This morning when I awoke I still didn’t know what I would write about for the Cook of the Week. I had asked several people and no one got back to me and I hate to be too much of a pest. Therefore no actual Cook of the Week again. Won’t some of you out there reading this help me out? PLEASE! Both of my numbers are listed at the end of this article!
Going around in my mind was the subject of peaches. I decided to look in my recipe books for some of my favorite recipes I’ve used in the past with peaches. But peanut butter recipes kept popping up before my eyes. Therefore I decided to go online and look up the history of peanuts and peanut butter. Almost everyone loves a plain old peanut butter and jelly sandwich when you are in a hurry – unless – of course – you have an allergy to peanuts. My favorite is a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I think I remember reading that Elvis also liked that combo! Maybe he invented that idea. I really don’t know. So I will write today for those NOT allergic to peanuts or peanut butter.
In fact, my breakfast this morning was crunchy peanut butter on a homemade biscuit with a cup of coffee as I cleaned out my spice shelf. Eating on the run, so to speak, made me eat slower and I was full by the time I was finished and my shelf is also finished and rearranged anew. Back to the peanuts! Oh, did I mention that peanut butter, besides being so tasty, is also a good source of protein for our bodies.
In 1890 a St. Lois physician developed the idea of packaging peanut paste for people with bad teeth. Peanut paste was sold for six cents per pound. (That doesn’t even sound cleansing to me – oh well.)
In 1895 the Kellogg brothers patented the process of preparing peanut butter with steamed nuts. Today the nuts are roasted and the peanut butter is much tastier.
Dr. George Washington Carver developed more than 300 other uses for peanuts in 1903, and is considered by many to be the father of the peanut industry. (I remember learning this in school.)
The very next year, C. H. Sumner introduced peanut butter to the world at the Universal Exposition in St. Lois. He sold $705.11 of the treat at his concession stand!
The oldest peanut butter company still in operation today, is Krema Products Company in Columbus, OH. They began selling peanut butter in 1908. (I’ve never heard of this company, have you?)
In 1922, Joseph L. Rosefield sold peanut butter in California, churning it to make it smoother. He received the first patent for peanut butter that could stay fresh up to a year. Six years later, one of the first companies to adopt Rosefield’s process was Swift and Company, later renamed Peter Pan. In 1932, Rosefield began producing peanut butter under the Skippy label (my favorite), and created the first crunchy-style peanut butter two years later. (Yeah for crunchy!)
In 1955, Procter and Gamble entered the peanut butter business and introduced Jif in 1958. Now owned by the J. M. Smucker Company, Jif operates the world’s largest peanut butter plant, producing 250,000 jars every day. (Now I figured out why Smucker’s bottles peanut butter and jelly together!)
This bit of history may have been boring to you but I hope you enjoy all the peanut butter and peanut recipes I found for you today. Most of them came from seasoned cooks in recipe books I have collected through the years, starting with a favorite of mine. But first I found a recipe that actually shows us how to make peanut butter from scratch! Try switching other nuts for the peanuts!

How To Make Homemade Peanut Butter
1-1/2 cups peanuts (This
recipe uses roasted and
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon raw honey
salt to taste (Optional)
Process peanuts in food processor or high-powered blender until finely chopped. While the processor is running, stream in a bit of olive oil. You may have to turn off processor a minute to remove lid and scrape bottom of bowl to incorporate everything. Next, stream in honey, if desired. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Bars
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup chocolate chips
Cream first three ingredients until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. Then add peanut butter. Sift and add flour, soda and salt. Add the oatmeal. Put in greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of batter and bake 25 minutes.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup hot milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Spread over bars while bars are still warm.

Unbelievable Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
Mix altogether. Shape into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork. Bake in 325 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Monster Cookies
1 dozen eggs
1 pound butter or margarine
2 pounds brown sugar
4 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
3 pounds peanut butter
8 tablespoons baking soda
18 cups oatmeal
1 pound chocolate chips
1 pound M and Ms
1 pound chopped nuts
Bake on greased cookie sheets in big globs (use ice cream scoop to make the cookies). Bake in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Watch the cookies closely because they brown quickly.

