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Old-Fashioned Cafeteria Peanut Butter Candy

It tastes exactly like the one she used to make!

Do you guys remember eating this treat growing up?? Old-fashioned cafeteria peanut butter candy – or simply grandma’s peanut butter candy, as we referred to it when we were little. If you’re not familiar with it, this candy used to be so popular, you could find it anywhere! With peanut butter and honey as the main flavors, blended together into a creamy smoothness, this candy is sort of like a chewier, less sticky version of toffee…that’s wayyy easier to make and hassle-free.

Powdered sugar and powdered milk are the ingredients that bind this candy together and give it structure. Powdered sugar is obviously a pantry staple, but powdered milk might make you pause upon first reading it. What used to be a pretty common ingredient in the 50s and 60s, powdered milk is slightly less common these days, but still just as useful. We think of it in regards to baby formula, but you can use powdered milk in a lot of other yummy stuff as well – like these cafeteria candies. Using powdered milk is a great choice when you don’t want to water down whatever it is you want to add milk to. We want these sweets to be thick and chewy, so definitely no excess liquid if we can help it.

The essentials, peanut butter, honey, powdered sugar and powdered milk make up the bulk of the recipe, plus some salt and vanilla to really bring out all the flavors – if you want to stick to the main four, go for it! We love this candy not only for nostalgia reasons, but because it really does taste great and we love reminding people of how good it is! People who remember eating it are always happy to see it, and those who haven’t tried it love it as soon as they take a bite. Win-win!

Serves 2 dozen

15 minutes active

Rated 5 out of 5
Rated by 4 reviewers
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for coating
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered milk
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
  • powdered sugar, garnish
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, powdered milk, and salt together, then set aside.
  2. Combine your honey and peanut butter in a large bowl or mixer and cream together for 3-4 minutes, or until fluffy and smooth.
  3. Gradually add in dry ingredients, beating until dough comes together, then knead dough with your hands until smooth.
  4. Divide dough in half and roll into two, even logs. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or until chilled.
  5. Once chilled, slice logs into 1/4-inch slices and coat each one in powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Southern Plate

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