Monday, January 26, 2009

Mix it up Monday: Peanut Butter

I am sure you have heard that we are not supposed to be eating peanut butter products. We are big peanut butter fans around here and I, for one, have found it hard to know what is safe and what isn't, or might not be. One way to get around the problem is to make your own peanut butter products. Everyone agrees that the Jif and Peter Pan in your pantry are safe, so get them out and mix up some salmonella free snacks. Of course, you could throw caution to the wind and add in your own salmonella, but I wouldn't recommend it. I picked this recipe, from Dinner and Dessert, because it is similar to a peanut butter cookie, but has a little something extra with the chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. Also, if you go back to the Peabody post, you will see that she used salted peanuts in place of the unsalted ones called for. I think next time I will do that too, for two reasons: 1) I like salt and especially salt and chocolate 2) John complains when he sees unsalted nuts in the pantry. These are quick and almost as easy as picking up tainted store bought cookies, the hardest part will be waiting an hour for them to cool. You probably already have most of the ingredients, so make these...they'll make your kids happy; unless your kids are allergic to peanuts, in which case, stay far, far, away.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Love Bars
Slightly Adapted Recipe

2 cups unsalted peanuts
2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups tightly packed brown sugar(light)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (I used chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toast the peanuts on a baking sheet in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool the nuts to room temperature before chopping by hand.
Use a stiff whisk to blend together the peanut butter and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until thoroughly blended. Add the peanuts and the chopped semisweet chocolate, mix well. Transfer mixture to a 9X13X2 inch pan. Use your fingertips to press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan and into the corner and sides, creating an even layer. Place the pan on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 22 minutes until set in the center. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for 1 hour before cutting.

Source: Dinner and Dessert from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, who adapted them from Death by Chocolate Cookies by Marcel Desaulniers

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