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Celebrate 'National Peanut Butter Day' 2014

Kelli Shiroma |
January 24, 2014 | 8:05 a.m. PST

Food Editor

“Puppy Chow” or “Muddy Buddies” has a mild peanut butter flavor but is highly addictive (whatkatiesbaking / Flickr).
“Puppy Chow” or “Muddy Buddies” has a mild peanut butter flavor but is highly addictive (whatkatiesbaking / Flickr).
Peanut butter lovers of all ages don’t need to find an excuse to indulge in their favorite peanut butter goodies today. After all, Jan. 24 is “National Peanut Butter Day.”

According to the Atlanta-based Peanut Advisory Board, a St. Louis doctor became famous for peanut butter’s debut in March 1890, after he ground peanuts into paste and spread the mixture on a slice of bread, reported The L.A. Times. The doctor—who made this spread with a kitchen hand-grinder—decided to mass-market his product, and George A. Bayle, Jr.—the owner of a food products company—started to package and sell peanut butter by the pound for just six cents

Although peanut butter was introduced and available to the masses at this time, peanut butter consumption didn’t take off until the 1920s, after the process of stabilization was discovered (which allowed the spread to be stored without refrigeration). After World War II, peanut butter increased even more in popularity, as the government fed the spread to the military, who fed it to their kids upon returning home from the war.

Today, peanuts are the U.S.’s 12th largest cash crop and is a spread in more than 90 percent of American households. In fact, while peanut butter is often portrayed as a childhood indulgence (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches), studies show that adults consume 55 percent of the addictive spread.

On that tasty note, how are you going to celebrate “National Peanut Butter Day”? Here are a few peanut butter-laden recipes that you can make for the extraordinary occasion. 


Yield: 10-14 servings

This highly addictive snack will be gone in a few days (or after a few handfuls, depending on your willpower) … and is enjoyed by both adults and children alike. 


9 C Chex cereal 

1 C semisweet chocolate chips, melted

½ C smooth peanut butter, melted

¼ C butter, melted

1-2 tsp. vanilla

1 ½ C powdered sugar


Measure cereal in large bowl. Set aside. Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter for one minute on high. Stir. Cook for 30 seconds longer or until smooth. Add vanilla.

Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until coated. Pour mixture into large Ziploc bag and add powdered sugar. Shake until well coated. Spread onto waxed paper to cool. 

Store in Ziploc bags or large sealed bowl. Refrigerate and serve chilled if desired. 


Yield: 3 dozen small cookies

These cookies present the perfect salty-sweet solution for an afternoon pick-me-up. You can even include Peanut Butter flavored M&Ms for an enhanced peanut butter flavor. 


½ C salted butter, softened to room temperature

½ C light brown sugar (or dark brown sugar)

¼ C granulated sugar

1 large egg

¾ C creamy peanut butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. baking soda

1 ¼ C all-purpose flour

¾ C M&Ms

¾ C pretzel pieces 


In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed. Beat in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Beat in the baking soda and flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the M&Ms and pretzels. Cover the dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop chilled dough by tiny tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet or silpat. Press down to slightly flatten them out. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Cookies will be soft and may appear undone. They will firm up as they cool. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cookies stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for 10 days.


Yield: 24 bars

This tantalizing trifecta consisting of chocolate chip cookies, brownies and peanut butter will result in a dangerously delicious and decadent dessert. 


Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer

¾ C unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

¾ C dark brown sugar

¼ C sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1 C dark chocolate chips (or semisweet or milk chocolate if preferable)

2 C mini peanut butter cups

Brownie Layer

½ C salted butter

8 oz. coarsely chopped bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate 

1 ¼ C sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

¾ C all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. salt

1 C dark chocolate chips 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Make the brownie layer first, even though it will go on top: melt the butter and semi-sweet chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (about 15 minutes). Stir sugar into cooled chocolate/butter mixture until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour and salt. Set aside.

Make the cookie layer: in a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Dough will be thick and sticky. Using a rubber spatula sprayed with cooking spray (to reduce sticking), spread the cookie dough all over the prepared baking pan. The layer will be thin, but will puff up as it bakes. Top with peanut butter cups, then pour the brownie batter on top and smooth with a knife or rubber spatula. Sprinkle with 1 C chocolate chips.

Bake the bars for 30-36 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out relatively clean. Allow the bars to cool completely, about 1 hour, before cutting into squares. Bars remain fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

“Peanut Butter Blossoms” combines chocolate and peanut butter in a sweet, irresistible treat (Herr Hans Gruber / Creative Commons).
“Peanut Butter Blossoms” combines chocolate and peanut butter in a sweet, irresistible treat (Herr Hans Gruber / Creative Commons).

Yield: 48 cookies 

These delicate peanut butter cookies have a sugary topping and are complete with luscious Hershey’s Kisses in their centers. 


1 ¾ C flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

½ C sugar

½ C brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

½ C shortening

½ C peanut butter

1 egg 

2 T milk

48 Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses (unwrapped)

Additional sugar (if necessary) 


Combine shortening, sugars, egg, vanilla and peanut butter. Add dry ingredients and milk. 

Shape dough into small balls, then roll in sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. 

Place a kiss in the middle of each cookie, pressing until edges crack. Let cool. Serve at room temperature. 

Note: Want even more peanut butter flavor? Substitute the Hershey’s Kisses with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

Substitute Hershey’s Kisses with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for additional peanut butter flavor (bochalla / Flickr).
Substitute Hershey’s Kisses with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for additional peanut butter flavor (bochalla / Flickr).

Yield: 36 bars

These rich, no-bake bars will satisfy your peanut butter cravings in no time. 


