Fudge. It's one of life's simple, pure, unadulterated pleasures. While I covet the precious magical dessert, I had never attempted to replicate it myself.
Perhaps it was intimidation. After all, how can anyone compete with Grandma's recipe? Perhaps it was a lingering suspicion from my childhood that perhaps the fudge was magical, like in the book No Such Thing as a Witch by Ruth Chew, and if I dappled with the delicate formula, I would end up becoming a mouse.
Whatever the reason for my hesitation, I put it all behind me to attempt a batch because my husband had the craving and because I had all the ingredients I needed. This recipe is so simple, there's no reason not to make your own too.
This recipe makes a very moist, soft fudge that's similar to the Candy Kitchen fudge you might find at the beach boardwalk. Some people look for a denser texture to their fudge, just like my Grandma's recipe, which I may hopefully be able to share with you on another day.
Thanks to Eagle Brand for the inspiration of today's recipe.
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk*
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Heat sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in saucepan on medium heat until melted, bubbling, and combined. Stir constantly to avoid sticking to the bottom.
2. Add vanilla extract, stir to combine, and remove from heat.
3. Pour into a 8- or 9-inch baking pan lined with wax paper along the bottom and all sides. Cool and move to the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
4. Once solid, remove fudge from fridge, pull the fudge out of the pan, and peel off the wax paper. Use a sharp knife to cut into bite-sized pieces on a cutting board. Serve!
*Sweetened vs unsweetened condensed milk: does it matter? Yes, as the name suggests, one form is sweeter than the other. All forms of condensed milk go through a process of evaporation to remove water (up to 60%), but the sugar content is much higher in sweetened condensed milk compared to evaporated milk or unsweetened condensed milk.
For some recipes, this can dramatically affect the taste unless sugar, honey, or another form of sweetener is added to compensate. Now you know!
Rating of Difficulty: 2 out of 5. Few ingredients, minimal cooking time, and easy preparation from pot to plate makes this a simpler recipe. The only danger is burning the fudge while cooking, but that can be avoided by stirring often and watching your temperature.
Now that I've mastered one fudge recipe, I'd love to learn more. What's your favorite type of fudge?
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of the tragic bombing that just occurred during the Boston Marathon. During such tragedies, we can only comfort each other and remember the good left in humanity.
"For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers -- so many caring people in this world." - Mister Rogers