This morning, through a series of unplanned events, the house ended up quiet and empty. I spent the time cooking (soup, salad, pizza) and listening to the radio. If I had known I’d have the house to myself, I would’ve done some writing, but no matter. Now the cooking is done and my husband is here to oversee the company-is-coming cleaning scramble while I hide out in my room and get some writing therapy. I win.
Awhile back, I was flipping through blogs when, just as I clicked onto a blog post boasting a recipe for peanut butter fudge, my daughter looked over my shoulder.
“Ooo, Mom! Are you going to make peanut butter pudge?”
I burst out laughing. “So it’s pudge now, eh? That's fitting." (This child is forever derailing our conversations with delightfully mauled words, reducing us all to belly-shaking laughter.) "I guess if we're going to call it pudge, then I have no choice but to make it."
I’ve never had much luck with fudges. I find the texture too waxy hard, or even sort of crumbly, and the sweetness cloying. But this recipe looked different—it called for six marshmallows as the stabilizer (or whatever… they eliminate the need to cook the fudge until it reaches the soft-ball stage)—and it’s hard for me to turn down a new recipe, especially when it might solve a persistent cooking quandary and involves peanut butter.
This fudge has the texture I’ve been looking for—soft, tender, creamy—and the flavor is all about the peanut butter. A piece (or five) of "pudge" is just the thing to get you through the draggy, late afternoon hours, and it serves as a great pick-me-up for a child suffering from a pre-supper energy crash. (Trust me, I know.)
Peanut Butter Fudge
Adapted from Simply Recipes.
½ cup milk
6 regular-sized marshmallows
¾ cup each granulated sugar and brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups creamy peanut butter
Pour the milk into a saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Add the marshmallows. Stir occasionally, until the marshmallows have dissolved. Add the sugars and stir until dissolved. Remove the kettle from the heat, and add the remaining ingredients, stirring until creamy-smooth.
Pour the mixture into a parchment paper-lined, 8x8 pan. Cool in the fridge for several hours. Cut the fudge into little squares, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
This same time, years previous: up and over, the boarder, the quotidian (10.13.14), home, roasted red pepper soup, old-fashioned brown sugar cookies, pepperoni rolls, and pear butterscotch pie.