for all the holiday scrumptious memories! Your recipe was the best ever, and so were you.
- 1 c. sugar
- ¼ c. milk
- ¼ c. butter
- 1 T. corn syrup (light)
- ⅓ c. peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- 2¼ c. powdered sugar
- Optional: ¼-1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- In 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, mix together sugar, milk butter and corn syrup, stirring so as to not scorch until bubbles form. Continue to cook and stir for one minute. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in powdered sugar and peanut butter with hand mixer until smooth and well mixed, about one minute (and chopped nuts, if using). Using rubber spatula, spoon into 8 x 8 square baking dish (glass works really well) and press with spatula to smooth on top. Mixture will be hardening already and firm. Chill for one hour then cut into squares.
- Optional - use smooth peanut butter and stir in ¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts when you add in the peanut butter and powdered sugar
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