Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Peanut Butter Fudge

I can resist most anything.

 Except Peanut Butter Fudge.

It is my Kryptonite.

Of all the delicious candies my Mom has made through the years, this one remains my absolute favorite. I can still see her standing in front of the stove, stirring that big yellow pot. She would have a coffee cup filled with water sitting close by and at a certain point she would spoon a little candy into it and test it by mushing it between her fingers. When she had it just right she would add peanut butter, vanilla, and marshmallow creme and stir it some more. Then she would pour the candy into a buttered dish to set and I would wait for the candy coated spoon to cool off enough so I could eat it!

To this day, my Mom has never used a candy thermometer and she's never poured fudge into a pan. She's always used a buttered dish or a platter. And it is always amazing.

It's taken me till now to even think about trying to make my Mom's fudge. Mostly because, well, her recipe is only in her head and not on paper. And number two, I'm too scared to try it using her soft-ball test method.

My answer was to just go ahead and use my thermometer and Mom's verbal "in her head recipe" to make some test batches. So five batches later, I've made my Mom's fudge! And let me tell you, it's creamy, dreamy, and peanut buttery awesome!

Thanks, Mom!

Make some and it can be your Kryptonite too!πŸ˜‹
 Just look at these golden squares of deliciousness! 
Are you tempted yet?
If you are, you are only six ingredients and a half hour or so away from peanut butter heaven!

You don't have to use organic sugar. It's just the only sugar we buy anymore. 
I used a 13x9 inch pan. I formed the foil to the outside of the pan first and then lined the pan.
You will need a heavy bottomed 4 quart saucepan, candy stirring spoon, non-stick spray or butter to grease the foil, and a candy thermometer unless you're a candy goddess like my Mom and you don't need one!πŸ’—
I prepare my foil lined pan with non-stick spray. 
I also spray my measuring cups for the peanut butter, and a bowl for the marshmallow creme. It just makes them easier to get out.
Go ahead and measure out the peanut butter and spoon the marshmallow creme into the bowl. Set aside.
Over low heat, melt 1/2 cup of butter.
Add 4 cups of sugar and a 12 ounce can of evaporated milk and stir to combine.
Attach candy thermometer and crank up the heat to medium, stirring constantly.
Still stirring constantly, bring candy mixture up to 235 degrees or the soft-ball stage. This takes me about 16 and a half minutes.
Remove from heat, add marshmallow creme, and stir till melted and smooth.
Add peanut butter and vanilla. The peanut butter will melt pretty quickly.
Again, just stir till melted and smooth.
Ahhh! Pour candy into greased, foil lined pan. Ahhh!
Smooth fudge in pan with a spatula.
I let mine sit uncovered till completely cool and then cover with foil.
Let sit several hours or overnight.
I cut mine into pretty small squares. I do this mostly because I give a LOT of candy away and I want to share with everyone. I'm pretty sure if you cut it into big squares, no one will complain!
Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups peanut butter
7 ounce jar marshmallow creme
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a heavy bottomed 4 quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add sugar and milk stirring to combine. Attach candy thermometer, turn heat up to medium, and stir constantly until candy reaches 235 degrees fahrenheit. 
Remove from heat and add marshmallow creme. Stir until melted and smooth. Add peanut butter and vanilla, again stirring till melted and smooth.
Pour candy into greased, foil lined pan. Smooth candy with spatula and leave uncovered until cooled completely. Cover with foil and let sit several hours or overnight. Cut candy into squares.

Now go make some some sweet little goody bags for your family and friends but don't forget to save some candy for yourself!

Have a sweet day, Karen 😊 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

My Take On The Take 5 Candy Bar

Y'all!! These little, peanut buttery caramelicious, chocolate covered, salty pretzel bites!

They are my take on the Take 5 candy bar, and they are so yummy! πŸ˜‹

For me, it doesn't get much better than Peanut Butter Caramels.
But when you add pretzels, peanuts and chocolate, well let's just say, it got better!
Try them and I think you'll agree!
At the core of these magic little squares are the aforementioned Peanut Butter Caramels. Yes they do take a little more time, but the taste far outweighs the extra effort..at least it does in my sweet book!

Wanna make some candy?

Instead of spreading peanut butter on the pretzels, we are incorporating it into the caramel.

Let's get crackin'!
 Prepare a 13x9 pan for our Peanut Butter Caramels. Spray with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, and spray this as well.

Have your peanuts ready to sprinkle on top of the caramel.
 To make the Peanut Butter Caramelsclick on my link for the recipe.
Pour up this beautiful candy and resist the urge to lick the spoon.
I've done it! Ouch!😳
Sprinkle peanuts over candy. Let caramels cool for a few hours till set. I usually let mine sit loosely covered overnight.
Now we're ready to unmold our candy. Remove from pan by lifting from the edges of parchment paper and set onto a cutting surface lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Cut caramels with a long, sharp, lightly oiled knife. I thought I was cutting mine into one inch squares, but when I counted them, I only had 95 pieces.
And I'm okay with that!πŸ˜‰
You will need 95 pretzel squares..or more if you're a better caramel cutter than me!😜

Gently press caramels onto pretzels.
Oh my, but I'm ready to try one now!

No! I can wait! I think I can! I think I can!
Dip candies in melted chocolate and place on parchment lined pan to set.

