Browsing Tag

peanut butter

Peanut Butter Spice Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

September 13, 2010

One of these Mondays I’m going to be able to post about my relaxing, leisurely weekend where I got lots of sleep, painted my toenails, caught up on laundry and read all my untouched magazines cover-to-cover. But that day is not today. I’ll spare you the details only to say it was a crazy, whirlwind of a weekend and I’m still scratching my head wondering where Saturday went.

In addition to traveling eight hours in the car on Saturday to see J’s little brother play football, it was a weekend spent celebrating J’s 23rd birthday! He might not have seen the reason to cause a fuss, but I most certainly did. I’m a big believer in the concept of ‘birthday weekends’ and was intent on making the entire three days a celebration of the man I love.

There were birthday cupcakes on Friday night when he arrived and a birthday dinner in Minneapolis with family on Saturday night after the game; there was also a man making balloon animals at the restaurant who catered to my request that he make J an birthday balloon hat to wear during dinner. And when his actual birthday arrived on Sunday, I put candles in both his chocolate chip pancakes and his sandwich at lunch. Like I said, birthdays are a big deal around here. 

Since J isn’t a huge fan of overly-sweet desserts, I passed on most of my original ideas and decided to go with a simple spiced cupcake topped with a small dollop of peanut butter buttercream. Had this been my own birthday celebration there would have been a whole lot more buttercream involved. Thankfully, the birthday boy is generous and let me steal the buttercream off another cupcake to make up the difference.

Happy birthday, J!

Peanut Butter Spice Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream
(Printable Recipe)

*1 stick butter, softened
*1 cup sugar
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*2 large eggs
*3/4 cup self-rising flour
*1/2 cup buttermilk 
*2/3 cup all-purpose flour

*1 stick butter, softened
*1/2 cup peanut butter
*1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
*1-3 Tbsp. milk (start with 1 and add more if you want a thinner consistency)

*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Add in the sugar and peanut butter and beat until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract until combined.
*Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Reduce speed to low and beat in the self-rising flour until just combined, followed by the milk, then the all-purpose flour, being sure not to over beat and only mixing until ingredients are just combined.
*Spoon batter into prepared cupcake liners, filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
*Meanwhile, prepare the buttercream. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter together until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, a 1/2 cup at a time, followed by the milk, beating until smooth and creamy.
*Pipe or spread buttercream atop the cupcakes. Candles optional. 🙂

Happy Baking!


PB&J Buckwheat Crepes

August 5, 2010

Every morning I eat the same breakfast, boring but true. Greek yogurt, fresh or frozen berries, and a half a cup of cereal, usually Kashi. It’s a delicious dose of protein and calcium with a serving a fruit. What can I say? I’m a creature of habit where matters of breakfast are concerned. But today I broke out of my breakfast rut because I couldn’t say no to these crepes filled with a thin smear of homemade peanut butter and topped with black raspberry jam.

Before this, I had never made a crepe in my life. Sure, I’d eaten plenty, some of the best while in Europe, and loved every bite, but had always stayed away from making them at home because I thought they were difficult to replicate.

Turns out I was very wrong. If you’ve made pancakes and own a non-stick skillet, you should make crepes. They’re a cinch to prepare, and that’s coming from a girl who struggles mightily to flip pancakes. When reading the recipe for these buckwheat crepes from David Lebovitz, he suggests running a spatula around the edge, then turning the crepes over with your fingers. It worked perfectly for me, though if you feel more comfortable with a spatula, then flip away!

I can only imagine the possibilities for the rest of the crepe batter left in my fridge. Filled with a little goat cheese and spinach, or a hefty spoonful of blueberry preserves and fresh peaches, or the classic Nutella crepe with a dollop of whipped cream. J. comes tomorrow, and besides counting down the hours until he gets here, I’m counting the number of crepe combinations we can eat together.

P.S. – If you don’t have buckwheat flour, don’t stress. Just substitute an equal amount of all-purpose or whole wheat flour.

PB&J Buckwheat Crepes
Adapted from David Lebovitz 
*2 cups whole or 2% milk
*1 tablespoon sugar
*1/4 teaspoon sea salt
*3 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted, melted
*1/2 cup buckwheat flour
*3/4 cup (105 gr) all-purpose flour
*3 large eggs

*1/2 cup black raspberry preserves or other preserves of your choosing
*1 cup peanut butter 


*In a blender, or with a whisk, mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Cover and chill overnight.

