Peanut Butter Cup Fudge
Some people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, a mood disorder that develops during the fall and typically lasts throughout the winter months. It brings on feelings of depression, fatigue, social withdrawal, and hopelessness. For me, it is 100% reversed. I don't know if there is an actual diagnosis, but if there is... I have it. In the fall and winter, I am at my HAPPIEST. Over the past few weeks, the temperature has been slowly but surely dropping and my mood has been slowly but surely rising. I'm on the up and up, and Christmas day will be my peak!
48 days <3
The winter holidays are my favorite time of year; the snow falling, the house filled with smells of cinnamon and pumpkin pie, the countless limited time only coffee flavors, the beautiful lights hanging on the tree, and of course... the baking! Baking is quite honestly something that is still very new to me. I actually just developed my interest in cooking in general while I was in college. I usually talk about how my eating disorders really halted and interfered with so many aspects of my life. But I think that in a way, it has also brought me some blessings in disguise. Or maybe I'm just overly optimistic and positive.
When I was in the midst of my ED, I became obsessed with food, in every single way (as most people with an ED can relate). I was weighing every ounce, counting every calorie, reading every label. I was, to say the least, NEUROTIC. I eventually was so obsessed with food and with what I was consuming, that I wanted to make everything on my own, from scratch. I needed to make sure I knew exactly how many calories I was eating, and the only way to do that was to make it myself. I truly thought the companies were lying on their nutrition label... for what reason, I have no idea.
So I spent the next several months trying to learn how to cook. And it actually went pretty well! I was nailing almost every recipe I made (or maybe I just forgot what real food actually tasted like, so every sugar-free, low fat, low calorie recipe tasted like heaven at this point). Then, a little later on down the road, I decided to try my hand at baking. I remember the first thing I decided to make was cinnamon rolls. I used Splenda, the lowest calories flour alternative I could find, egg substitute, zero calorie butter spray... it was a disaster. It truly was the worst thing I think I have ever attempted to create. Needless to say, no one even tried them. I tried a few more recipes; cupcakes, brownies, cookies... all complete failures. I continued using the same awful ingredients, yet somehow expected different results.
Now, four glorious years later, the love of cooking that I developed during the darkest period of my life, is stronger than ever. AND I'm finally doing it the right way. I cook everything I make now with real ingredients that nourish my body, mind and soul. I choose nutrition over low calorie, low fat, and sugar free ingredients. Not only has my cooking continued to improve, but my baking has FINALLY become edible! And some of it is even pretty delicious :)
Baking during the holidays was not very enjoyable during my ED years. I would try so hard to make Christmas cookies that were less than 30 calories so I could feel semi-normal, participating in holiday traditions. But it was always unsuccessful. Now, baking cookies is something I count down the days to doing - and even more so... eating them.
Since becoming vegan, my biggest supporter has always been my mom. She has supported me in everything I've done in my life, and this venture has been no different. She is constantly texting me pictures of her own (accidentally) vegan meals and sending me recipes for vegan treats that look tasty. Over the summer, my mom and stepdad threw a small party for a few of their close friends. 2017 was the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love so their entire party was themed that way! My mom streamed a playlist of songs all from 1967 (which by the way was a GREAT year for music), she used tie-dye decor, and everyone dressed up in their authentic 60's attire. She made all of the main dishes and their guests brought some treats to go with it. On of their friends made these adorable little Reeses cup fudge pieces in mini cupcake liners. My mom loved them so much, she thought we should try to recreate a vegan version!
I went to visit my mom for her birthday earlier this fall and we decided that would be the weekend for us to experiment. The original recipe she got from her friend was so simple, we thought there was no way we could mess up! So we got our ingredients and went to work. And guys... it was SO EASY. And soooooo delicious!
We can't wait to make these again for the holidays this year! I hope you enjoy! And just for fun... don't tell anyone they're vegan until after they've tried one :)
Peanut Butter Cup Fudge
Four ingredients, people... FOUR. That's it.
- 9x9 baking dish
- Aluminum foil
1. Crush/chop peanut butter cups into ~1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
2. Line baking dish with aluminum foil
3. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave using a medium microwave safe bowl; cook for 15 second intervals, stirring between each one, until completely melted.
4. Stir peanut butter into melted while chocolate chips.
5. Pour white chocolate peanut butter mixture into 9x9 lined baking dish.
6. Use spatula to smooth over the top of the mixture.
7. Sprinkle chocolate ships evenly over mixture.
8. Sprinkle peanut butter cup pieces evenly over the top of the mixture. Action shot!
9. Refrigerate fudge for approximately four hours or until hardened enough to cut into pieces.
10. Remove from fridge and cut into 16 pieces.