That's Nuts

A weekly dose of nutty history, pop culture, and recipes from Lee Zalben, aka The Peanut Butter Guy.

Alton Brown's Peanut Butter Fudge in the Microwave Trick

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I have never been great at making fudge. While writing the Peanut Butter & Co. Cookbook I struggled with our recipe for peanut butter fudge. The recipe I developed is prepared on the stovetop and requires a candy thermometer and very precise timing. It tastes great but it's not easy.

I was recently introduced to Alton Brown's recipe for microwave peanut butter fudge. I was skeptical. Fudge is tricky, and microwaves don't really allow for precise temperature control. And microwaves vary in wattage. This seemed like a kitchen disaster waiting to happen.

Despite my initial wariness, I gave it a try, substituting crunchy peanut butter for smooth to give it a little texture, and adding a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips at the end to create a little swirl. With the leftover chips, I pressed them into the fudge for some added chocolate fun.

I was surprised at how well it came together. Was it perfect? No. But I don't think I've ever had homemade fudge that was without a dry or grainy patch here or there. It was pretty smooth and didn't get crumbly the way I feared it would. All in all, it was a pretty good result for such a simple recipe.

Have you ever made fudge in a microwave? How did it come out? Do you ever add peanuts, walnuts, or some other nut to your homemade fudge?

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About the author: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid that grew up to be the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., which began as a Greenwich Village sandwich shop serving nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and expanded to include the now-famous line of all natural flavored peanut butter. Lee is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting foods made with peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. When he's not working, eating, flying or writing, he enjoys scuba diving and training elephants.

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