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe banana
(about 2 medium)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture. Transfer to a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf ban. Bake at 350 degrees for 70-75 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 1 loaf (8 slices).

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Minis
1-1/2 cups graham cracker
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter,
12 bite-size peanut butter cups
(2) 8 ounce packages cream
cheese, at room temp.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla OR
almond extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a paper cupcake liner in each cup of standard muffin pan.
Crust: In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until crumbs are moistened. Press crust into bottom of each muffin cup paper. Put 1 peanut butter cup into the center of each crust.
Filling: Beat cream cheese with handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar, flour and vanilla OR almond, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Spoon cream cheese mixture over peanut butter cups and graham cracker crusts. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Peanut Butter Pie
1/3 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
9 inch pie shell, baked
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoon butter
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Crumble together peanut butter and powdered sugar. Put 2/3 crumb mixture in bottom of baked pie shell. Mix together flour, sugar, milk, butter, salt, vanilla and egg yolks; cook over medium heat until thickened. Cool slightly and pour over crumbs in crust. Chill overnight. Top with Cool Whip and remaining crumbs, just before serving.

Another Peanut Butter Pie
8 ounce package cream cheese,
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
creamy peanut butter,
1/2 cup sugar
12 ounce carton frozen
whipped topping, thawed,
1 chocolate crumb crust
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot
fudge ice cream topping,
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add 1 cup peanut butter and sugar; mix well. Fold in 3 cups whipped topping; spoon into crust. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat 2/3 cup hot fudge topping for 30 seconds. Pour over peanut butter layer and spread to edges of crust.
Refrigerate for 2 hours. Spread remaining whipped topping over pie. Cut into slices. Place the remaining hot fudge topping and peanut butter in two separate bags. Cut a small hole in the corner of each bag; pipe topping and peanut butter over each slice of pie. Makes 8 servings.

Peanut Butter Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3-1/2 teaspoons baking
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
peanut butter (at least 1/2 cup;
if using more, decrease
shortening by an equal
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup peanuts, salted
2 capfuls vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees if baking with a metal dish; 325 degrees if using a glass dish. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Add graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter, shortening, milk and vanilla. Beat mixture with electric mixer on low until moistened; then beat on medium for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat for 1 minute more. Bake in greased 9 by 13 inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan.
For the frosting: mix all of the ingredients together. Pour into a saucepan and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Cool slightly. With a wooden spoon handle, poke a few holes in the cake, and then pour the warm frosting over it.

Coleslaw With Peanuts
16 ounce cabbage and
carrot coleslaw mix,
packaged, shredded
1-1/2 cups red cabbage,
packaged, shredded
3/4 cup celery, finely sliced
1/3 cup green onion, finely
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/3 cup vegetable oil
garlic pepper seasoning
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
In a large mixing bowl, combine coleslaw, red cabbage, celery and green onions. In a small bowl, whisk together wine vinegar, water, sugar, seasoned salt, garlic powder and oil. Mix dressing with coleslaw; stir in garlic pepper and peanuts and toss well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar for
(2) 9 ounce bags milk
chocolate candy kisses,
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. Shape tablespoons full of dough into balls, and roll in remaining white sugar.
Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven, and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the kiss will harden as it cools. (I used to make these during each of the Christmas holidays.)

Peanut Butter-Streusel Muffins
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/4 cup miniature semisweet
chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup miniature semisweet
chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line twelve 2-1/2 inch muffin cups with paper cupcake liners; set aside. For streusel topping, in a small bowl stir together 1/4 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in 1 tablespoon of the butter and the 2 tablespoons peanut butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in peanuts and 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup peanut butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until combined. Add about 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, half of the milk, the egg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat on low speed until combined, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add the remaining flour and the remaining milk. Beat on low to medium speed just until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Sprinkle with streusel topping. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups. Serve warm.

If you are reading this, then you probably enjoy new recipes. If you would like to share some of your recipes with the community, YOU could be Cook of the Week. Please contact me, Sally Redenius, if you would like to be in this column some week. I can be reached by phone at 515-373-6346 or email me at
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.

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