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Friday, March 29, 2013

For the Love of Peanut Butter

I am not only a Chocolate Lover, but I also love Peanut Butter. So when I come across someone who doesn't like chocolate or peanut butter, I just assume they are broken. Ha, ha, ha. I’m just teasing. I always liked peanut butter and butter sandwiches or crackers. I was never a fan of peanut butter and jelly/jam sandwiches. Maybe I am broken. Ha, ha, ha. And "Oh my gosh!" Peanut butter on Italian Toast is to die for. There is something to be said about using just the right brand of Italian bread to make toast and then slather it with Jiff Peanut Butter while it is still warm. Watching the peanut butter melt and get all shiny, makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

As I child I remember buttering one saltine while slathering the peanut butter on to another saltine and then sandwiching them together for a snack. A simple but fulfilling snack for a small child and even better yet, that I could make it myself. I had some rather unusual eating habits as a child, but we will save those stories for another day.

When the teen years hit, there was nothing better than "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!" Yup, you guessed it Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, the darker version of a mallow cup. I have certainly eaten my share of those. It was during this time I made my first batch of home-made peanut butter cookies. I remember mixing up the dough, forming it into balls and then flattening them with a fork to make the criss/cross design. I am from a large family so doubling the batch was always a must. Otherwise they didn't last as long as the time it took to make them. By the end of my teen years, homemade peanut butter balls were all the rage and I still manage to make them every year at Christmas time.

As an adult I have to admit that one of my favorite peanut butter recipes is for Peanut Butter Pie. I have had the pleasure of trying two completely different versions. There is one with cream cheese and one with vanilla pudding. Both were delicious but I prefer the cream cheese version, probably because it contains more fat and all that sugary goodness. I will give you both recipes so you can try them for yourself and decide which Peanut Butter Pie you like better.

Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Pie 

1 deep dish or 2 reg pre-baked pie shell of your choice (this one is a deep dish)
2-8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Peanut Butter, smooth or crunchy
2 reg sized container Cool Whip
1 cup chocolate chips, for drizzling
1 cup peanut butter. for drizzling
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beat on low until combined. Add in peanut butter and again beat until combined. Add Cool Whip mix until combined. Spoon into pre-baked  pie crust.

Drizzle with melted chocolate and then with melted peanut butter. Sprinkle with crushed roasted peanuts.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Peanut Butter  Cream Pie

1 Pie Crust, ready for filling (your choice)
1 box 3.4 oz. Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 pint Half-and-half
⅔ cups Peanut Butter, smooth or crunchy
1-½ cup Powdered Sugar
8 ounce Extra Creamy Cool Whip

Either purchase a pie crust or make a homemade one. I do either depending on amount of time I have.

Mix peanut butter and powdered sugar in a bowl with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.

Mix pudding with half and half, whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in 4 ounces of cool whip.
In the bottom of your crust dump 2/3′s of your peanut butter crumbles. Spread pudding over top, and top it off with a layer of the remaining cool whip.

Top with the leftover crumbles and chill for 1 hour before serving.  

  • You can swap out the crust for a chocolate one, or even a graham cracker crust.  You choose your favorite crust.
  • Instead of using instant pudding you could make the cook-n-serve kind or you could make your own from scratch.
  • There are endless possibilities for topping your pie, try sprinkles, chocolate shavings, mini chocolate chips, chopped up Reese's Cups, Peanut M&M, Reese's Pieces.  
If you make one of these pies take a photo and send it to me.  I would love to see how your pie turned out.  

Another way to decorate this delicious pie.

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From the bottom of my heart..............