*To fry the crêpes, remove the batter from the refrigerator about an hour before frying. Stir it briskly; it should be the consistency of heavy cream. (If not, you can add a tablespoon of milk.)
*Heat a 8- to 9-inch skillet on the stovetop. You can use a real crêpe pan that’s been seasoned, but I use a Tefal non-stick skillet which works great.
*Drop a tiny piece of butter or neutral oil in the hot pan and wipe it around with a paper towel. (I only do this for the first crêpe.)
*Lift the pan and pour 1/4 cup of the batter in the middle of the hot skillet, swirling the pan to distribute the batter quickly and evenly. The pan shouldn’t be too hot or too cold: the batter should start cooking within a few seconds, giving you just enough time to swirl it. It may take a couple of crêpes for you to get your rhythm.
*After about a minute, run a non-stick spatula around the underside of the rim of the crêpe, then flip the crepe over. I grasp the crepe with my fingers, but use the spatula if you wish.
*Let the crêpe cook on the flip side for about 30 seconds, then slide it out onto a dinner plate. Repeat, cooking the crepes with the remaining batter, stirring the batter every so often as you go.
*In two separate microwave-safe dishes, heat the jam and peanut butter in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds, until it spreads easily. Fill the inside of each crepe with a few spoonfuls of peanut butter, fold in half, then in half again. Top with a spoonful of fruit preserves. 
*Crêpes should be served warm. To rewarm the crêpes for serving, fold the crepes and put them in a baking dish covered with foil. Heat them in a moderate oven until warmed through.

Happy Breakfast!


Make-Your-Own Nut Butter

May 4, 2010

 Hi, my name is Madison and I love peanut butter. I also love ketchup, and it’s a well-known fact in my extended family, since every time we eat either turkey or ham, I go searching through the fridge of the aunt and uncle’s house I am at in search of ketchup to bring to the table.

Unfortunately, this is one duo that does not work well together. Though when J. returned from Europe in January, he did bring me back a chocolate bar that incorporated both. Let’s just say I am not going to be trying to sell any of you on that combination any time soon.

But what I really intended to discuss was homemade nut butter. A trip to the peanut butter section of the grocery store will most likely yield some non-peanut butter impostors: soy nut butter, almond butter, mixed-nut butter. They are, of course, impostors in the most wonderful sort of way. Along with the delicious, unusual taste comes an equally unusual and not so delicious price tag. Does anyone really think it’s a good idea to shell out $10 (yes, $10!) for a small jar of nut butter? Not this girl, especially when it’s so easy to make yourself.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been playing with this recipe, using peanuts, almonds, and walnuts (pictured). I love the taste of walnuts, though if you aren’t a walnut-lover to begin with I don’t think walnut-butter is going to change your mind. The process is simple, really. And unlike the labor-of-love homemade pop tarts of last week, this nut butter recipe can be completed and consumed in under 12 minutes. Grind up the nuts in a food processor, add a little oil and salt, process some more, and then a little more until you are left with a creamy nut butter better than anything you might buy on the supermarket shelves, for a whole lot less.

Homemade Nut Butter

*16 oz. (about 4 cups) toasted, unsalted nuts of your choice (I have tried this with almonds, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts and had success with all four, or you could use a combination)
*3 to 4 Tbsp. oil (I used light olive oil)
*1 1/2 tsp. salt (regular, table salt)

*In a food processor, process the nuts for 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs and becomes slightly pasty.
*Add in the oil and salt. Continue to process for 3-5 minutes more, scraping down the sides frequently, until creamy and smooth, with just a slight texture remaining.
*Refrigerate until ready to use.

Happy Cooking!


Peanut Butter-White Chocolate Chip Cookies

March 17, 2010

When I first started baking, chocolate chip cookies were my greatest source of frustration. It seemed that everyone except me had their own trademark recipe. And while I could properly duplicate a batch from the back of the Toll House bag, it wasn’t enough. After two years and many trials, it finally happened. It was love at first bite and after that moment, there was no looking back.

At this point you might be wondering where the chocolate chips are. The short answer is there aren’t any. People, just as much as recipes and the food itself, influence me in the kitchen. And so when a high school friend told me he didn’t like chocolate chips, a substitution of white chocolate and peanut butter chips seemed appropriate. But the adaptations and add-ins don’t stop there.

