Dad and mom Johnson's (handed down recipe circa 1936) always fixed this Peanut Butter Candy,Christmas through New Year's; (way before "RPBCups" ever existed)! So easy to make...so yummy, and oh, so good...!
heavy duty (cast iron best) fry pan or heavy duty stainless steel or non-stick fry pan; 8"-9" round pie or cake pan; whisk; glass measuring cup; wooden spoon; teaspoon; spatula; saran wrap; sharp knife; heavy duty pot holders.
Set aside one cupful of cold water in a glass measuring cup, and a teaspoon to use for finding out "soft ball" stage. (You may want to set aside 2 cups of cold water, just in case first test is not ready yet. Do not re-use same cup of cold water you tested in first time).
In heavy-duty (cast iron best) fry pan, or heavy bottomed stainless steel or non-stick fry pan, mix the following together:
2 C sugar, 1/2 C milk, 1 TBSP butter, and 1/2 TSP salt
On medium-high heat, cook and stir mixture with whisk, or wooden spoon, UNTIL boiling.
Continue boiling WITHOUT STIRRING, until mixture reaches "soft ball" stage. Quickly do the following:
Test to find "soft ball" stage: use a teaspoon to take a pinch of boiling mixture and drop into the cup of cold water. If the mixture forms a "soft ball" while dropping to bottom of cup, it is ready. It if is NOT, re-test in 2nd cup of cold water set aside earlier.
When at "soft ball" stage,quickly and carefully remove from heat. IT IS HOT!
Immediately, using a spatula or wooden spoon, ADD the 1 C of peanut butter, stirring into mixture.
Immediately, pour into prepared buttered pan (8"-9" round pie or cake pan)will do fine.
At this point you can add your choice of chopped nuts, sprinkling on top.
Cool in pan, then cut into 1" squares with sharp knife.
Enjoy. Disappears fast.
To store, cover with plastic wrap and do not refrigerate.