I remember ardently praying during my 3 to 4-year-old days, for a baby sister. I reallyyy wanted a sister. I knew everything would be wonderful if I could just have a smaller, less controlling (because I certainly did not need a threat to my dominance) version of myself to play with every single day. I knew that we would play with baby dolls together, watch movies together, wear matching outfits, and paint our nails. We did a lot of that. But mostly, she ate my Chapsticks and said “no” far too much for my liking. The little stinker thought she could have an opinion. So rude.
That only lasted for the first several years of our relationship. I mean, she still borrows my Chapsticks, but they are returned without teeth marks now, and she still says “no” a lot, but mostly when I try on pencil skirts. She has really mastered that tough love thing -- perhaps a little too well for my comfort.
What I am trying to say is that I really love my sister. She’s super-weirdly-wonderfully great, even when she eats a bowl of buttercream with popcorn.
Actually, ESPECIALLY when she does that because, she doesn’t get mad if I join her and eat half of it myself.
My sister has always had this mad obsession with peanut butter. She eats it straight from the jar, maybe dipping some pretzels in there if she feels like it. Oh, and peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches? Well that love affair began a long time ago… Photographic evidence of her obsession/cuteness.
I made this fudge for my sister in part because I felt guilty for not making more gluten-free things for her. I don’t mean to do it, but somehow flour makes its way into nearly everything that comes out of my kitchen. I just really love baguettes...and pasta...and pizza. But this fudge - this was all for her.
This is Abby fudge. Three of her flavorist things smashed together and called dessert. I almost threw a thing of Chapstick in there for old times' sake but no, too far.
Like its namesake, this fudge has a lot going for it. First, it makes an absolutely wonderful breakfast. Oops, I did that. It has all the charm of peanut butter fudge but it is carried to the next level by the marshmallow cream and salty, crunchy pretzels. It’s also really easy to make since half of it comes together in the microwave. I love recipes like this.
The homemade marshmallow fluff is where we put the majority of our minimal efforts, and that rich, vanilla flavor is unbeatable. Yes, you could buy the stuff from the store, but come on, we are already using the microwave for part of this mess, so let’s put in a little bit of effort.
While the marshmallow is still warm, it is quickly swirled through the fudge before either becomes too stiff.
After a couple hours in the fridge it is time to slice!
This fudge looks oh-so-pretty when wrapped up in a bit of tissue paper and gifted in a pretty silver tin. The only drawback is that the pretzels can go stale quickly, so you should make this the day before you plan on giving it away and store it in an airtight container or in the freezer.
Extra sister points - achieved. Oh, and those last minute hostess gifts? We solved that too.
Peanut Butter Fudge with Homemade Marshmallow Fluff & Pretzels
fudge and marshmallow recipes adapted from Alton Brown
for the marshmallow cream
- 1 package unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup ice cold water, divided
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine 1/4 cup ice water with gelatin.
In a small saucepan combine remaining water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cover and place over medium heat - cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and attach a candy thermometer. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F. Remove from heat.
Turn the mixer on low speed and pour the syrup into the gelatin mixture. Once all the syrup is added increase the speed to high. Beat for 13 minutes, until the mixture is very thick and fluffy. In the last minute of beating add vanilla extract.
While the marshmallow is beating, prepare fudge.
for the fudge
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 1 recipe marshmallow cream
- 1 cup pretzels (gluten-free, if desired)
Prepare an 8-inch baking pan by greasing it with butter and lining with parchment paper.
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter and butter. Cook on high for 2 minutes, then stir and microwave for an additional two minutes.
Quickly stir in vanilla and confectioner’s sugar. The mixture will become hard and will lose its shine. Working quickly, swirl in warm marshmallow cream before the mixture gets too hard.
Use a spatula to spread the fudge into the prepared pan and press pretzels into the fudge while it is still soft. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours, until cool and hard.
Cut the fudge into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!