Today marks four months until the release of Stay With Me. Last month, I wrote about the music that inspired the book, and in April, I blogged about the settings. This month and next, I’ll highlight several of the recipes for the delicious treats mentioned in the book.
Fudge-Full Peanut Butter Bars
Early in the story, Rebecca bakes a batch of these Fudge-Full Peanut Butter Bars for Chris. The recipe is one my husband asked me to recreate – a favorite from his childhood. I got the recipe from his mother more than a decade ago only to find that it included an ingredient – Pillsbury Coconut Pecan Frosting Mix – that is no longer produced. It was several years until I found a substitute recipe for the frosting mix on the Internet. As everyone in my family will attest, these chewy, gooey, delicious bars are well worth the trouble to recreate them!
It may seem a bit daunting the first time you make the recipe because you’ve got two mixing bowls and a sauce pan going (each with different amounts of butter in them), but after you’ve made them once or twice, it’s really quite simple. And, again, worth any extra trouble.
Base and Topping
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-1/3 cups (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
Coconut Pecan Frosting Mix Substitute:
1 cup sweetened, flake coconut
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons butter
Base and Topping: In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, peanut butter, butter, and eggs. By hand, stir until dough holds together. Press 2/3 of dough into bottom of ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan. Reserve remaining dough for topping.
Filling: In heavy saucepan, combine chocolate pieces, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat.
Frosting Mix: In medium bowl, combine coconut, brown sugar, flour, and pecans. Mix well. Using fork, cut in butter. Stir into filling.
Spread filling over dough in pan (base). Crumble reserved dough (topping) over filling.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until light golden brown. Cool completely. Cut into bars. (Makes about 36 bars.)
Here’s a fun little video I made with my girls about the Fudge-Full Peanut Butter Bars:
Rebecca’s Fantasy Fudge
If you meet me at a book signing, you may receive a free sample of this chocolate goodie, which Rebecca spends time perfecting when she’s not with Chris. A little background on the fudge recipe and some of my mom’s tips for success.
3 sticks butter, softened (1-1/2 cups)
6 cups granulated sugar
2 5-oz. cans evaporated milk (1-1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 12-oz. packages Hershey’s milk chocolate chips
1 13-oz. jar marshmallow creme
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped walnuts, optional
Grease two 9×13-inch pans. Mix butter, sugar, milk, and cream of tartar in large, heavy saucepan. Bring to full, rolling boil over medium heat. Stir constantly. Boil 5 minutes or until temperature reaches 234 degrees F (soft ball stage). Remove from heat. Stir in chips. Add marshmallow creme. When mixture reaches a dull gloss, stir in vanilla. (Mixture will be heavy.) Pour into pans. Cool. Yield: Approximately 6 pounds of fudge.
I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it became the dessert Rebecca brought to dinner with Chris’s parents. It makes for a beautiful presentation, it’s delicious, and minus that whole cream cheese/whipped cream layer, it’s healthy. I took it to a Memorial Day Parade party, and it was a hit.