4-Layer Caramel Peanut Butter Fudge

posted by Andrea | 01/7/2014

4-layer fudge

Fudge is one of the things I usually only make around the holidays — and certainly only in the colder months, as fudge never sounds appetizing to me in the hot summer months.

And since Dave and I both have a pretty strong sweet tooth (that we’ve apparently passed on to Nora) fudge is definitely a favorite holiday dessert and snack in our home. Plus, since most of the recipes I have for fudge make A LOT — it’s a great treat to have on hand for last-minute guests, holiday parties, or even to give as edible gifts.

One of our family’s favorite fudge recipes is this 4-Layer Caramel Peanut Butter Fudge — and yes, it is as rich and delicious as it sounds!

It’s extremely easy to make with easy-to-find ingredients… but it does take a bit of patience as each layer needs to cool and harden before you can add the next layer.

However, I can assure you the time is totally worth it as this fudge makes a huge 9″x13″ pan and will last for WEEKS in the refrigerator (if you don’t eat it all first).

With layers of chocolate, peanut butter and marshmallow, caramel, and more chocolate, there’s something for everyone in this delicious fudge.

And if you’re allergic to peanut butter, you can easily substitute your favorite peanut butter substitute, and then RiceKrispie cereal in place of the nuts.

4-Layer Caramel Peanut Butter Fudge

{print recipe}

Makes approximately 48 – 96 pieces of fudge; depending on how you cut it.

INGREDIENTS:

Layer #1:

  • 1 c. milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter

Layer #2:

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 1/4 c. evaporated milk (here’s how to make your own)
  • 1 1/2 c. marshmallow creme
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
  • 1 1/2 c. salted peanuts; chopped

Layer #3:

  • 14 oz. bag individual caramels; unwrapped
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream

Layer #4:

  • 1 c. milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter

DIRECTIONS:

Layer #1:

  • In a medium sauce pan, combine milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and peanut butter.
  • Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth.
  • Spread evenly into a lightly greased 9″x 13″ pan.
  • Put in refrigerator while you prepare the next layer.

Layer #2:

  • In the same sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Stir in sugar and evaporated milk.
  • Bring to a boil and let boil for 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in marshmallow creme, vanilla, peanut butter, and peanuts.
  • Spread evenly over layer #1 and refrigerate while you prepare the next layer.

Layer #3:

  • In the same sauce pan, combine caramels and heavy cream over low heat.
  • Cook and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Spread evenly over layer #2 and refrigerate while you prepare the next layer.

Layer #4:

  • In the same sauce pan, combine milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and peanut butter.
  • Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth.
  • Spread evenly over layer #3 and refrigerate until set (at least 1 hour).
  • Cut into small pieces and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Is your mouth watering yet?

I brought this fudge to a few different holiday parties — all with rave reviews. Then Dave requested that I keep the rest at home for us to enjoy for the next few weeks.

It’s just the perfect combination of sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy, ooey and gooey, chocolate and caramel…. I think you get the idea.

It’s really good! 

What about you? Do you have a favorite fudge recipe?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly recipes!

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19 comments

  1. Amy

    01/07/2014

    Hi Andrea! This looks so decadent! As someone who suffers from a peanut allergy, I greatly appreciate you pointing out subbing something else for the peanut butter. I know it’s obvious and I would have been able to figure that out, but the simple fact that you mention a substitute for the peanut butter was fantastic and meant a lot to me! I cant wait to enjoy my 4 layer caramel almond butter fudge!!!!! ;)

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  2. Kristen @ Joyfullythriving

    01/07/2014

    Yum! I have a sweet tooth too so will have to give this a try. Anything with chocolate is a favorite of mine – and I do love fudge with the chocolate-ness of it all!

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  3. Stacie Kaltz

    01/07/2014

    This sounds amazing! chocolate and peanut butter together are never wrong!!! I will be adding this to my gift giving with cookies and cakes! Thanks so much Andrea!

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  4. shelly

    01/07/2014

    This looks amazing! I am going to try making it for the “Superbowl” party we have.

