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Peanut butter fudge is a smooth and creamy confection regularly seen around the holidays. Even when it's nowhere near the holidays, you may find yourself craving it. This recipe describes how to make peanut fudge with minimal preparation and very few ingredients. Fast and easy peanut butter fudge recipes are ideal for enjoying this delicious treat and fitting it into your regular schedule.

Peanut butter fudge has a rich, slightly salty flavor, and it is easier to prepare than chocolate fudge.

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Texture and Temperature

Achieving a smooth, creamy texture is the hardest part of learning how to make peanut butter fudge. The boiling syrup must be removed from heat at the candy syrup stage, or 235 °F. Turning off the heat early results in soft, sticky fudge that won't set. Hard or burnt fudge comes from boiling at an excessive temperature. The 'soft ball' method of estimating temperature is done by dropping 1/4 tsp of boiling syrup into a bowl of cold water. The syrup is ready when it forms a ball in the water with a firm texture. Candy thermometers determine the exact temperature of the syrup. Keep candy thermometers properly calibrated, and avoid letting the thermometer tip touch the bottom of the pan. If the tip touches the pan bottom, the temperature reading will be much too high.

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Saving Soft Peanut Butter Fudge

It may be possible to salvage overly soft peanut butter fudge. Scoop the fudge back into a saucepan. Add 2 cups of water or 1-cup each of water and evaporated milk. Stir the mixture until everything is dissolved and turn the heat on. Cook the syrup again until it reaches 235 °F. Stirring in 1/2-cup of confectioners' sugar during the second round of boiling is another option for fixing soft texture. Taste the syrup during the second round of boiling, and add more ingredients if the taste is diluted.

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Hard or Grainy Fudge

Sometimes peanut butter fudge with a grainy texture can be fixed as well. Put the grainy fudge back in the pan. Add water and a little bit of melted butter or evaporated milk. Melt the fudge into syrup, and heat the syrup slowly. Stir constantly while until it reaches 235°F, then pour it into a dish. This method may fix hard or grainy fudge, but burnt fudge cannot be fixed. Blackened specks in the syrup or a black coating on the bottom or sides of the saucepan indicate burnt syrup.

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How to Make Creamy Fudge

A few tips help avoid graininess or hard fudge altogether. Grainy fudge contains sugar crystals. Hard fudge is a result of excessive syrup temperatures, which frequently goes hand-in-hand with heating too quickly. This causes graininess because the sugar didn't have time to dissolve completely. Other causes of sugar crystals include inadequate stirring or a lack of sufficient fluids or fat in the syrup. Adding 1-tsp of Cream of Tartar or a little bit of fondant to the syrup may help dissolve sugar for a creamier texture.

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Silky Peanut Butter Fudge

This recipe produces smooth, silky peanut butter fudge. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 2 cups of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of milk. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, then stir frequently for 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat when the mixtures reaches 235 °F, then stir in 1-cup of peanut butter and 1-tsp of vanilla extract. Pour 3-cups of confectioners' sugar into a large bowl, and pour the peanut butter mixture over the sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat the combined ingredients into a smooth consistency, then pour the mixture into an 8x8 inch dish. Chill until the fudge is firm.

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Crunchy 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge

This recipe describes how to make peanut butter fudge with a crunchy texture and only 3 ingredients. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with enough aluminum foil to hang over the edges, and coat the foil with butter. Fill a third of the bottom pan with water, and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and place the top pan over the double boiler. Melt a 1/2 pound of butter and 18 ounces of crunchy peanut butter in the pan. Stir until the mixture is completely melted, then stir in 1-pound of confectioners' sugar. Scrape the mixture into the foil-lined pan, and let it cool. Remove the foil and fudge from the pan to cut into squares.

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Fast 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge

This 10-minute method of making peanut butter fudge is almost completely fail-safe. The peanut butter fudge can be cooked in an oven or microwave. Combine 1.25 cups of peanut butter and 1.25 cups of butter in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the saucepan from heat immediately after reaching the boiling point. Stir in 1.5 tsp of vanilla extract, 4.5 cups of confectioner's sugar, and a pinch of salt. Pour the mixture into a greased 8 inch baking dish. Smooth the surface and cover with plastic wrap directly on the fudge. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour so the fudge sets. For the microwave method, put the peanut butter and butter in a large microwavable bowl covered with a paper towel. Microwave for two minutes and finish the rest of the normal recipe.

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Butterscotch Peanut Butter Fudge

Butterscotch and peanut butter is a winning combination for a quick dessert. Use a microwave-safe bowl to combine 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk, 12 ounces of butterscotch chips, and 1.5 cups of miniature marshmallows. Microwave the uncovered dish at 80% power for 3 minutes while pausing to stir frequently. After the chips and marshmallow are melted, stir in 2/3 cup of peanut butter and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Fold 1-cup of salted peanuts into the mixture, then pour it into an 11x7 inch butter-coated pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving

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No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge

This method of making peanut butter fudge doesn't require a stove or oven. Melt 1/2 pound of butter and 1-cup of peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Add 1 Tbsp of marshmallow cream and stir thoroughly, then stir in 16 ounces of confectioners' sugar. Pour the mixture into a greased 13x9 inch pan, and store the fudge in the refrigerator.

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Peanut Butter Soda Cracker Fudge

Crush 30 saltine crackers, and coat an 8x8 inch baking pan and medium-sized saucepan with butter or cooking spray. Boil 2 cups of sugar and 2/3 cup of evaporated milk in the saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the burner after boiling for 1 minute. Add the crushed crackers, 1/3 cup of peanut butter, and 1-tsp of vanilla extract to the saucepan. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then mix thoroughly until it thickens. Spread the fudge into the baking pan. Melt 1.5 cups of chocolate chips in a double boiler, and pour the melted chocolate over the fudge. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly, and sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.

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