Because I have nothing better to do and I enjoy hands-on gelatin research, this week I decided to mix gelatin with peanut butter.
These are Peanut Butter Squares!
Apparently, they are a Candy Recipe DeLuxe!
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- ¾ cup water
- 2 envelopes Knox gelatin
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups sugar
- Mix together milk and water. Soften gelatin in a ½ cup of the milk and water mixture.
- Soften peanut butter over hot water or in the microwave, then blend with gelatin mixture.
- Combine rest of water/milk mixture with sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and mix in peanut butter mixture until it is smooth.
- Pour into greased loaf pan and let stand overnight (not in the fridge). Remove from pan onto sugared surface and cut into squares with sharp knife moistened with water. Roll squares in sugar.
For the curious, this is from a small Knox pamphlet from the 1950’s-ish. In addition to this recipe, there is also a recipe for Peanut Butter Blanc Mange, and an interesting recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies that have no gelatin in them whatsoever. On the flip side of the pamphlet is a recipe for Perfection Salad, Tomato Mayonnaise Salad, and Molded Macaroni Salad which calls for Miracle Whip and American Cheese.
I would like to say I have been thinking about the Peanut Butter Cookies, but I’ve really wanted to try that Macaroni Salad. I mean, a lot.
But today I settled on gelatin and peanut butter.
I was very curious to see if this would turn out a decent candy. I very much love Turkish Delight, especially pistachio Turkish delight, and I was interested to see if the peanut butter version would be as delicious.
“What do you think?”
“There is something very wrong with these.”
“What do you mean?”
“They taste great, but the texture is horrible. It’s melting in my hand.”
I tried one, and he was right. The texture was horribly melty. And it wasn’t even a humid day. I had boiled the “candy” party a bit extra to make up for it being the summer, but it still didn’t seem like it took very well. It was very weepy as well. By the time I had finished taking photos and serving Tom, the pieces I had left had gotten suspiciously moist and sticky, defying my sugar coating.
But the best description came when I offered one to Alex.
“Look!” I said, “Would you like to try some candy?”
“Candy!” She squeaked, “Candy! Candy, please!”
She grabbed one off the plate and took a tiny bite. Then her eyes started to water and she started to gag. The bite was very shortly deposited into the palm of my hand.
“Yummy,” she said, her little eyes streaming tears.
“Do you want some more?”
And then she plopped the rest of her piece on the plate and ran off to pick blackberries. Which she enjoyed much more than the “candy”.
The Verdict: Both Delicious And Disgusting
From The Tasting Notes –
The best way to describe this in terms of texture is a gooey Turkish Delight. Maybe the recipe didn’t set up properly, or maybe these would be better after a stay in the fridge. Either way, I thought it tasted like a peanut butter cookie in flavor, and Tom thought it was closer to peanut butter fudge. It was sweet, thick, had a really good peanut butter flavor and was ridiculously sticky. Though the flavor was delicious, the texture was so gooey and off-putting that I can’t think of a single reason why this would be a better choice than either cookies or fudge. These candies took longer to make than cookies and longer to set up than fudge. And you really have to eat these right away after you sugar them, or they go all melty. If you really love peanut butter everything and want to try them for fun, go for it. Otherwise, I would just suggest making cookies.