Browsing Tag

peanut butter

Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey

August 12, 2011

I don’t personaly know Jennifer Perillo, nor did I know her husband, Mikey. But like thousands of others across the web, I was brought to tears after reading her touching post in the wake of her husband’s sudden and premature death.

When I first heard the news, I thought immediately to what we as a blogging community could do to offer love and support. Jennifer herself provided the answer: make Mikey’s favorite peanut butter pie on Friday and enjoy it with loved ones. Such a simple, meaningful and delicious call to action that hundreds of bloggers are answering today.

Joey and I will be enjoying this pie at home with a couple of friends who are staying with us tonight, counting our blessings and being thankful for each and every day we have with one another. Life is such a precious gift, and I hate thinking about how much time we waste being angry over petty things or how busy we get with superficial details.

And the pie? It’s as good as it gets. Quite similar to a giant peanut butter cup spooned into a chocolate cookie crust. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate loved ones.

I hope you make time to eat peanut butter pie soon, too.

Peanut Butter Pie
Adapted from In Jennie’s Kitchen: Creamy Peanut Butter Pie 

*1 purchased chocolate cookie crust
*4 ounces milk chocolate chips
*1/4 cup chopped pecans
*1 cup heavy cream
*8 ounces cream cheese, softened
*1 cup creamy peanut butter
*1 cup confectioner’s sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

*Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. Spoon mixture into the bottom of the prepared pie crust. Top with the chopped pecans. Refrigerate until ready to use. 
*In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
*Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar.  Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.
*Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Pour the filling into pie crust. Refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving. Top with additional chopped pecans, if desired.

Happy Baking!


Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes

May 26, 2011

After talking in my last recipe post about my commitment to sharing more healthy recipes and inspiration from my daily life in food, I know what you must be thinking.

Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes? Well, that hardly qualifies as a healthy breakfast. But let me explain.

For a while now, pancakes have gotten a bad reputation for being unhealthy and full of empty calories. But with a little tweaking, they can actually be a great way to start your day. What may look unhealthy on the outside is filled with good-for-you ingredients like whole wheat flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, protein powder and low-fat milk. And topping your pancakes with peanut butter or Greek yogurt instead of syrup saves loads of calories and grams of added sugar.

Since Joey requests pancakes on a regular basis, I loved the idea of mixing the dry ingredients ahead of time and storing them in the pantry for a hassle-free breakfast in the morning when I’m short on time or just feeling a little lazy.

Peanut Butter Cup Pancakes

Dry Ingredients
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1/4 cup protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, or you could substitute 1 teaspoon stevia)
*1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 cup low-fat milk
*1 large egg, lightly beaten

*Natural peanut butter and/or Greek yogurt

*In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a second bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined, leaving a few lumps to keep the pancakes light and fluffy.
*Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pancake batter, a 1/4 cup at a time, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, flipping when bubbles form on the surface of the pancake.
*Top pancakes with a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter or Greek yogurt. And if you’re feeling bold, go with both.

Rough nutrition info: Each 1/4 cup pancake is about 185 calories, without the peanut butter. Although I like to eat two pancakes with a tablespoon of peanut butter when I’m eating these babies for breakfast. 

Peanut Butter Granola

April 1, 2011

Happy (almost) weekend, everyone! I don’t know about you, but I sure am ready for a few days to relax with Joey and Nut. Joey has business in Des Moines on Monday morning so he will be staying with me a little longer than usual, and it means we get to have a Sunday night together. I’m ridiculously excited. 

I thought it was also high time for me to share what I’ve been eating for breakfast the last couple weeks. Last week, after seeing Jenna’s post about granola, I was compelled to make some of my own. Of course, I decided to forgo using a recipe and just stick with equal parts butter, oil and honey. I realize that Granola is typically made with regular rolled oats, but I made this granola with a combination of regular rolled oats and the quick-cooking variety. It would be great if I could say it was for creativity’s sake, but truthfully, I ran out of rolled oats.

The good news? Quick-cooking oats made a fabulous substitute. Although I wouldn’t recommend using 100% quick-cooking oats, the mix worked out well. And you know me, if you put peanut butter on something I’ll follow you around and love you forever. I’ve been enjoying my granola served with an ice-cold glass of 2% milk and chopped walnuts.

P.S. – How cute are these two?

Peanut Butter Granola

*1 2/3 cup rolled oats
*1 2/3 cup instant oats
*1/3 cup peanut butter
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*1/3 cup honey
*Serve with milk (I vote for 2%) and chopped walnuts

*Preheat oven to 275°F. In a large bowl, combine the oats. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vegetable oil and honey. Stir until well combined.
*Pour peanut butter mixture over oats and stir until oats are evenly coated. Spread evenly onto baking sheet. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until lightly golden and toasted, stirring once halfway through baking. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Happy Cooking!