Don't they look irresistible?!!
This cross-section is just plain eye candy!
My Take On The Take 5 Candy Bar Recipe

You will need:
One batch of Peanut Butter Caramels
95 (or so) pretzel snaps
One heaping cup of your favorite peanuts
1 1/2 pounds chocolate (I used Ghirardelli dark melting wafers)

Prepare caramel, sprinkle with peanuts and let cool to set.

Cut caramels with long, sharp, lightly oiled knife into approximately 95 pieces, then gently press onto pretzels.

Melt chocolate, dip candies and place on parchment lined pan.

And there you have it! My take on the Take 5 bars! I hope y'all like 'em!

Have a sweet day, Karen 😊

Friday, April 6, 2018

Banana Bread Muffins

Do you like Banana Bread..'cause I am convinced that I have the best Banana Bread recipe ever!

It all started many years ago at Calvary Heights Baptist Church. The church is long since gone, and the pastor and his wife live back home in Alabama now. 

We sure did make some sweet memories with some sweet folks there, and here is one of my favorites!  Our dear, sweet pastor's wife, Martha Sue Harralson, would bring in a freshly baked Banana Bread to church nearly every Sunday morning. And while we didn't fight over it, we also didn't waste any time getting in line for a slice. It was heavenly I tell ya! She also brought them to our many "covered dish" dinner get-togethers. Let me say, there was never a crumb left. No, nary a one!

So, how thrilled was I when she shared her recipe with me!

There is no way I could ever count how many loaves of this yummy bread I have made over the years. We love it so much, that recently I decided to try turning them into muffins! My husband absolutely loves them. Plus they were a huge hit at our Easter family picnic. And now, I'm sharing this golden recipe with you!
This easy banana bread contains nine ingredients.
Flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and overripe bananas.
Combine all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
I measure my oil in a liquid measuring cup. 
Next, I add my buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, and stir it all together.
 Add wet ingredients to the dry.
Stir to combine.
Mash bananas with a fork until creamy.
Add bananas to mixture stirring to combine.
 Prepare 18 regular size muffin tins with baking spray.
Fill tins 3/4 full. I use a cookie scoop to get uniform sized muffins.

Bake @ 350 for 28 minutes.
Don't everbake!
You can do the toothpick test. Just insert toothpick into the cake center, if it comes out clean it's done.

When these start baking, the smell is crazy wonderful!

I know you're gonna love them!
Banana Bread Muffins 

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 cups sugar               
1/2 teaspoon salt              
1 teaspoon baking soda     
1/2 cup canola oil             
2 slightly beaten eggs       
             1/4 cup plus 1 Tbls buttermilk        
   1 teaspoon vanilla               
          3 bananas-very ripe                   

Stir together all dry ingredients in large bowl.
      In a separate bowl, add oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla, stirring to combine. Incorporate the wet mixture into the dry, and stir in mashed bananas.

Spray muffin tins with Pam baking spray. Fill tins 3/4 full with batter.  

Bake @ 350 for 28 minutes. 
If a toothpick comes out clean, they are done.
Don't overbake.  

Below is a page from the first family cookbook that my baby sister put together for Christmas 2004. Since then, she has created two more. As an avid lifetime cookbook collector, I treasure these more every day. πŸ’—  

This is the original recipe for Banana Bread that my sweet friend gave to me back in 1994. 
Have a sweet day, Karen 😊

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

He Is Risen!~Easter Cross Cookies

Easter, He Is Risen!

One of my favorite songs that our choir sings is, "Love Grew Where the Blood Fell".

It's a beautiful song and it begins like this:
"See my Jesus on the cross, the people crying.
Looking on, a man would think it tragedy.
But what the world could not see,
Was when they nailed Him to that tree.
It broke the chains of sin and set men free!

Love grew where the blood fell.
Flowers of Hope sprang up for men in misery.
Sin died where the blood fell.
And I'm so glad his precious blood covers me!"

God's Word says in John 3:16→
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Also in Romans 10:9→
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

I am so thankful for God's Love, Mercy and Grace.
He has extended them all to every soul on this earth.

Today would be a great day to invite Him into your heart!πŸ’—

Here are my Happy Easter Cross Cookies celebrating His love for us.
To make and decorate these cookies you will need:
Chocolate cookie dough
Chocolate fondant
Green candy melts
Cross cutters-(I used a 4 inch and a 2 inch)
Disposable decorating bags
Corn syrup
I also used green cake sparkles
I made my cookies using Georganne's yummy chocolate cookie dough recipe.
 Click here for the link! 
Roll out dough, cut and bake cookies.
To make the wood grain crosses, roll out fondant, place in folder and press. Remove fondant and cut out with clean cross cutters. 
Jesus built a bridge with two pieces of wood and three nails.
 Attach fondant to cookie with a little corn syrup. Place candy melts in decorator bag and melt in 30 second increments in microwave stopping to knead bag at each interval. Mine took 90 seconds.
 Snip off just the small tip from bag.
Pipe green stems for flowers.
 Place flowers and sprinkle on the green sparkles or green sprinkles if you like.
I love these old rugged crosses and plan to make them for our Sunday School class. 😊
Wishing you all a very Happy Easter, KarenπŸ’Ÿ