My aunt owns her own hair salon in Berwyn, Illinois, where I grew up. It's down the street from where my parents live, and during the summer my friends and I would use it as a marker for how far we could before we were "too far" and we'd turn right back around after waving a hello at my aunt. Her clients are friendly, many of them in their 70s and 80s, and they love my aunt's "crazy" accent. If I were to compare her to a character people have heard of, it would be the aunt from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Every year, she makes dozens and dozens of traditional Greek cookies as Christmas treats for her clients. And I really mean dozens and dozens- she does not let that cookie tray run out ever during the holiday season. Over the years, clients started bringing in cookies and treats to share with her. And this, is where this story starts to have a point.
We always had traditional powdered sugar cookies and honey cookies, but I remember being most excited by the things my aunt would bring home from her clients. Namely, fudge. One client always made giant slabs of different kinds of fudge. I looked forward to them every year and after going vegan, I remember my aunt saying there was no one to eat it now that I couldn't have any!
Fast forward to years later, an Internet friend posted a picture of peanut butter fudge that looked amazing. And even better, she was a VEGAN Internet friend! I don't know why I had never thought of making fudge before, it seems like one of those special things that just shows up and blesses you with deliciousness?
These were her instructions:
It's a super easy recipe to follow and adapt (1 part pb to 1 part butter) and I think a great addition to a Christmas cookie platter. It's rich but the bacon adds some much needed salt when you're in a sugar cookie coma.
Here's how I made our peanut butter bacon fudge:
Ingredients & Supplies:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup Earth Balance butter
1 tsp of vanilla
2 cups of powdered sugar (you may or may not use the entire 2 cups)
1/3 cup Coconut Bacon
Plastic wrap or Parchment Paper
- Over low-medium heat, melt your Earth Balance and peanut butter together. If you are like me, you may be tempted to up the temperature on this and be done faster, so you can eat faster. Don't be like me. Let it melt slowly.
- Whisk in a teaspoon of vanilla and whisk everything together as it melts down, until you've basically got a sauce of peanut butter. Your kitchen will smell amazing.
- Remove the pot from heat and start adding powdered sugar to the mixture. I do this in 1/2 cup increments and whisk in between, so that I don't get any lumps.
- The OG recipe calls for 1/2 a pound of powdered sugar, which is about 1 and 7/8th cups of sugar. If you've nearly added all the sugar and the mixture is solid and hard to combine, you don't need the last bit of sugar.
- I free-form the fudge in plastic wrap or parchment paper, whatever we have available. I usually scoop the mixture out into the middle of the wrap and then use the wrap to form a square of even thickness.
- While it's still warm, sprinkle Coconut Bacon over the top of the fudge square. I take the parchment paper and press down into the fudge lightly so the bacon gets nice and stuck in there.
- At this point, you can refrigerate your fudge so that it will set faster. Or you can let it dry naturally. I refrigerate because PEANUT BUTTER.