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  5. Bonnie

    01/07/2014

    My husband and I make these every year at Christmas time. They are like a Snickers bar, only better! Last month we made up a batch of these and put them in a decorative Christmas box and gave them out as teacher gifts. It makes a large batch and worked out well since our children have several teachers and para professionals that work with them.

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  6. JoAnn C.

    01/07/2014

    Oh wow!

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  7. Julie

    01/13/2014

    Andrea,
    I made these the other day and I have to say they now probably top my list of favorite sweets. (And I really LOVE schotcheroos!). They are so good. I store them in my basement frig (so they aren’t so easy to access) and then I bring up a couple at a time. My daughter loves them too and posted a picture of one on twitter to show her friends.
    I have also made several of your soups and other recipes in your recipe box so thank you for the ideas!
    Julie

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — thanks for letting me know! They are definitely one of our favorite treats too (and we LOVE sweets over here!)

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  8. Jane

    01/18/2014

    This sounds delicious, but I was wondering if you use sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk? There is a difference. Evaporated milk is condensed but not sweetened. The picture shows sweetened so it is a dumb question, but you say to use evaporated. ?? Since you add 1 cup of sugar besides I thought it might be just the unsweetened evaporated milk. :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I used Evaporated Milk — and that’s what the recipe calls for. I make my own evaporated milk so I never have cans of it in the house. I simply put a backwards-facing can of the sweetened condensed milk in the photo so readers could see all the ingredients. You must be extra perceptive to have noticed :)

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  9. Jane

    01/20/2014

    Thanks for the quick reply! Yes I copied all the uses for dry milk that you linked to and will be using it. You have great ideas. I’m a grandma now but love all the things you do! Never to old to learn something new. I live in Tennessee.

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  10. Angelica

    01/28/2014

    Okay, so I tried these about 2 weeks ago to give away. We ended up eating a few and tonight I made my third batch!! These are RIDICULOUS DELISH and even my picky, I only like milk chocolate fudge with nuts Mom loved them…more than regular fudge!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — thanks for sharing!! So glad you (and your mom) are big fans — this fudge IS amazing!

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  11. Heather

    12/09/2014

    Hi Andrea,
    Thanks for your great posts! I saw the mention of this in today’s post so went over to read the details. I am taking part in a cookie exchange next week and after reading this, am considering seeing if the others are up for fudge as part of the exchange. Do you think this would make a good item for a cookie exchange? If so, how many would you plan to cut from a 9×13 pan, knowing you were going to divide them out into plates of 12. Thank you for any thoughts you have on this.

    Heather

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Heather, this fudge is AMAZING!!!! I hope your friends let you include it!

    In the post, I said anywhere from 48-96 pieces of fudge per batch (depending on how you cut it). I usually cut mine 1″ x 2″ so that would give me 9 across by 6 down — or about 54 pieces. However, you could DEFINITELY cut them smaller than that. This is very very rich fudge!

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  12. Lauren Dekker

    12/10/2014

    These are out of this world delicious! Perfect for the cookie exchange I am hosting! I cut them too small for my cookie exchange (don’t want to look skimpy!) so I guess I will have to make them again! Darn! ;-) A helpful tip is when measuring out the amounts for the first layer measure out the same amount again and put into a bowl for the 4th layer. Saves time!

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    Andrea Reply:

    lauren, I have frozen this fudge with much success — so you could always freeze your extras :)

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  13. Corinne

    12/16/2014

    Andrea, when you say in the recipe to use the same saucepan for every step, are you washing out the pan after each new set of ingredients? Just wiping it out each time? As I’m typing this, it sounds like a dumb question even to myself, and I know it won’t be too difficult to wash it but somehow it’s bugging me to not know. I’m about to begin making the fudge, so maybe I’m just stalling by worrying about washing the pan.:)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Corinne, I usually just scrape the pan well with a rubber spatula and keep right on going — no need for rinsing, washing, or even wiping if you don’t want. I figured it’s all getting mixed up together anyway, so a little residue on the pan can’t hurt a thing :)

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