The words “record-breaking” used to illicit thoughts of Rapunzel-esc hair, giant rubber band balls, and jump-roping contests, but no such awe or excitement has been present this week when the record-breaking heat is the topic of everyone’s conversation.Read More
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!
Relationships with food are just like any other relationship. Sometimes it's love at first sight and sometimes it takes a little while for infatuation to set in.
My relationship with coconut was the latter.
At first, there was utter rejection. He put up a tempting facade, sticking like fresh fallen snow to the outside of a marshmallow-coated cake. I happily brought him up to my eager lips only to be instantly disappointed by the waxy, flavorless strands stuck in my teeth.
For years, second chances were out of the question. But I slowly got up the courage to give the humble coconut a second chance. Samoa Caramel Popcorn was my rebound, and though I had to force myself to swallow several lose strands of coconut, I was falling in love with the fresh, tropical flavor that comes from quality coconut.
Fast forward many dates later with my newfound love and I have learned to love this edible confetti.
Mind you, it has to be very toasty to remove that waxy texture, and I still have not been able to tolerate a slice of coconut cake, but we are making progress.
If you are not utterly smitten with coconut already, I would like to offer this drink as proof that anyone and everyone can fall in love with coconut.
I really do not know what to say. It's just…SO GOOD...
Well, if I must be more descriptive, I would say that this tastes like the drink you would get if you put paradise in your blender with a cup full of ecstasy and blended them together.
Oh, you think I am being dramatic? Just toast yourself some coconut and then tell me this isn't the best thing you have ever stuck a straw into.
The malt itself is a combination of coconut cream, whole milk, french vanilla ice cream, malt powder, and a whole lot of toasted coconut. It really can’t help but be good.
When I was little my father used to take me on dates for caramel nut sundaes. My favorite part of those sundaes was scraping the caramel down into the ice cream. It would be slightly hardened because of the cold ice cream, making it thick and chewy. The fudge sauce in this malt acts exactly like the caramel sauce in all those caramel nut sundaes. As you drink the malt, you slowly scrape the fudge down into the glass, getting rich, decadent pockets of chocolate.
I think I would like to start drizzling the inside of every glass with fudge sauce from now on.
It’s been a long week, give yourself a treat, and put your feet up for a while. Oh, and if you cannot find someone to share this with you, just dive right into seconds. It is Friday, after all.
Toasted Coconut Fudge Malt
for the fudge sauce
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate
- 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
In a small bowl, combine chocolate and heavy cream. Microwave at 30 second increments, stirring after each, until melted. Place in a squeeze bottle and set in a bowl of warm water until ready to use.
for the whipped cream
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
Use a hand mixer to beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold in confectioner’s sugar. Reserve for later use.
for the malt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons shredded, sweetened coconut
- 1/3 cup malt powder
- 2 cups french vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup coconut cream*
- 1/2 cup milk
Place coconut in a small frying pan and set over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until the coconut is deep golden and evenly toasted.
Combine malt powder, ice cream, coconut cream, milk, and 1/2 cup toasted coconut in the pitcher of your blender. Blend on high speed until smooth.
Use the prepared squeeze bottle to drizzle the sides and bottoms of two tall glasses with fudge sauce. Fill each glass with the coconut malt and top with whipped cream and remaining coconut. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
*Coconut cream is a very thick, creamy coconut milk. If you cannot find it at your local grocery store, you could substitute unsweetened coconut milk, it just won't be quite as thick.