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National Peanut Butter Fudge Day on November 20 is when we try our hands at making a delicious batch of fudge. There is a wide range of viable peanut butter fudge recipes to be found on the internet and elsewhere, but what they all have in common is a quick prep time (a matter of minutes, in some cases), and a short list of simple ingredients that most of us probably already have in our kitchens. As a bonus, peanut butter fudge is much easier to make than chocolate fudge, because it doesn’t involve melting the chocolate to a specific temperature measured by a special thermometer.
History of National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
Fudge itself has been around since the 1880s. The widely held belief is that fudge was ‘invented’ when a European pastry chef’s preparation of a batch of caramel went awry, eliciting the exclamation of the euphemism, “Oh, fudge!” The name stuck. Some versions of the story even have the sticky batch being spilled on the floor and picked back up to minimize waste. What the fudge? In any case, peanut butter fudge is a favorite flavor for many, and the week before Thanksgiving is the perfect time to whip up a batch.
Some of the first late-19th-century print references to fudge are advertisements for fudge shops in popular tourist destinations like Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Recipes also began to appear in periodicals and cookbooks around that time. Strangely enough, fudge-making was especially popular at that time on the campuses of women’s colleges like Smith and Vassar. One source details how the New York newspaper “The Sun” published a recipe called ‘Fudges at Vassar’ in 1895.
With fudge’s popularity and availability on the rise from then on, it was only a matter of time before the American peanut got involved in the game as a fudge flavor. There’s no denying our love affair with peanuts and peanut butter considering that over 75% of modern American households contain a jar or more of peanut butter, and that an American child on average eats over 1,000 peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches by the time they graduate high school. The exact first instance of peanut butter being used in a fudge batch is unknown, but it was only a natural progression, and we won’t complain about having enjoyed the confection for so long!
It was the National Peanut Board that first established November 20 as National Peanut Butter Fudge Day. The organization’s chairman, Bob White, said in 2015, “I’m not certain anyone knows for sure why Americans have named so many days or months for U.S.A.-grown peanuts and peanut butter. But it doesn’t surprise me that America’s favorite nut is top of mind all year long.” We can’t help but agree.
National Peanut Butter Fudge Day timeline
Whether by chance or by design, an American chef happens upon the recipe for fudge, a crystalline but creamy confection, and opens the door to the gustatory delight.
A Girl Scout unit in Muskogee, Oklahoma, first sells cookies at their high school, paving the way for the production of Tagalongs and Do-Si-Do’s to consume 230,000 pounds of peanuts per week of baking.
Jimmy Carter is elected President of the U.S., the second peanut-farmer president in history after Thomas Jefferson.
A heavily abbreviated Major League Baseball season produces a huge surplus of peanuts, encouraging alternate uses of the legume (hint, hint).
National Peanut Butter Fudge Day FAQs
What do I do if a friend has a peanut allergy and eats some by accident?
Quickly ascertain whether your friend carries an epinephrine injector like an EpiPen. They may need to have you administer it and possibly take them to the emergency room. When in doubt, definitely seek medical attention.
What’s the best recipe for peanut butter fudge?
We’re quite fond of the one from Allrecipes; it’s especially creamy and smooth without sacrificing any peanut taste. The secret ingredient? A jar of marshmallow creme.
When shipped, how long is peanut butter fudge good for?
Homemade fudge generally lasts from 10 days to two weeks after the preparation date. Store-bought fudges are harder to determine, as variables like the preservatives used come into play. If you can ship your peanut butter fudge to someone in a week or less, go for it!
How To Celebrate National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
Make a batch of peanut butter fudge
There’s no denying that baking can be a lot of fun, especially using a recipe that’s as simple as many peanut butter fudge recipes are. Set aside a couple of hours, invite a friend or two, and make a few pans to enjoy now and later. Get those aprons ready!
Gift a box of peanut butter fudge to a loved one
There’s a reason that peanut butter fudge is featured in so many gift shops all over the country: it makes a thoughtful and tasty present or souvenir that may even win over someone who’s on the fence about you. Have the gift box wrapped up nicely, and look for those smiles upon your friend or family member’s discovery of what’s inside.
Don’t forget the Twitterverse!
Take plenty of pictures of your baking or gift-giving experience and share them on all of your social platforms online to enhance the fun of the whole day. Use the hashtags #PeanutButterFudgeDay and #NationalPeanutButterFudgeDay.
5 Amazing Facts About Peanuts
Packed with power
Peanuts have the most protein of any nut — seven grams per serving — to provide long-lasting healthy energy.
A lot goes in…
It takes 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
“Shelling” it out
Americans spend about 800 million dollars a year on peanut butter.
Good, and good for you
Containing over 30 essential vitamins and nutrients, peanuts are a superfood.
A kernel of truth
The idiom, “working for peanuts” was coined by Harry Mozley Stevens in 1895, the year the company Cavanaros paid for ad space in New York Giants game programs with peanuts, which Stevens and other stadium staff then resold to fans during games.
Why We Love National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
It tickles the taste buds
All history and interesting factoids aside, we simply love the sweet flavor and creamy texture of peanut butter fudge. It’s fun to find someone among your peer group who’s never tasted it, and see their eyes light up. Just be careful of your friends’ possible peanut allergies.
Though the peanut plant has its origins in South America, it was the United States that created a program around the turn of the 20th century to encourage the production and consumption of peanuts, helping the legume graduate from backyard gardens to major farms like Jimmy Carter’s.
It means bake-offs
If you live in a sizable town, chances are that on November 20, you can find a peanut-butter fudge baking contest or other promotion where you’ll be able to try multiple batches from different chefs. What could be better?
National Peanut Butter Fudge Day dates