Browsing Tag

peanut butter

Peanut Butter-Butterscotch Blondies with Salted Peanut Butter Cream

January 29, 2010

I wasn’t planning on posting anything until after the weekend, but this idea was nagging at me all week, begging “bake me!” And now I’m glad I didn’t wait, because it would be cruel and unusual punishment to withhold this recipe from you all. Seriously, this is without a doubt the best recipe to come out of my kitchen in an awfully long time.

One of my favorite food trends to surface in the past year has been kosher salt playing a major role in baked goods. A longtime fan of the salty/sweet combo, my taste buds have been overjoyed with every salted caramel and chocolate that comes my way. Salt works so well with everything sweet because it’s a flavor enhancer, so in the right amounts it can enhance the flavor of anything, including sweets. Don’t believe me? Add a tiny bit of kosher salt to your ice cream, chocolate cake, or banana tart. Not a lot, just a little is enough to make the flavors of any sweet amazingly better.

Better yet, instead of sprinkling salt on to ice cream or chocolate cake (because you can always do that some other time) run to the kitchen, preheat the oven, and get to making these salted blondies. But whatever you do, make sure you have someone in mind to share these with because one slice could easily turn into two, or three. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

Creamed butter

After the sugar, both brown and granulated, have been added

Adding in the 1/2 cup of peanut butter

Post peanut butter and sour cream additions – light and fluffy

Baking in a 10-inch round tart pan makes serving easy and presentation impressive.
However, you can bake in a 9×13-inch pan if you don’t have a tart pan.

*1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
*1 cup packed light-brown sugar
*1/2 cup granulated sugar
*2 eggs
*1 1/2 teaspoons coarse (kosher) salt
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*1/4 cup sour cream
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 (12-oz.) package butterscotch chips
Salted Peanut Butter Cream
*1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
*4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
*1/2 tsp. coarse (kosher) salt
*1/4 cup milk
*3 cups powdered sugar

*Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease a 10-inch round tart pan (9×13-inch pan may be substituted). Set aside. With an electric mixer, beat butter at medium to high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add in granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy and well-combined, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once.
*Add in eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Add in salt, creamy peanut butter, and sour cream. Beat until well-combined and fluffy. The batter will be light and airy. Add in extract.
*Mix in flour in two additions, beating just until combined. Stir in butterscotch chips by hand.
*Transfer mixture to pan and spread evenly to edges. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and brown, and center is golden.
*Allow blondie to cool on a wire rack until completely cool.
*Meanwhile, cream together peanut butter and butter. Add in salt, milk, and powdered sugar, beating until creamy and well combined. Spread atop blondie, sprinkle with additional kosher salt, if desired.

Happy baking!


Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats

November 8, 2009

We’ve been having unseasonably warm weather here in Iowa. It’s November and today warmed into a lovely, sunny, 74 degree day. Winter can stay at bay for at least another month as far as I’m concerned, which is probably wishful thinking, but a girl can hope, right?

Happy weather calls for even happier food. Familiar favorites that make you smile and want to linger at the table for just a few more minutes. Since breakfast is my ‘stay-and-linger’ meal of choice, there’s no better meal than Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats, for breakfast, or any time of the day.

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup water
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon jelly or jam (I used red raspberry)
Walnuts or pecans (optional)

*Mix together oats and water. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring at 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir in peanut butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. Top with jelly and nuts.

Happy cooking!


Peanut Butter, Pear, and Honey Stacker

November 5, 2009

Quite often, I sit down at the end of a busy day and think about what I fixed for myself, only to feel dismayed thinking about food I find to be rather uninspiring. I’m not a chips, fast food, and junk food type of girl, but on busy days I sometimes rely rather heavily on coffee, yogurt, and Lara bars, finished off with a big plate of veggies at the end of the day to balance everything out.

A couple weeks back I was putting together this little sandwich and one of the girls in my sorority asked me, “Why don’t you ever eat normal food?” I was rather confused by her question. “What in the world are you talking about? The foods I eat are normal!” I wanted to say, but instead I simply shrugged and settled for a, “Looks normal to me.”

