HomeLifestyleFoodIn the kitchen with Vera: Peanut Butter

In the kitchen with Vera: Peanut Butter

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Everyone knows one of my favorite foods is peanut butter, so when the Georgia Peanut Commission told me that November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, I said YES PLEASE, to a full episode featuring this wonderful food! Not a day goes by that I don’t eat my English muffin with peanut butter.

All season long, new episodes have concentrated on Southern ingredients, and this week is no different. Peanuts are the official state crop of Georgia, planted in 76 out of 159 counties and Georgia produces over 50% of the Nation’s peanuts. Peanut butter has so much nutritional value, and it’s known for reducing risks of heart disease and cancer, as well as lowering cholesterol. As always, eat all things in moderation! 

Georgia peanuts with brittle are only one way to enjoy one of Vera’s favorites. Photo by Corey Coble

The recipes this week all have peanut butter from Georgia Grinders, and include salty, sweet and savory flavor profiles:

Peanut Butter Pudding with Bananas and Chocolate Sauce, Smoky Peanut Butter Chili and Peanut Butter & Jelly Chocolate Bars. And yes you heard me correctly, peanut butter in chili. If you have ever wanted to try something unique, this is the recipe for you!

Please tune in today at 12:30 pm or Sunday at 2:30 pm for a special showing.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Choco Bars. Photo by Corey Coble

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Chocolate Bars

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen

INGREDIENTS

Base:

2 sticks unsalted butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 large egg, beaten

1 sleeve Saltines, finely crushed
3/4 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped

Filling:

1/4 cup grape jelly, or jelly of choice

5 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (Georgia Grinders)

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Glaze:

4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

INSTRUCTIONS

Base:

  1. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending it over the sides.
  2. Use a double boiler to melt butter, stir in the sugar and cocoa. Whisk in the egg until the mixture is warm and the consistency of hot fudge, approximately 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Mix in the saltine crumbs and peanuts.
  4. Press the crust into the pan. Set aside the saucepan of water to be used for the glaze.

Filling:

  1. Spread jelly over the crust in the pan; place in the freezer for a few minutes.
  2. Beat 5 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp. butter, peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar with a mixer until light.
  3. Spread butter and sugar mixture over the jelly layer; return to the freezer while you make the glaze.

Glaze:

  1. Using a double boiler again, place the chocolate and the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a glass bowl and set over the pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.
  2. When cool but still runny, spread the glaze over the chilled peanut butter layer. Freeze for another 30 minutes.
  3. Use the foil flaps to remove the bars from the pan; cut into squares while still cold.
  4. Serve cold and keep leftovers refrigerated.

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Peanut Butter Chili. Photo by Corey Coble

Smoky Peanut Butter Chili

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 4 hours

Yield: about 12 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 ½ lbs. lean ground beef

1 bell pepper, chopped (red, yellow, orange or green)

1 Vidalia onion, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce

2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic, undrained

2 cans (4 oz) chopped green chiles

½ cup creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon chili powder (add more if you like more heat)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

chopped peanuts, for garnish

shredded cheddar, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain into a colander.
  2. To the same skillet, add green pepper, onion, and carrots. Cook and stir until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Transfer meat, vegetables, and drippings to a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can use a large pot and keep on low heat.
  4. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, green chilies, peanut butter, chili powder, salt, pepper and paprika. Cook, covered, on low heat for 4 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Top with chopped peanuts and shredded cheddar cheese to serve!

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    Peanut Butter Pudding with Bananas and Chocolate Sauce. Photo by Corey Coble

    Peanut Butter Pudding with Bananas and Chocolate Sauce

    Time: 2.5 hours

    Yield: 6 servings

    INGREDIENTS

    Pudding

    2 cups whole milk, divided

    ½ cup sugar

    2 tablespoons cornstarch

    ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

    1 large egg

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

    ½ cup creamy peanut butter

    Chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish

    Sliced bananas, for garnish

    Chocolate Sauce

    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

    ½ cup evaporated milk

    DIRECTIONS

    Pudding:

    1. Heat 1 cup of milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the milk is boiling, remove the saucepan from the heat.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly whisk in the remaining cup of milk, a little at a time, to avoid clumps. Whisk in the egg.
    3. Gradually whisk the sugar mixture into the milk, stirring constantly.
    4. Return to medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a simmer and is thick and creamy, 5 to 7 minutes.
    5. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla until smooth.
    6. Stir in the peanut butter.
    7. Divide the pudding among 4-6 half cup ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully set, about 2 hours.

    Chocolate Sauce:

    1. Add chocolate chips and evaporated milk to a microwave safe bowl.
    2. Microwave, covered with a wet paper towel for 30 seconds.
    3. Let sit for 10 seconds, then microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
    4. Let sit, do not remove the paper towel for 2 minutes.
    5. Stir for 1 minute until glossy and smooth.
    6. When pudding is fully set, garnish with roasted peanuts, sliced bananas, and/or chocolate sauce!

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