How Much Peanut Butter is TOO Much Peanut Butter?

When we heard there was a new book about all about peanut butter, we got so excited that two of our bloggers had to test it out. Here’s Emily and snebbu’s dueling thoughts on Peanut Butter Comfort.

Emily: I’ll openly admit it: I’m a peanut butter lover. And I mean loooooooverrrr. Love it in savory recipes, love it in sweet recipes. Spicy Thai-style peanut sauce? Yep, love. I’ll happily take a peanut butter dessert over a chocolate dessert any day. So when does it cross the line? How much is too much?

Peanut Butter Comfort

Averie Sunshine’s new cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort, helped me dive into this question. Or, to give you the full title, Peanut Butter Comfort: Recipes for Breakfasts, Brownies, Cakes, Cookies, Candies, and Frozen Treats Featuring America’s Favorite Spread. Whew—I’d say that covers a lot of ground. Pretty much anything you could put peanut butter in, Sunshine found a way to do it.

The good stuff: This book is very cute and definitely well-made. Novice cooks will appreciate the accessible and carefully explained recipes and background info. Plus there are plenty of appealing photos! The maybe-good, maybe-not-so-good stuff: all the recipes are pretty simple. Once again, fairly inexperienced people will like this, but I could have used some recipes that were a bit more complex in their flavor profiles or techniques. There is something to be said for familiar, back-to-basics comfort recipes, though.

Snebbu: I wouldn’t go so far as calling it “cute,” but it is very well organized. It is easy to navigate and is categorized in a meaningful way. For instance, you can create your own peanut butters, bake desserts, or even cook savory meals—all categorized in that way. I do agree with Emily in regards to the simplicity of the recipes. BUT, that’s not always a bad thing. I’ve found other cook books to cumbersome, lengthy, and expensive. These are recipes that won’t break the bank either.

Emily: So, the first recipe I made was the Marshmallow Butterscotch Fluffernutter Bars. I love all of those things (just look at all my Peeps posts, anything marshmallow is a-ok in my book) but I have to say this recipe fell a little short of my expectations. I don’t really see how I could have messed up the instructions, so I don’t think it was user error, but I wish the bars had come out a little drier and more balanced. They basically just tasted like tons of melted peanut butter and butterscotch chips that had been re-solidified. So maybe this recipe is truly… too much peanut butter. (Gasp!)

Snebbu: Damnit! I was going to try these out at a company party next week. They look so good. I may have to try these out anyway—I’ll let you know if I get the same results. I really can’t fathom such a thing as too much peanut butter, but the word “re-solidified” does not sound tasty.

Emily: Luckily, the second recipe I tested turned out to be much more exciting: Coconut Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Cookies. Oh man. Talk about more things I love: carrot cake, coconut, cream cheese?! I knew I had to make these, stat. I prefer moist, chunky cookies with a lot of stuff in them, and these did not disappoint. The finished product came out super tasty, but honestly I would rather just eat this dough by the spoonful. (And there’s not even any raw eggs in it, for those of you who actually worry about that. I’ve been eating raw eggs in cookie dough for 20something years now, and I’m still alive!)

Coconut Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Cookies

Coconut Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Cookies

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Sweet Potato, Butterscotch, Bacon and Goat Cheese Quesadilla

Editor’s Note: Please welcome Renee from Attack of the Hungry Monster to the ES family. Renee is a self-taught home chef who loves coming up with new recipes — and she dreamed up the dish listed above and pictured below, so…yeah, she’s an ES-er.

I am so excited about being here I can hardly contain myself!  Endless Simmer is one of my favorite blogs.  I mean, come on, chocolate peanut butter bacon strips?  There’s no turning back now, people.

But let’s talk about my latest food fixation. The humble sweet potato.

Oh, it doesn’t look like much, but any fitness blog or magazine will tell you it is a nutritional powerhouse (which is like the coolest word ever invented). Nutrition aside, this baby is tasty.  It’s sweet and savory at the same time and that is my jam.

I’m also eating a lot of butterscotch chips these days. How good are those? So that led me to the obvious idea of combining the goodness of salty bacon with the richness of goat cheese, plus the sweetness of butterscotch and sweet potatoes (I’m kind of into weird food combinations…can  you tell?).

The butterscotch brings out the sugary side of the spuds, and the bacon and goat cheese play up the savory notes (think sweet potato pie with bacon and goat cheese). Basically, this quesadilla will blow your mind and tickle all corners of your taste buds.  Wait, do taste buds have corners?  I’m pretty sure they are round, so maybe not.  Metaphorical corners, then.

Sweet Potato, Butterscotch, Bacon & Goat Cheese Quesadilla

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The Endless Road Trip — Philadelphia’s Top 10 Eats 10. Tastykake Tasty Test

Any Philadelphian will tell you that an integral component of their local food culture is the Tastykake. Upon first glance, a non-native such as myself might think, “What’s so different about these packaged snack cakes compared to Hostess or Little Debbies?” Well, watch your mouth. Tastykakes are a beloved Philadelphia institution and locals do not take kindly to outsiders looking down on them.

Wondering what the deal was, I decided to bring a grab bag of Tastykakes back to Seattle and have a handful of native Northwesterners sample and give their opinions on these little cakes with the cult following.

Butterscotch Krimpet

Tastykake Says: Our signature sponge cake, which is both moist and fluffy, is either accented with our legendary butterscotch icing or infused with a variety of delicious jellies.

ES Says:  This one was most heavily favored by a friend who has had mild Tastykake experience in the past. She says: “My ex was from Philly. I always asked him what was so great about Wawa, if it was just like another 711 or a Subway, and he said it’s like both but better. He would bring me Tastykakes all the time. I think more than mourning the loss of our relationship, I mourn the loss of my Tastykake connection.”

Why does she most heavily favor the Krimpets? “The flavors are the most combined and congealed together.” Tasty description.

Peanut Butter Kandy Kake

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Poptail O’Clock: Bourbon Butterscotch Latte

If you enjoyed the bourbon butterscotch latte we brought you for last week’s cocktail o’clock, good news: we found a way to improve on it. How? How do you think? Turning it into a poptail!

We took the coffee, cream, bourbon, butterscotch and threw it all into a blender. Then we gave it a rush of cold for a few hours and created a new kind of latte.

And there you have it, another option for your coffee beyond black or with cream.

Bourbon Butterscotch Latte Popsicles

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Cocktail O’Clock: The Ultimate Latte

See that cuppa in the picture? Ordinary, right? Wrong.

That’s a kicked-up latte with, hello . . . bourbon and butterscotch. Yes, if you’ve been paying attention, that’s the same post-dinner beverage offered at JG Domestic in Philly. This drink kinda brought it home for me, especially since it’s not often — okay, never have I shared a latte with 8 people. Yes, we all could have ordered our own but after a full dinner of plate after plate of food; sips were good for the time being. The operative phrase there is “time being.” So like any good recipe-jacking food-a-phile, I made a few notes to replicate the latte at home. The challenge was: could I make it as good without a fancy machine?

Guess what? It’s damn good and pretty damn close to what you will find at Jose Garces’ restaurant. The foam, which I thought would be most challenging, was not at all. So here you have it. I even included step-by-step pictures, so really you have no reason not to try this.

Bourbon Butterscotch Latte

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