Uncategorized

Peanut Butter on Parade

 

Is there such a thing as too much peanut butter?

I had never thought so until the day when I was organizing our pantry.  While deciding to go healthy (and peanut butter is considered a good fat believe it or not) I had purchased the Costco portions of the Organic version.

One of our neighbors is on a limited income and is often the recipient of food items.  My husband knows that I love peanut butter, so he gracefully accepts a jar or two as a thank you for neighborly help that he provides.  I admit to re-gifting some of it to colleagues.  However, as you can see, I was still left with several jars.  Before it went out of date I planned to put it to use.  Peanut butter on toast and banana peanut butter smoothies were not enough.

I tried out an Asian Rice Noodle dish, but the two tablespoons of peanut butter involved didn’t really make a dent in my supply.  Peanut butter pie is crazy delicious but since all recipes seem to call for artificial cream and I really didn’t feel like working out the substitution for a real cream version nor eating the whole fresh cream pie, I needed recipes that would freeze well.  Otherwise, my zeal was going to turn into a great big tummy ache or a great big tummy!

My mom made a version of peanut butter cookies that were soft.  We smashed them with a crisscrossed fork design before baking.  My husband is not a fan of soft cookies so my search continued.  I came upon this crisp version and discovered a new use for a seldom used tool at the same time.  Behold what a meat tenderizer can do.

Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies (leitesculinaria.com)

Ingredients:

1 2/3 Cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 Cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons creamy or chunky peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Beat together on high speed the butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy–about 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the peanut butter and mix until smooth.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.  Scrape down and mix again a few time by hand.
  6. Use a 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoop to make balls.  Place the balls 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.  Flatten them with a fork cross-hatch or use a meat mallet (tenderizer).  Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  7. Bake in batches for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Our grandson was coming in a couple of weeks so I wanted to “kidify” the recipe.  I  used the same 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoop used to size the cookie dough to put these little cuties together with pineapple sherbet for a new version of ice cream sandwiches.  FYI adults like them, too.

My husband’s favorite cookie is a Neopolitan.  The recipe came from one of those Southern Living Christmas Book bonuses. It is so good that I featured the recipe as the back page of a Christmas letter many years ago.  The Neopolitan cookie, as in the familiar ice cream, features a chocolate, a pink almond flavored and a vanilla walnut layer.

I have neglected to say that my husband doesn’t like peanut butter.  Swapping in the peanut butter for a two-layer sliced cookie with chocolate was my attempt to trick him into liking it. They were super crisp and he liked the cookies, maybe not as much as the original but they didn’t go to waste.  I promise you will like them if you like peanut butter.  If you don’t like peanut butter, you would have stopped reading this after seeing the title!  Since they are a slice and bake cookie they don’t take up as much room in the freezer, either.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Slice and Bake Cookies

Ingredients:

1 Cup butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
4 Tablespoons peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 loaf pan with wax paper or plastic wrap with extra to fold over the top.
  2. Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add the sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add the egg; beat well.  Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl; add to creamed mixture, beating just until blended.
  4. Divide the dough in half.  Stir the melted chocolate into one half and the peanut butter into the other half.
  5. Spread the chocolate dough into the bottom of the lined pan.  Top with the peanut butter dough.  Cover with the remaining wrap and freeze until firm.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove pan from freezer and cut the dough in half lengthwise.  Return half to the freezer.  Slice the remaining half into one quarter inch slices and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Omne trium perfectum

Omne trium perfectum, or the “rule of three” states that things are inherently more humorous, satisfying and effective when in that number.  Thus, I need to give you one more recipe, so here it is, and guess what?  It freezes really well.  I am preparing ahead for holiday gifts and visits.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Ingredients:

3 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup butter
2/3 Cup evaporated milk
1 2/3 creamy peanut butter
7 oz marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil; spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the sugar, butter and milk in a large saucepan, stirring constantly on medium heat until it comes to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove it from the heat.
  3. Add the peanut butter and stir until blended before adding the marshmallow creme and vanilla.  Beat until well blended.  Spread in the prepared pan.  Cool completely then cut into one-inch pieces.  Store in an airtight container.  I like to eat it from the refrigerator or the freezer but it does keep at room temperature when or if you are going to make a gift of it.

 

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.