When I first made these cookies, I was cooking with Mexican vanilla I had lugged home in my suitcase after a recent vacation. If you’re not familiar with Mexican vanilla, it has a hint of cinnamon flavor, and when my bottle ran out, I started adding cinnamon into the cookies to compensate. The drizzle of molasses builds on the rich cinnamon flavor, giving the cookies a slightly deeper flavor and an extra bit of chewiness. Add in some peanut butter and a whole lot of peanut butter and white chocolate chips and you have yourself one heck of a cookie, though I think calling it a chocolate chip cookie at this point would be a bit misleading.

Peanut Butter-White Chocolate Chip Cookies
*3/4 cup butter
*3/4 cup sugar
*3/4 cup brown sugar
*2 large eggs
*1/4 cup peanut butter
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*2 tsp. vanilla extract
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1/2 Tbsp. full-flavored molasses
*1 tsp. baking soda
*2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
*3/4 cup peanut butter chips
*3/4 cup white chocolate chips

*Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease or line with parchment paper two baking sheets. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in the sugar and brown sugar, and beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. (Trust me on this one, the mixture will become pale and fluffy and allow the sugar to blend with the butter. Just time it out – 4 minutes.)
*Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Beat in the peanut butter, cinnamon, salt, and molasses.
*Mix together the flour and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two additions, beating just until flour is combined.
*Beat in the peanut butter chips and white chocolate chips by hand. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the greased or lined baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes. (I find 13 minutes to be perfect) Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Place on wire racks and cool completely.
*Side note: Prior to this post, I swore I would never give up this recipe. But after some consideration, I feel that it would be cruel not to share it. Bake, eat, and enjoy!
Happy Baking!

Homemade Peanut Butter Patties

February 18, 2010

I’m going away for the weekend and will not be taking my computer, so instead of leaving you hanging until Sunday, I wanted to give you a little something to occupy your time and taste buds this weekend.

What, you ask, is enough to make me unveil these cookies earlier than planned? I’ll be visiting my best friend and boyfriend, but more importantly, I’ll be meeting the bf’s best friends. When meeting new people, I find bringing along a little something sweet is both a nice gesture and a sneaky act of bribery, and as far as bribery goes, I’m pretty sure peanut butter and chocolate have a nearly perfect success rate. Just in case these little peanut butter patties fail, I’m bringing along reinforcements for support: a batch of those chocolate chip banana mini-muffins from my previous post, and chocolate truffles (recipe to come).

So off I go, goodie basket in hand, leaving you with the recipe for Homemade Peanut Butter Patties. They’re incredibly easy, despite having three components, and fairly hard to mess up. The biggest mistake I made while baking them was making the cookies themselves too big. Start with a heaping teaspoon, roll it into a ball, and slightly flatten with your fingers into a disc. Get that down, and it’s practically foolproof. I cannot claim this recipe as my own, I found it via another blog, Love and Olive Oil, who adapted it from another recipe from the site Baking Bites. And here I am, passing it along once again. If that’s not enough to convince you, I don’t know what is.

Peanut Butter Patties

Makes about 3 dozen. Recipe adapted from Baking Bites.

1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter (natural or regular)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
generous pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

about 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2 oz cocoa butter OR 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk. The dough should come together into a soft ball.

Take a tablespoon full of dough and flatten it into a disc about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Cookies will not spread too much, so you can arrange them fairly closely together.

Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes, until bottoms and the edges are lightly browned and cookies are set.

Immediately after removing cookies from the oven, use your thumb or a small spoon to make a depression in the center of each cookie. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make filling, whisk together peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla in a small microwave-safe bowl. When the mixture has come together, heat it in the microwave (in short intervals, stirring frequently), until it is soft. Working carefully with the warm filling, transfer it to a pastry bag (or plastic bag with the tip cut off) and pipe a generous dome of the filling into each cookie’s “thumbprint”.

Chill filled cookies for 20-30 minutes, or until the peanut butter is firm.

Melt the chocolate and cocoa butter in a small, heat-resistant bowl placed over a small saucepan filled with simmering (not boiling) water.

Dip chilled cookies into chocolate, let excess drip off, and place on a sheet of parchment paper to set.

Happy Baking!