Fluffer-Nutter Bars

March 10, 2011

It has come to my knowledge that there is something called a fluffernutter sandwich. I had heard of such a sandwich before, but was never quite sure if it really existed or if it was just an urban myth. Most certainly no such sandwich was part of my childhood, but then again, I didn’t eat my first peanut butter and jelly sandwich until I was in 7th grade. I was a strange kid.

So to satisfy my curiosity, I got to digging around on the internet. And, of course, Wikipedia came to the rescue with this answer:

“A fluffernutter sandwich is a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow creme. It’s name comes from the popular Marshmallow Fluff brand of marshmallow creme. It is particularly popular in the Northeastern United States and has been proposed as the state sandwich of Massachusetts.”

Who knew? Personally, marshmallow creme was a phenomenon I knew very little about first-hand. And although I love peanut butter, this sandwich sounded a lot more like a dessert to me than a viable lunch or dinner option.

Fluffernutter sandwiches may have zero appeal to me, but rolling all that sweet goodness into one gooey, caramel bar sounded like a very good idea. I based the bars off a recipe for Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from the most recent issue of Bon Appétit. The base is very similar to a blondie. A blondie that is filled with a marshmallow center, which is surprisingly delicious. I might go so far to say that these are one of the best desserts on the entire site. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Fluffer-Nutter Bars
Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2011, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
*3/4 cup packed brown sugar
*1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
*2 large eggs
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 cup mini marshmallows
*1/4 cup chopped walnuts

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
*In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside. In a second bowl, beat together the peanut butter, brown sugar and butter until well-combined. Whisk in the eggs, one by one, followed by the kosher salt.
*Reserve 1/2 cup of the dough. Transfer the remaining dough to the lined baking pan and press into the bottom of the pan and 1-inch up the sides. Sprinkle the marshmallows atop the dough in pan, spreading in an even layer.
*With reserved 1/2 cup of dough, stir in the walnuts. With your fingers, drop the dough mixture atop the marshmallow layer in grape-sized pieces. (This doesn’t have to be a completely even layer. You should still be able to see some of the marshmallows.)
*Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and marshmallows are puffed. The bars may not seem done because of the marshmallow layer, but that is no cause to worry.
*Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars. Makes 9 Bars

Happy Baking!


Candy Pumpkin Peanut Butter Kisses

November 1, 2010

It’s official. The Sunday night blues have set in yet again. Typically I consider myself a happy, positive person, but it’s tough to find the joy in Sunday nights sometimes. After a wonderful weekend with two of my favorite people in the whole world I now find myself cleaning up my apartment and getting ready for the week ahead with my mom traveling home in one direction, and Joey heading home in the opposite direction.

Lately, what Joey and I have been craving more than anything is a sense of place, normalcy and tradition. We marvel at what it would be like to spend a Sunday night together, to have a tradition like eating popcorn and watching movies, or even just being together in the same room preparing for the week ahead. Until then, I’ll take whatever little bits of normal we can get. For now, that comes in the form of me packing him a sandwich for the drive home and baking something sweet for snacking on. Something like these Candy Pumpkin Peanut Butter Kisses.

Last week when I posted about Halloween and Butterfinger candy bars, a number of people commented about their passionate love for candy pumpkins. Can I get an amen? These cookies have been made in your honor, to let you know you’re not alone in your obsession. And just because Halloween is over does not mean we need to retire these little objects of desire just yet.  I, for one, have stocked up on enough candy pumpkins to last for at least a month.

Chances are, you’ve had the more traditional version of these cookies made with Hershey’s Kisses in the center. I’ve never really been a big fan of these cookies, but the addition of candy pumpkins in the center makes all the difference in the world. Peanut butter and chocolate can go ahead and make room for the peanut butter candy pumpkin combo any day in my apartment.

Candy Pumpkin Peanut Butter Kisses
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
(Printable Recipe)

*1/2 cup butter, softened
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*1 tsp. baking powder
*1/4 tsp. baking soda
*1 large egg
*2 Tbsp. milk
*1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
*1/4 cup sugar
*Candy Pumpkins

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add in the sugars and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy and fluffy. Add in the salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, and egg. Beat until well combined.
*Add in the milk and the flour and beat until just combined. Roll rounded teaspoons of the cookie dough in the sugar. Place on baking sheet, about 1 inch apart, and bake for 12 minutes.
*Remove cookies from oven and immediately place a candy pumpkin in the center of each cookie. Cool on baking sheets for about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.

Happy Baking!