Posts Tagged ‘peanuts’

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Cooking Light magazine recently had a feature on Banana Bread recipes.

I frequently have a freezer full of too-ripe bananas, just waiting to be turned into Banana Bread. (This has never been more true than lately; I think we’ve got about 12 frozen bananas in there!) I have an old standby recipe for banana bread from David’s family, and I’ve made other types of banana bread before, but I was excited to try some of the Cooking Light varieties, especially after seeing their outstanding reviews. The first one to catch my eye was this Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

I’ll admit, I made some tweaks. For one, I didn’t have chopped peanuts, or creamy peanut butter, so I cut out the middle man and used chunky peanut butter. Worked great. I’m not a fan of super-sweet desserts, usually, and Banana Bread is more of a breakfast treat to me than it is a dessert anyway, so I skipped the extra sweetness from the peanut butter glaze, though I’m sure it would’ve been tasty. I liked the way it turned out. Moist, rich-but-not-too-rich, with just a hint of peanuty goodness. The peanut butter added flavor without overpowering the bananas. The most successful Cooking Light recipes are ones that don’t seem “light,” and this definitely falls into that category. I’ll probably make this one again–if I was making it to give to someone else or to bring to a party or something, I’d probably try the glaze, too.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Adapted from Cooking Light, October 2010

For the Bread:

  • 1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3  cup  vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 1/3  cup  crunchy peanut butter
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground allspice
  • Cooking spray

For the Glaze (optional):

  • 1/3  cup  powdered sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  1% low-fat milk
  • 1  tablespoon  creamy peanut butter


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare bread, combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until blended.

3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a standard 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool.

4. If you want to make the glaze: combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle glaze over bread when cooled.

Nutritional Info: Calories: 198; Fat: 7.4g; Protein: 4.7g; Carbohydrate: 29.7g; Fiber: 1.9g

Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Peanut Caramel

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Out of this year’s batch of Christmas cookies, this has been far and away everyone’s favorite.

The result is a crispy peanut butter cookie, with a creamy caramel and chopped peanuts at the center. To finish them, I piped some of the extra chocolate topping leftover from the Paradise Macaroons over the top (and by piped, I mean put into a ziploc bag, snipped the corner, and squeezed–but whatever works!).

I found this recipe on another blog, but I can’t seem to find it right now. I’ll have to link to it when I do.

Peanut Butter Cookies with Peanut Caramel

Adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet

Cookie Dough:

  • 8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (200g) creamy  peanut butter (use regular peanut butter, not any fancy natural type).
  • 1 3/4 cups (250g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, brown and granulated sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well blended.

3. Beat in the peanut butter.

4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and beat until there are no patches of flour. Be careful to add the flour in small batches, or you will end up with a cloud of flour in your kitchen.

5. Scoop up tablespoon-sized portions of the dough (I used a cookie scooper, kind of like a miniature ice cream scoop) and roll each piece between your hands so they’re as smooth as possible. Try to avoid cracks whenever possible.

6. Space them 1 1/2-inches apart on the baking sheets, and use your thumb to make an indentation at the center of each one. The sides will crack; just push them back together as much as possible.

7. Bake the cookies for 13-16 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during cooking, until they are light-golden brown and the edges barely start to darken. Remove from oven, and while they’re warm, press in to reinforce each depression. Your original indentations will have puffed up, and they need to be replaced. They’ll be too hot to use your thumb–I used the cork from a wine bottle, and it was perfect, but you could also use the end of a wooden spoon. Let cool completely.

Salted Peanut Caramel:

  • 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) water
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (100g) finely chopped roasted salted peanuts

8. Start by warming the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave. You want it to be hot, but not to the point that it boils.

9. Cook the water, 1 cup sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it turns a nice, golden brown color.

10. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in the hot cream in a slow, steady stream.

11. As it cools, the caramel will set up. When it has thickened to a caramel sauce, but is still pourable, mix in the chopped peanuts. Spoon some of the caramel into each cooled cookie.

Note: As I mentioned above, I used some of the leftover chocolate from the Paradise Macaroons, and it finishes the cookies nicely. Be sure to let the filled cookies cool for at least an hour before trying to top with chocolate. Also, I had at least twice a much caramel as I actually needed, and while I can imagine a number of possibilities for it, I wasn’t prepared for any of them, so it went to waste.

I will definitely make these cookies again. I think they’d be great filled with jelly or jam, for a PB&J flavor, or maybe with pure chocolate at the center. I might have to play with some other combinations.