Monday, December 12, 2016

Grandma's Peanut Butter Fudge and a Giveaway!

♫ On the second day of Christmas Treats,
                                ♫ my true love made for me... ♫

As Mary Jane told you in her post yesterday, we're celebrating Christmas at the Cafe with Twelve Days of Christmas Treats and Giveaways!!! Merry Christmas to us all!

In case you miss Mary Jane's post, be sure to check it out HERE.

Today I'm sharing an idea that I shamelessly stole from Ruthy. Every year, she does a "Make-and-Bake-a-Memory" day with her grandchildren. (And in case you missed this year's beautiful post, check it out HERE.)

I love her idea of making memories with those sweet grandchildren. Isn't that just the best idea?

One problem: I don't know if you noticed, but we're in wedding mode in our family (our daughter's and son-in-law's wedding was June 2016 and our oldest son and his fiancee have a February 2017 wedding planned), not grandchildren mode.


But I decided to steal Ruthy's idea anyway, because it's never too early to start, is it?

I invited the girls in our family (my daughter, my soon-to-be daughter-in-law, and the middle son's girlfriend) to the first annual "Drexler Family Bake a Memory Day." We had a blast!

We made cookies, fudge, Christmas candy....

Half-way through the day, we were glad we had kept the number of projects small. It's a LOT of work to bake all those cookies!

But by the time the day was over, we had filled all of our containers with Christmas treats.

The recipe I'm going to share with you is one that I make every year, my Grandma's Peanut Butter Fudge.

Okay, okay. I have a confession to make. This isn't Grandma's Fudge. Her recipe is from the Great Depression era, and lacks.... um.... richness.

I learned a lot from Grandma.

1) She could get more pies out of a batch of piecrust than was strictly legal, rolling the dough so thin it was nearly transparent.

2) She knew how to stretch leftovers to get three meals where anyone else would get two.

3) She knew how to lay out pattern pieces to use every inch of fabric when she made a dress.

Grandma (standing in the center) with her sisters and mother, 1964.

But when it comes to fudge...sorry, Grandma, but I had to fool with your recipe.

Even though I have changed this recipe enough to be unrecognizable, I still call it Grandma's. :)

Grandma's Peanut Butter Fudge

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 5-oz can evaporated milk
1 7-oz jar marshmallow cream
1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy - your choice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lightly grease a 9" x 9" baking dish and set aside. Instead, you can line it with aluminum foil, like Mindy showed us in her fudge post last week. You can see how she did it HERE.

Heat sugar, butter, milk and marshmallow cream in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until the mixture comes to a full boil, stirring constantly.

And yes, you read that right. In this recipe, the marshmallow cream goes in the first step, not the last.

Once the mixture comes to a full boil, continue cooking and stirring for five minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat.

Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract, stirring until smooth and creamy.

Pour the fudge into the prepared dish. Cool, then cut into squares.

Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Fudge...yum!

And now it's time for the GIVEAWAY!!!

As I hope you know, I write Amish stories.

(By the way, my two 2016 releases would make a great Christmas present for someone on your list!)

In my research, I've found my own list of authors and resources I like. One of my favorites is Sherry Gore.

Today's Christmas Giveaway is a copy of Sherry's Cookbook, "Simply Delicious," and a copy of her memoir, "The Plain Choice."

Just leave a comment to be in the drawing!

And in the comments, let's discuss this question: What are your earliest fudge-making memories?


  1. My first fudge-making effort wasn't until after we'd been married for a few years. (I don't come from a candy-making family, so it took that long for me to get up the nerve to try.) It was a brown sugar maple fudge, and we ate it by spoonfuls because it never did firm up. It tasted decadent, mind you, but I couldn't cut pieces to put out for guests, so DH and I ate it all ourselves. I have quite a few recipes saved up now, but I rarely try to make any. I feel jinxed. LOL.

    1. What a great story! And a wonderful excuse to keep that delicious fudge all to yourselves. :)

      Under cooked fudge is SO much better than overcooked! Overcooked turns out rock-hard and nearly inedible.

      Under cooked? Now you have ice cream topping!

      And fudge is one of those things that you learn by doing. So I've had a LOT of fails. :)

  2. Oh, I love Sherry's cookbooks! And this looks delicious! I've made maple fudge, but never peanut butter.

    1. And I've never made maple fudge! I'll have to try it. I know my husband would love it.

  3. I'm so glad you've adopted Bake a Memory Day! Isn't it the best thing ever????

    And now tell me how you made that peppermint layered bark because I want to make some and you'll save me looking it up.

    And I'm making this peanut butter fudge today to add to the stash in my freezer... because fudge in the freezer is like money in the bank! Total fudgy happiness!