This sandwich really isn’t much of a recipe, but it sure does hit the spot for lunch or a light dinner. I’ve never been much of a peanut butter and banana sandwich girl, but switch the bananas out of pears and add a drizzle of honey and I’m there. Depending on how firm your pears are, it may help to saute them in a tiny bit of butter with a touch of cinnamon just to soften them up, about 3 to 4 minutes. Layer the pears on a couple slices of bread coated with peanut butter and top it off with a drizzle of honey. Pure perfection.

Happy cooking!


Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffles

November 1, 2009

Maybe it’s a bit too early to start thinking about favorite holiday treats. But since Halloween is over and done with, I have decided it’s entirely appropriate to start posting any and all treats that remind me of Thanksgiving, and particularly, Christmas. For years growing up I tasted these sweet little peanut butter-chocolate morsels of deliciousness and thought they must be terribly difficult to make. If big flavor was any indication of difficulty level, they would most certainly take forever to make.

Thankfully that rule does not hold true. Especially in this case. When I was let in on the recipe to these Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffles, I was shocked at how simple they are to make. They have become my go-to treat for pretty little hostess gifts and parties of all sorts, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate? Put them together in a bite-sized dessert and it’s game over. Give it a try. Make them, set them out, and watch them disappear.

*1 package vanilla sandwich cookies or Golden Oreos
*1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese
*1/2 cup peanut butter
*1 package chocolate almond bark
*Toffee bits, chopped chocolate, or other candy for garnish

*In a food processor, blend cookies until fine crumbs form, about 2-3 minutes. Add in cream cheese and peanut butter. Process until evenly blended. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
*Melt almond bark in microwave safe bowl on high for 3-4 minutes. Stirring every 30 seconds, until almond bark is smooth and glossy.
*Form dough into 1-inch balls. Dip into chocolate and transfer to waxed paper to try. Top with candy garnish of choice.

Sweet Mistakes

September 30, 2009

I am posting today in keeping with my promise to share both triumphs and failures in the kitchen. While I hope the balance remains heavily on the triumphs side of the scale, today’s post might best be classified as a failure. But, as is often the case with baking disasters, something quite delicious and unexpected can often come from a botched attempt at something else. Herein lies the story of these Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles with Pecans.

While at work yesterday, I was struck with something I thought would be a brilliant chocolate creation. Looking back, it seems like a terrible idea that was not thought out properly, but that’s the agony of hindsight, isn’t it? Everything seems clearer looking back. But back to the idea, homemade dark chocolate candy bars filled with caramel, coconut, and pecans and topped with melted peanut butter baking chips.

I melted dark chocolate and dolloped a couple tablespoons into each cupcake liner, followed by the caramel, coconut, and pecans. Then, melted the peanut butter chips and capped each chocolate creation off with a generous scoop. In my head, the chocolate would harden, leaving a gooey caramel center and a firm peanut butter top, like a candy bar. In the morning, I realized the sheer magnitude of my creations, and not in a good way. They might have been successful, had I used about 1/8 of the chocolate and peanut butter chips, but what I ended up with were chocolate bricks in the shape of cupcakes – enough to make most people sick to their stomachs after a few bites.

Standing in the kitchen in my pajamas, I felt disappointment start to creep in. Because of the expense of baking, and being that it’s not exactly a necessity (though some may beg to differ), I focus most of my foodie energy into meals, saving the baking for trips home when I can raid my mom’s pantry. When I do bite the bullet and buy baking supplies, I want whatever I am making to turn out well. I took a breath, cleared my head, and decided that these bricks in front of me could be molded into something much more delicious.

Melting them down was my first course of action, though I didn’t know what I would do afterwards. I placed everything, coconut, caramel, pecans, dark chocolate, and peanut butter chocolate into a pan and began the process of melting it, hoping for some sort of silky goodness. What I got instead was a consistency more akin to cookie dough than melted chocolate.

Confused as to what I should do next, I transferred the chocolate dough to a bowl and added a cup of creamy peanut butter, after which I formed the dough into 1-inch balls. Realizing these now were fairly similar to chocolate truffles, I rolled them in cocoa powder and placed each truffle in its own paper baking liner. The result? Pure
chocolatey peanut butter deliciousness! The pecans gave them a nice crunch, and surprisingly, they stayed soft. I would love to give you the recipe, but it will have to wait until I am able to try them again, this time intentionally. Here’s to making disasters in the kitchen something worth savoring!


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