Christmas at Wheel’s family farm included candy. Lots and lots and lots of candy. After dinner dishes were done, Grandma would bring out the candy and start filling the dining room table. The sisters would dive into bags, boxes and carriers for their contributions. The table would start to groan and candy would overflow onto other surfaces. The “it takes a special touch” kind of candies – divinity, penuche, peanut brittle. The smooth chocolate candies. Peanut butter fudge. Cherries. Nuts. Coconut. Dipped candies. The cereal, marshmallow and kid friendly candies. But I zeroed in on the Peanut Butter Chocolate confection Grandma made. So good!!!
This is a very simple recipe – four ingredients counting the secret and unexpected one. It’s faster to make with a food processor and the microwave, but easily done by hand. I cut the recipe in half to make 32 pieces in an 8×8 pan instead of the 48 pieces Grandma made in a 9x 13. Line the 8×8 pan – not to keep the candy from sticking as in the Best and Easiest Gift Fudge – but to make “handles” so you can lift the candy out of the pan for slicing without losing a single piece. The bottom layer of chocolate is optional. I omit it unless I am making this for a gift or a party. (Added later: Store brand chocolate chips may set up too firmly for this soft peanut butter mixture. ) The candy is pretty rich so slice it into one inch by 2 inch bars – or even 1 inch squares fancied up in paper candy cups. I’ve always thought this would be pretty at Christmas time with a little drizzle of red or green, but it never lasts long enough to try that! Oh – the secret ingredient? Graham cracker crumbs give it body and texture.
You can buy this candy in the store with a bright orange wrapper — aka Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!
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If you’d like the bigger recipe without doing all the math, you can find it on A Pinch of Joy Facebook page. “Like” if you are not already a follower. And just because I think it is interesting to see how recipes change, Grandma’s original is on the same download.