    Loving this from WNY where I dodged the lake effect snow that Buffalo got (it's all about wind direction this time of year) and we've got about 2 or 3 inches of light, fluffy, pretty snow....

    A very manageable amount so far!

    1. Snow! We've missed the big snow storms over the last few weeks. We're this island in the middle of the plains, and sometimes the weather just goes around us. But we do have an inch or so on the ground. Just enough to be pretty.

      And I'm not ready to share the layered peppermint bark yet, because it didn't turn out. The layers separate as soon as you start cutting or breaking it.

      It looks so pretty though, doesn't it?

      I think it has a lot to do with temperature. Carrie tried cooling the bottom layer completely before adding the top, and I have a feeling the bottom layer needs to be warm enough to adhere to the top, but not liquidy enough to mix in when you add the top layer.

      The failure is delicious, though!

    2. Ruthy, I shared the peppermint bark back in 2013... here's link!

  4. My mom was never a big baker, so once I got old enough, say early teens, I took over the fudge making duties. Prior to that, we used to fuss over who was going to get to eat the "soft ball" we used to determine if the butter, sugar, evaporated milk mixture had cooked long enough. :)

    I'm going to have try your PB fudge recipe, Jan. As I said last week, I've been looking for a good one, so I can't wait to give it a whirl. Thanks.

    1. I noticed your "soft ball" was bigger than the ones my mom taught me to make (tiny droplets...). I can see you fighting over that delicious lump of sweetness!

  5. first fudge making memory(ies) -- hockey pucks. Yep, it always turned out hard as a hockey puck. Didn't find a recipe that people could eat until maybe ten years ago? And all it is sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips...and maybe vanilla? I might get brave and try yours though...since it has that extra dose of protein and all which has to counterattack the calories, right?

    1. If only protein counteracted the calories! What a happy thought!

      Fudge gets hard so quickly, and it's too bad. Because perfect fudge is delicious.

      BTW - the chocolate fudge on the plate is from Mindy's recipe. It turned out as good as she promised!

    2. So you noticed the difference that extra ounce of evaporated milk made, too, huh Jan?

    3. Yes! It is amazing what a difference that little ounce of evaporated milk makes!

  6. I always liked the soft-ball stage when you get to dunk a little bit(e) out to test it ~ more than once!
    I would love to win Sherry's stories. Thank you and Merry Christ*mas! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    P.S. Too bad your photo is virtual instead of tangible!

    1. There's nothing like that buttery/caramelly/sweet drop of goo, is there?

      Maybe we should make a candy of just that.... :)

      Merry Christmas, Lane Hill House!

  7. Fudge sounds daughter asked me tonight when we will start baking for Christmas.

    1. When I told some of my friends that we had started baking already, they said it was too early. Not if you have a freezer! The cookies will be safe there for another week or two. :)

  8. I remember making fudge as Valentine gifts for friends back when I was in High School in 1982. I shaped it into hearts and gave it out to various people.

    1. I know your friends loved you for that. What a great idea!

  9. my mom was always the good fudge maker. I was the cake maker and my sister Teresa was the bread pudding maker and my youngest sister is the cream pie maker. I absolutely love the bake a memory day idea. thank you for the awesome recipes and the chance to win Sherry's books. She is awesome!

    1. Dividing up the chores is a luxury that I just discovered this year. My daughter and I have baked together through the years, but with four of us, we divided into teams. The work was a breeze!

      And I agree - Sherry is awesome!

  10. I remember my mother and grandmother making fudge. I remember mother making pineapple and butterscotch fudge that you don't see often on a candy tray. Our family would have a variety of fudge, cookies and candies to each during the Christmas season. Family time in the kitchen is the best. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas.

    1. Pineapple fudge? Interesting!

      And I love having a variety of treats at Christmas time. Everyone has their favorites. :)

      Merry Christmas, Marilyn!

  11. I love that you adopted the bake a memory day for this new generation of family.

    We had our family tree decorating last night. The past few years one or both girls were away so we didn't do it until Christmas Eve. This time I get to enjoy the tree for a few weeks. :)

    1. That sounds like fun!

      We decorated our tree in stages because of everyone's schedule, but it's up and decorated now. I love it. :)

  12. I remember making fudge with my Mother and later on with a friend (I was the daughter she never had - 4 sons). Sadly we don't make candy any more. We make cakes, pies and cookies!

  13. Love that fudge! Also love reading Amish books. It's my favorite reading. I did not start making fudge until I was an adult so I really don't have any childhood memories of fudge making. However I just made two pans of fudge to give away.