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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Sweet side of Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter is a flavor that many have been eating since their early childhood. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is one of the most iconic sandwich combinations. Peanut butter is a treat for children while an inexpensive lunch from an adult point of view.

Peanut butter has always been in my pantry. My mother used to buy the largest container she could find. The reason she did was that we would go thru peanut butter in record time. Many in my family would even eat peanut butter on a spoon straight from the container. To be honest with you, I still do to this day. Peanut butter is one of my guilty pleasures.

Today, instead of eating it from a spoon, I am sharing three dessert recipes featuring my guilty pleasure; Peanut Butter Mousse, Frozen Peanut Butter Bites and Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie.

In my opinion, a mousse is a perfect way to end a meal. They tend to be light while appearing as a fancy dish that you spend hours making. In reality, it is a very simple dish to prepare and it will impress your family and guest. This little bit of elegance elevates peanut butter to great heights.

Peanut Butter Mousse

1 18-ounce jar Creamy Peanut Butter

2 8-ounce packages Cream Cheese

2 cups Powdered Sugar

2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract

2 cups chipped Heavy Cream

Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. Using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter and cream cheese in a large bowl to blend. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until well blended. Using cold beaters, beat whipping cream in a cold medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold (do not stir) into peanut butter mixture. Put into serving dishes and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Bites is a treat that I like to make around the holidays. I find it is easier in the cooler months to roll the mixture into balls. If you find the balls are too sticky when you are rolling them, dust your hands with Powdered Sugar. This will make them less sticky.

Frozen Peanut Butter Bites

1 18-ounce jar Creamy Peanut Butter

2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

8 ounces Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Using an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter and powdered sugar together until smooth and stiff. Beat in vanilla extract.Shape the peanut butter mixture into 20 (1-inch) balls and place on a waxed paper-lined sheet tray. Place the tray in the freezer for 1 hour.

Add chocolate chips to a small bowl set over gently simmering water. Stir to melt. Remove chocolate from heat. With 2 forks, carefully dip the chilled peanut butter balls 1/2 way into the chocolate, let excess drip off, and lay onto the waxed paper-lined pan.

With a fork, swirl some decorative chocolate across the top of each bite. Place in the refrigerator for the chocolate to set and the peanut butter to solidify, about 30 minutes. Serve cold.

This dessert is perfect for the hot summer months. The mixture of peanut butter and ice cream to me almost seems magical. If you are not a fan of crunchy peanut butter, feel free to substitute creamy peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie

1 3/4 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) melted Butter

1 quart French Vanilla Ice Cream, softened

1 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter

1/4 cups Peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375℉.

Place the graham cracker crumbs in a 9-inch pie pan. Moisten the crumbs with the butter and press the mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 2-3 minutes, until set. Set aside and let cool.

In a non-metallic bowl, combine the ice cream and peanut butter; work quickly, mixing the ingredients by hand or an electric mixer set on medium-high.

Pour the ice cream mixture into the graham cracker crust, smooth the top, and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Freeze the pie overnight or until solid.

Whether is is Creamy or Crunchy, Peanut Butter is a great snack as well as ingredient in recipes. It is not just for PB&J’s.

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