Peanut, peanut butter — and jelly!

Published 11:38 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

For those of you who know me personally, you know I’m a peanut butter fiend. I love most all food made with peanut butter. From the Asian peanut sauce that goes over noodles to any kind of peanut butter dessert, I’m always looking for new recipes.
I know most of you remember cornflake candies. My grandmother made them into bars. And let’s not forget about peanut butter’s best friend: Jelly.
So, this week, our recipes are for all those peanut butter lovers out there, or those of you who are kids at heart.
Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
1 cup smooth peanut butter
two-thirds cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbs unsalted butter cut into chunks
one-third cup light corn syrup
4 and one-half cups corn flakes, coarsely crushed
1 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
Grease a 9-by-13 inch baking pan or coat with non-stick spray.
In a large, heavy saucepan, stir together the peanut butter, brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring constantly, for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in the cornflakes, peanuts and vanilla until evenly incorporated. Turn out the mixture into the baking pan, spreading to the edges. Let cool or refrigerate for bout 20 minutes before cutting into bars with a large sharp knife. Store in an airtight container for about one week.
PB&J Cookies
2 and one-fourth cups all-purpose flour
one-half tsp baking soda
one-half tsp salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
three-fourths cup sugar
1 and one-half sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 tbs peanut oil (corn oil will work too)
2 large eggs
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 and one-fourth cups smooth or crunchy peanut butter
Your favorite seedless jam for topping (I like strawberry or raspberry)
* do not use jelly, it is too thin and will run out *
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Move your top shelf to the upper third of you oven.
Cover several baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, combine the rest of the ingredients except the jam. Mix until evenly incorporated. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Refrigerate a few minutes to firm up dough. With greased hands roll dough into golf-ball-sized balls.
Place on the baking sheet about 2 and one-half inches apart. Make a large well with your thumb in the middle of the dough. When the whole sheet is done place one-half teaspoon of jam in each cookie well. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for about 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!
Until next time, have fun in the kitchen, experiment and indulge your cravings.
Laura Clements is a food columnist for the Demopolis Times.

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