My old-fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe is a perennial favorite during the holidays. My sisters and I make batches of this easy peanut butter fudge to give away. But we don’t stop there. We go full tilt with four more favorite fudge recipes, from classic chocolate to peppermint candy cane. And we enjoy every sweet minute of it.
I wanted to share this old-fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe with you, along with our other special fudge recipes. Love peppermint? Make a batch of candy cane fudge. Maybe you’re a classic chocolate fudge aficionado. The five-minute chocolate fudge fills the bill. Add marshmallows, nuts and raisins and you’ve created Rocky Road. Try white chocolate cranberry almond fudge for a gourmet treat.
These fudge recipes are inexpensive, easy (no thermometer needed), and quick to make. The bonus? All are good keepers. Pull a plate out of the refrigerator when unexpected guests arrive. Make a sample basket of different kinds to give. Or enjoy a piece with a cup of tea for an afternoon pick-me-up.
And don’t think of these recipes as edible gifts only. You can earn extra money selling fudge made from my old-fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe or any of the unique recipes. Selling homemade food is popular especially during the holidays, when folks don’t have time to make treats like these. My friend Betty sells homemade pies from her mother’s easy pie recipes. One of my colleagues sells a no-knead artisan bread with a complimentary crock of homemade butter.
Well, enough talk about my old-fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe and the rest of the starting lineup. Let’s make fudge! First, some preliminary tips.
Cooking the Fudge
The first time I made fudge I used an heirloom cast iron pot from my mom. I used that pot for everything from spaghetti sauce to stew. I couldn’t figure out why my fudge tasted, well, sort of savory. What had happened is the acid ingredients cooked previously in the pot broke the seasoning shield and I didn’t know it. Lesson learned! Yes, you can use cast iron, just be sure it’s seasoned properly. A non-stick pan is my go-to pan now, since cleanup is easy.
Pouring the Fudge in a Pan
Use a sprayed pan or a foil or waxed paper-lined pan, also sprayed, for chilling fudge. When I line my pans, I make a cradle, leaving enough foil or waxed paper hanging over both sides. Viola! Super easy removal.
Cut the fudge in half, then in fourths and so on. This makes uniform pieces.
Cut pieces of parchment, foil or waxed paper to fit the bottom of your container. Fit fudge in between layers to keep it from sticking.
Note on your gift tag that fudge should be stored in a refrigerator.
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe
As a special Christmas treat, one of my students gifted me with a hand written copy of this old-fashioned peanut butter fudge recipe attached to a tin of the fudge. I’ve adapted it only slightly.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2-1/4 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar placed in large bowl
1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and cook only for two minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from heat. Whisk in peanut butter and vanilla.
4. Immediately pour over confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth with an electric mixer.
5. Pour into prepared 8 x 8 pan and smooth the top.
6. Chill until firm and cut into squares. Store in refrigerator.
Smooth the top just a bit and sprinkle on finely chopped honey roasted or salted peanuts. Push peanuts into the fudge so they adhere.
Five-Minute Chocolate Fudge
I like to make this into wreath shapes and decorate the top with candied cherries.
Spray an 8″ round cake pan. Wrap an empty milk can with foil and spray the foil. Place in the middle of the pan. You’ll pour fudge around the can.
- 18 oz. (3 cups) your choice of chocolate chips – I use 2 cups of semi-sweet and 1 cup of bittersweet chips
- 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (save the can to put in the middle of the pan)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Put chips in pan. Pour milk over. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly.
2. When mixture is almost smooth but a few chips remain, remove from heat.
3. Add vanilla and stir until smooth.
4. Pour fudge around can in prepared pan.
5. Chill until firm.
6. Run a knife around the inside edge. Remove can from the middle.
7. Carefully remove wreath and place on a plate. Store in refrigerator.
After you pour fudge into the pan, top with candied whole cherries and push them into the top of the fudge just a little bit to anchor them.
Rocky Road Fudge
After you add vanilla to the five-minute chocolate fudge recipe, stir in a handful or so of mini marshmallows and one to two cups of chopped, salted mixed nuts. Stir in a handful of raisins if you like.
Candy Cane Peppermint Fudge
This has become a cult fudge among certain members of my friends. It’s so pretty!
- 10 oz. white chocolate chips or white chocolate bars, chopped
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1-1/2 cups finely crushed peppermint candy canes or peppermint candies, divided into 1-1/4 cup and 1/4 cup measures
- Place chips in the pan and pour milk over, being sure to remove all milk from measuring cup. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly.
- When the mixture is almost smooth but a few chips remain, remove from heat. Add extract and stir until smooth.
- Stir in 1-1/4 cups peppermint.
- Pour into prepared pan. Smooth top just a little bit and sprinkle on remaining 1/4 cup crushed candy.
- Chill until firm and cut into pieces. Store in refrigerator.
Make it Pink!
Stir in a drop of red food coloring after you stir in extract.
White Chocolate Almond Cranberry Fudge
This is one of the most requested candies in my holiday fudge gift basket. It’s so festive!
- 12 oz./2 cups white chocolate bars, chopped
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped coarsely
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 cup roasted salted almonds, chopped
1. Place chocolate bars in pan and pour milk over. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture is almost smooth but a few chunks remain, remove from heat.
2. Stir in extract and zest until mixture is smooth.
3. Stir in almonds and blend.
4. Pour into prepared pan.
5. Chill until firm and cut into pieces. Store in refrigerator.
What are your favorite fudge recipes? Do you have any tips for packaging them? I would love to hear your comments below.