1 ½ C graham cracker crumbs

1 lb. (3 or 3 ½ C confectioners’ sugar)

1 ½ C peanut butter

1 C butter, melted

1 bag milk chocolate chips


Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and peanut butter and mix well. Blend in melted butter until well combined. Press mixture evenly into a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave or in double boiler. Spread over peanut butter mixture. 

Chill until just set and cut into bars. Store in refrigerator after cutting. 


Yield: 10 servings

This dessert features a brownie bottom topped with a thick layer of creamy peanut butter and is finished with a drizzle of chocolate glaze. 



2 oz. unsweetened high quality chocolate

½ C unsalted butter

2 eggs

1 C sugar

½ C flour

½ tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

½ oz. semisweet chocolate


1 ½ C powdered sugar

½ C creamy peanut butter

¼ C unsalted butter, softened

2-3 T heavy whipping cream


1 oz. semisweet baking chocolate

1 T butter 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small saucepan, melt unsweetened and semisweet chocolates with butter over low heat; set aside to cool slightly.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light and pale colored. Mix in 1 tsp. vanilla.

Add flour, salt and melted chocolate. Stir to combine. Pour into a greased 9-inch square baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until brownies seem done with toothpick coming clean but with moist crumbs clinging to it. Cool.

For filling, add peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly combined and smooth. You will get a much taller peanut butter filling if you whip this with an electric mixer to incorporate lots of air.

Slowly add powdered sugar; mixture will be a bit crumbly. 

Blend in cream until mixture is fluffy and reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread over cooled brownies; cover and chill until firm.

For glaze, melt chocolate and butter in saucepan, stir until smooth. Drizzle over filling. Chill well before cutting. 

Let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.

“Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Pancakes” is the great start to any day (kjbrazil / Flickr).
“Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Pancakes” is the great start to any day (kjbrazil / Flickr).

Yield: Serves 4

This breakfast feast will be one to remember if it includes creamy peanut butter and chocolate chips. 


1 C multigrain pancake mix

1 large egg

½ C all-natural peanut butter

1 C milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 C semisweet chocolate chips

1 T unsalted butter 


Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Stir the pancake mix, egg, peanut butter, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips together in a large bowl. Melt about 1 tsp. butter in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 3-4 ¼ cupfuls of batter on the heated skillet to form pancakes and cook until the tops bubble and the edges begin to crisp. Turn and continue to cook for about 2 more minutes, until both sides are golden brown. Transfer pancakes to a baking pan and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining batter.


Yield: Serves 4

Forget grilled cheese. This homage to Elvis Presley features a revamped twist on the classic PB&J sandwich. 


4 strips thick-cut bacon

8 slices sandwich bread

¾ C all-natural peanut butter

2 bananas, peeled and thinly sliced

2/3 C strawberry preserves

1 tsp. hot pepper sauce, like Tabasco


Light a grill for direct medium heat, about 375 degrees F.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until cooked through, but still moist and flexible. Drain the bacon on two layers of paper towels, and break each piece in half. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan.

Spread 4 slices of the bread with the peanut butter, top with 2 bacon pieces, banana slices, and the remaining 4 slices bread. Brush the outside of all sandwiches with a thin film of the bacon fat.

Grill directly over the fire until the bread is toasted, about 2 minutes per side. To create a crosshatch grill pattern on the bread, position the sandwiches diagonally across the grill grate and turn them 90 degrees halfway through grilling.

Remove from the grill and cool for 1-2 minutes. While the sandwiches are cooling, mix the preserves and hot sauce together. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve with the strawberry-hot pepper sauce for dipping.


Yield: 3 dozen cookies

These chewy chocolate cookies are big in peanut butter flavor. 


1 C chunky natural peanut butter

¼ C canola oil

½ C packed dark brown sugar

½ C granulated sugar

2 large eggs

3 T low-fat plain yogurt

1 T vanilla extract

¾ C all-purpose flour

1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ C rolled oats

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

¼ C semisweet chocolate chips

¼ C peanut butter chips

¼ C raw cane sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat peanut butter, oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the sugars are blended. Beat in eggs, yogurt and vanilla until combined.

Whisk flour, cocoa, oats, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture until blended. Sitr in chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Using a small cookie scoop or slightly rounded tablespoons of dough, place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Dip the bottom of a glass in water and then add in raw sugar. Use the sugared glass to flatten the cookies slightly, leaving a thin layer of sugar on top.

Bake the cookies in batches until they are just set and the tops appear cracked, 8-10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.


Yield: 3 dozen cookies

These soft and chewy cookies provide the best of both worlds when it comes to cake and cookies.


1 box devil’s food cake mix

1 stick butter, melted

1 large egg

2 C mini chocolate chips

25 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silpat liner.

Place all ingredients into a large bowl, mixing until combined. If dough seems too dry, you can add 2 additional tablespoons melted butter. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto baking sheet, placed 1 inch apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes until cooked through. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack.

Your “National Peanut Butter Day” celebration won’t be complete without traditional peanut butter cookies (mrsdkrebs / Flickr).
Your “National Peanut Butter Day” celebration won’t be complete without traditional peanut butter cookies (mrsdkrebs / Flickr).

You can’t celebrate “National Peanut Butter Day” without classic, homemade peanut butter cookies. 


3 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt 

16 T unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ C sugar

1 ¼ C packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 C creamy or crunchy peanut butter


Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 large baking sheets. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter with both sugars for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth and well combined. Beat in peanut butter. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture in 2 batches, until just combined.

Form dough into 1-inch balls and place on baking sheets. Flatten each ball by pressing with tines of a fork in a crisscross pattern. Bake, switching pans halfway through, 14-16 minutes, or until golden brown on bottom and barely colored on top. Cool on pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. With a spatula, carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

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