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Mother's Peanut Butter Fudge




Every Christmas my mother would make us the most delicious Peanut Butter Fudge. Mom was not one to make us a lot of treats throughout the rest of the year, but at Christmas time she would always make us our favourites.

One of those was this Peanut Butter Fudge.  It was rich and creamy and a real taste treat for each of us. We all loved it.


Our mother had been quite chubby during a period in her childhood, and she had an obese mother. I think controlling weight was a really important thing to her.  For the life of me, I cannot remember her ever sitting down at the table to eat a  meal with us.

My sister and I spoke about this one day and she could not remember mom eating with us at the table either, although she did remember her standing at the counter eating leftovers from the day before.


It was  not something I ever thought about while my mother was alive, so I will never ever know what motivated her.  She was a very tiny woman.  Short and petite.

I remember thinking throughout her last years of her life that I must have been a huge disappointment to her with my size and weight problems.  All that effort she went to while we were growing up to help to keep us thin had all gone to waste!


Oh well, we are who we are.  My father has always struggled with his weight, and my last thirty-five years of life have been a huge struggle with my own.  I have decided though that I am simply not going to worry about it anymore.

I will eat healthy, with the occasional treat and let what be, be.  I think that is the healthiest attitude to take. I  will indulge and partake of treats every now and then like Mom's Peanut Butter Fudge.  And I will enjoy them, for all of their delicious taste and the wonderful memories that they bring into to my heart and soul.

I truly believe that good food nourishes the soul as well as the body.


One thing my mother always made at least once during the holidays was peanut butter fudge. It was never chocolate or any other kind . . . always peanut butter, but we didn't mind because we loved it so very much. It was a real treat for us!  WE never got candy as a rule! 

She always made her fudge in the same pot. It was an old aluminum one that she had gotten in her original set of Wearever cookware back in 1955. 
 
 I think the set of pans cost almost as much as a house, but here we are 2020 and we are still using them. Money well spent, I'd say!


Mom never measured anything. She didn't need to. It was all done by memory, and she knew exactly how much of each thing she needed to add by sight alone . . . and it always worked like a charm, every time. 
 
Me . . . I made fudge sometimes for my children when they were growing up, but,  9 times out of 10 they'd end up having to eat it with a spoon. They ate and enjoyed it anyways.

Mother's Peanut Butter Fudge

 We'd watch our mother as it went together . . . as if by magic . . . and then sometimes she would let us beat it when it was ready, with her big old wooden spoon.

If we'd been very good . . .we'd be given the pot and spoon to lick clean. We always did a pretty good job of that, coz it would always be as clean as a whistle by the time we were done.

Mother's Peanut Butter Fudge

 The beaten fudge would be poured into the same pan each time. It was an old aluminium tin, blackened through use . . . it's bottom engraved in a swirly pattern of raised tin. 

Some how those little traced swirls on the bottom of each piece only added to it's flavour.  Every sweet and cake of my childhood used to come with that swirly pattern on the bottom as well. We never minded.  What I wouldn't give to have that tin now! 

But even more I would love to have my mother here.  One year, when I was all grown up and had a family of my own, she let me watch and take measurments while she made it. This delicious recipe is the result.  Enjoy!

Mother's Peanut Butter Fudge

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Mother's Peanut Butter Fudge
Yield: Makes one 8-inch square pan
Author: Marie Rayner
It just wouldn't be Christmas without a pan of this to munch on! Creamy and peanut buttery. If you don't like peanut butter, look away now!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (585g) of white finely granulated sugar
  • 3 TBS smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup (240ml) of whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (60g) butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Butter an 8 inch square pan. Set aside.
  2. Place the sugar, peanut butter and milk into a LARGE saucepan. (You will need a really big one as it really increases in volume when it is boiling. Trust me on this.)
  3. Heat, whisking, until the peanut butter is completely melted into the mixture. Increase the heat slightly and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a medium boil and continue to boil, stirring occasionally to help prevent it from catching. You will want to boil it to the soft ball stage, (115*C/235*F) This should take between 18 to 25 minutes or so. Once this happens, remove from the heat immediately.
  4. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until it begins to look creamy and begins to lose it's gloss.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan immediately. (Don't wait too long or it will harden in the pot and you won't be able to pour it into the prepared pan. You just want it to begin losing it's gloss.)
  6. Allow to set for about an hour at room temperature, before cutting into squares to serve.
  7. Store in an airtight container. This also freezes well.
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Mother's Peanut Butter Fudge

What favourite treat created for the holidays reminds you most of your childhood? I really would love to know!  

