Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

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We had a nice relaxing weekend here… we had a wonderful time at my husband’s work Christmas party and we got a lot of little projects done for the  bedroom remodel. We re-painted and added nailhead trim to some old cubes, finished gold-leafing a huge 6-foot mirror, shopped for artwork and got a LOT of work done on a new velvet-tufted headboard. I have to say I’m happy things are back to a normal schedule after the holidays and I can even tell you what day it is lol. Before Christmas I was racking my brain for gift ideas for my brother and kept coming up short. Finally my mom suggested that I make him some fudge which was perfect because he loves it. I thought it would be fairly easy to find a good recipe but I was shocked at how many recipes involved just three ingredients and a microwave… not exactly a labor of love right?? I finally stumbled upon this wonderful recipe and decided to try it out. My first batch was a little too soft for my liking, so I made a second batch with the temperature raised a few degree and it turned out perfectly. This recipe does require a candy thermometer which I think turns a lot of people off but honestly, mines a few years old from Walmart and it gets the job done. If you’ve never made fudge before, I think this is an easy recipe that will be worth trying something new!

Start off by prepping the dish that your fudge will set up in. Spray an 8″ x 8″ pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper. The key is to have some overhang so when the fudge is set up, you can pull it right out of the dish to cut it into small pieces. I use clothespins around the perimeter to keep the parchment paper out of the way. Combine 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup evaporated milk (from a can) and 1 tbsp light corn syrup in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Add 2 tbsp unsalted butter and stir until it melts. Keeping the heat at a medium, allow the mixture to come to a boil and then cover with a tight-fitting lid and let boil for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pan making sure the tip isn’t touching the side of the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches softball stage- the original recipe calls for 234 degrees but I suggest 250 for a firmer fudge. I like to put a piece of tape around the the thermometer at the degrees you want to make it easier to see when it reaches that temp. Once it’s at the correct temp remove it from the heat and, without stirring, add 6 tbsp unsalted butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter and 2 tsp pure vanilla extract. The original recipe doesn’t call for it but I also added a tsp of salt to my second batch and it really brought out the flavors. Allow this mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to beat the fudge until it thickens and it begins to lose its gloss. Immediately pour into your prepared dish, let it come to room temp and then cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate until set. Lift out of the pan and cut in to 1 inch pieces.

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