Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Day Treat

Another snow storm hit our neck of the woods about 4 am this morning and the powers that be at many school districts decided to just not even bother trying to fight Mother Nature. I am guessing that there won't be any school tomorrow either. Things do not look promising out there as far as road conditions go.
When I was a kid and we had a snow day home from school, my Mom would make homemade peanut butter fudge. I can picture us in the kitchen like it was yesterday. Mom would get out a special tool that, in my opinion, was not used nearly enough...The Candy Thermometer! Behold, the tool that helps turn mere milk, sugar, vanilla, etc. into a confectionery treat worthy of royalty. At least I felt like a queen when I ate Mom's fudge. There were times I remember we just couldn't wait any longer and would dig into it before it had truly set up. There is nothing like eating warm peanut butter fudge.
I have continued on with this tradition with my children. I don't make it every time we have a snow day, which is a good thing since we've had quite a few of those lately and I'm not really interested in going out to buy a size larger in all of my jeans! This is the simplest and quickest treat to make and requires no specialty ingredients. I guarantee you have all of these things in your fridge and cupboard. Go ahead. Make a batch. The weather forecast is calling for more snow!

Peanut Butter Fudge

What You'll Need:

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 Tablespoons peanut butter

Cook the sugar, milk and butter over medium/medium-high heat until it reaches soft ball stage on your candy thermometer. Once you get it to the right temperature, remove your pan from the heat and add the salt, vanilla and peanut butter. Beat well with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula. When your fudge starts to thicken, pour into a well buttered pan. "What size pan?" you might ask. I prefer to use a loaf pan, like you would use to bake bread. This recipe makes a pretty small batch so you don't want to use a pan that is too big or your pieces of fudge will be very thin. There's nothing "thin" about fudge. Also, I like to line my pan with parchment paper or foil would work too. It just makes getting your fudge out of the pan so much easier and allows you to cut the fudge into nice, neat little squares, perfect for sharing.

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