By Diane Forrest,
My husband loved peanut butter. He ate peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter crackers, peanut butter cookies even peanut butter milkshakes! He loved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and he really loved peanut butter fudge. We have a shop in town that makes all kinds of fudge flavors, but his favorite was peanut butter. He would get a box full, about a quarter of a pound, and it would be unusual if it would make it through the night. In fact, when I was looking up the history of fudge, the shop in our town, Darby's, was at the top of the list.
It seems that a batch of caramels was somehow messed up, hence the name, fudge, as in Oh Fudge! In 1886, fudge was sold at a local Baltimore grocery store for 40 cents a pound. This is the first known sale of fudge. A letter, found in the archives of Vassar College, written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge reveals that Emelyn wrote that her schoolmate's cousin made fudge in 1886 in Baltimore and sold it for 40 cents a pound.
In 1888, Miss Hartridge asked for the fudge recipe, and made 30 pounds of fudge for the Vassar Senior Auction. The recipe was very popular at the school from that point forward. Fudge became a new confection after word spread to other women's colleges of the tasty delight. Later, Smith and Wellesley schools each developed their own recipe for fudge.
To try some of Darby's famous fudge, http://www.darbysfudge.com/fudgebybox.html , or to make your own, try the recipe below from allrecipes.com and have a great Peanut Butter Fudge day!
Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
• 1/2 cup butter
• 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
• 1/2 cup milk
• 3/4 cup peanut butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour over confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Beat until smooth; pour into an 8x8 inch dish. Chill until firm and cut into squares.