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Marie Rayner
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11 comments:

  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mum. I love hearing the history behind family recipes.

    We never had fudge when I was growing up and I don't ever recall seeing it. We were not given candy either and really it was only at Easter and Christmas that sweets were available to us.

    I think the one I remember most was something called "White Christmas" which is I think made only in Australia. It's a mix of Rice Bubbles, mixed dried fruit, icing sugar, powdered milk, coconut and copha.

    The other one mum made used crushed TimTam biscuits, mixed in with a crushed Peppermint Crisp candy bar and cream cheese. These were formed into balls and dipped in white chocolate. And also one with a mixture of chopped glace cherries, coconut, condensed milk, pink food colouring. These get rolled into balls and frozen. Then whwen hard dipped into melted chocolate.

    My favourite was mum's Broken Glass treats. You make up three colours of jelly (red, green and yellow). You only add half the water, so it's very firm. Then each one is cut into cubes. While the jelly was setting, she would crush plain biscuits and mix with butter to press into the base of her slice tray. Then beat together cream cheese, mix in condensed milk and some gelatine. Then gently stir in the jelly cubes. This is poured over the base and set in the fridge. Then you cut into it, it was so pretty - white and studded with vivid red, green and yellow pieces that we called "broken glass".

    All written out, they sound a bit old fashioned I guess these days, but we used what we had at the time. And looked forward to it, savouring every bite!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loved reading about your childhood Christmas treats Marie. I remember seeing cut glass squares in a magazine and I think I have a clipping of it in my Big Blue Binder! My friend Tina who lived in Australia for a while makes a chocolate rice bubble Christmas tree every year. Its to die for. Your treats all sound so lovely! xoxo

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  2. Such a beautiful tribute to your mom, a lovely recipe too! It’s sad she couldn’t sit down with you all, she must have been a troubled soul in the food department. I’m glad you didn’t inherit that. You have a wonderfully healthy attitude to food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure she probably was Laurie. My sister was telling me this morning about how one of my mother's older cousins said something to her when she was a child about her being chubby and she really took it to heart. I think it affected her the whole rest of her life. Sad really. xoxo

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  3. My mum and I used to make our own marzipan for the Christmas cake and with the left over marzipan we would make little balls that we dipped in plain chocolate. I loved those so much! I also used to make little balls made with an oat, icing sugar and butter mix, also dipped in chocolate which was a recipe from a former boyfriends lovely mother. Sadly I don’t make or eat any of those now as nobody except me likes marzipan and I am diabetic so sugary treats are completely off the menu. I love the stories behind your recipes Marie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love marzipan! I bet those balls dipped in chocolate would be excellent! Like you, I am a diabetic and have to choose very carefully what I choose to indulge in! Thanks for your sweet comment Charlie! ❤️

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  4. My mom would make a Yule log with chocolate wafers and whipped cream. So simple but we loved it. We liked the cherry cheesecake made with Cool Whip and cherry pie filling. My mom made squares more often than cookies. We liked Hello Dollies and rice krispie squares. She made a delicious jello salad with frozen strawberries and a marshmallow salad with mandarin oranges and sour cream. These were not dessert but were meant to be eaten with the main course. We would put them on our bread and butter plate so as not to melt them next to the hot food. Nothing gourmand here but it was all good. My dad made penuche because it required a lot of beating. It sounds pretty similar to your mom's peanut butter fudge. We were both so lucky we had good childhoods. Love and hugs, Elaine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That Yule log sounds lush! Loving also the other treats, especially the fruity salads. I love gelatin salads! Those sound really yummy! We did have wonderful childhoods for sure! Love and hugs. Xoxo

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  5. My husband grew up in a large family. His mother rarely sat down to eat with them but would eat in peace and read the newspaper after all the children were done.
    I am Norwegian/Swedish so I make spritz cookies, krumkake and peanut brittle. I hope to make fattigmand this year as I haven't had it for awhile. Merry Christmas!

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    Replies
    1. They all sound gorgeous! I love how every culture has their own festive favourites and traditions! ❤️ Merry Christmas!

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  6. I'm always a sucker for peanut butter fudge. This looks terrific!

    ReplyDelete

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