National Peanut Butter Day

It is National Peanut Butter Day, so lets celebrate with a few of my favorite peanut butter recipes. This first one is an oldie but a goody. I ate school lunch up until I could drive. It was actually pretty good where I came from. Almost everything was made from scratch from women I knew most of my life. I would try to get two of these peanut butter bars if I were lucky. I must have bragged about this quite often, because my Mom finally got the recipe and started making these at the Piggly Wiggly (that I worked in and grew up in). When Scott and I opened the inn in 2006, I knew I wanted to make these part of my dessert rotation so I got the recipe from my Mom. They make a big batch so its perfect when we have a full house. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Peanut Butter Bars

Base – 2 3/4 C flour, 1 1/4 brown sugar, 1/4 C peanut butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 egg, 1 C butter (room temp), and 1 tsp. vanilla Topping – 1 C chocolate chips and 1/2 C peanut butter Mix together the base ingredients and press into a 15×10 pan ( make sure it is mixed well). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Do not overbake! They will become too dry and crumbly. Cool for 5  minutes. Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients and spread on top of warm bars. Cool completely before cutting.   This second recipe was inspired from one of our guests. He asked me to have Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in the room for his girlfriend, but I thought I could do one better by making them from scratch. I succeeded! These are a must try, but I warn you, they are very difficult to stay away from.

Peanut Butter Cups-Makes 3 dz. depending on size of cup

1 C Creamy Peanut Butter 4    ½ tsp. butter, softened, but not melted ½ C powdered sugar ½ tsp. Salt or more depending on the type of peanut butter your using. 2 C,  Semi sweet Chocolate chips, dark, and bittersweet 4 Hershey candy bars, coarsely chopped (  I have used milk choc chips, when I do not have bars)   In a small bowl, combine ½ C  peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar and salt until smooth. Set aside. In microwave, melt chocolate chips, candy bars and remaining peanut butter Drop teaspoons of chocolate mixture into paper lined mini muffin cups (or larger if desired) . Top each with a scant amount of peanut butter. Top with more chocolate. Refrigerate until set (1-2 hours) Will keep in the refrigerator covered for 1 week before losing their flavor.  

Peanut Butter Cookies- Makes 2 dozen

These are no ordinary peanut butter cookies! What’s the secret you ask? Refrigerate for 2 hours and add butterscotch chips! What, why not peanut butter chips? That makes a heck of a lot more sense, but trust me. The butterscotch chips  adds a whole different dimension. 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 brown sugar, 1/2 C peanut butter, 1/2 C butter, 1 egg, 1 1/4 C flour, 3/4 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 salted peanut and a half of a bag of butterscotch chips, extra sugar for the topping. Mix sugar(s), peanut butter, butter and egg in a large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nuts and butterscotch chips.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into the size balls you want on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten in a criss cross pattern with a fork. Sprinkle or roll generously with sugar. Bake 10 minutes until light brown. Don’t over bake unless you like them crunchy.