I need to apologize to those of you who just happened to stumble upon this site either because you Googled "peanut butter and jelly" and made an odd spelling error or because you were searching for some great peanut butter recipes. The other night, I went back and looked at all of the recipes that I have posted so far on this site, and I discovered that not one of them contains peanut butter, or even chopped peanuts for that matter. I have done you a disservice, and I am sorry. It's not that I don't like peanut butter, I happen to love it. In fact, my favorite brand, Peanut Better, goes so far as to mix things like vanilla beans and cranberries, chocolate, Thai spices, even rosemary and garlic (don't say "ewwwww!" until you've tried it. You'd be surprised by how good it is) into their peanut butters.
So, in order to make up for the lack of peanut butter's presence, today I am presenting to you one of my favorite, most versatile, and easiest peanut butter recipes, Peanut Butter Bread. I love this recipe because it takes very little time to put together (although the baking time can be agony with the heavenly scent that is created) and there are a number of ways that you can serve it. The most obvious way is to toast it and spread it with your favorite jam, mmmmmm. For the true peanut butter-aholic, you can use this bread as the bread for their PB&J sandwich. For those with a sweet tooth, you can turn this into an outstanding peanut butter french toast** or you can go nuts (get it?) and serve it warm with some chocolate ice cream. Even if you eat it plain, I'm sure that you will enjoy it and my apology will be accepted immediately.
**To make peanut butter french toast, dip 3/4 inch thick slices of the bread into a mixture of 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla (whisked together). Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook bread on each side until golden brown. Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve with heated jam or blueberry syrup. Here are some tips for this recipe:
- Store the bread, wrapped very tightly, at room temperature for up to 5 days. The bread tastes best re-warmed in the oven or toasted, as this really brings out the peanutty flavor.
- You may use creamy or chunky peanut butter for this recipe. I like to use chunky because it adds a bit of texture. Do not use natural peanut butters (use something like Jif, Skippy, or Peter Pan), as these do not work well in baking recipes.
- I like to add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to this recipe for a little spice, but it would also be great with some miniature chocolate chips stirred into the batter just prior to pouring it into the loaf pan.
- Instead of making one large loaf, you can make 3 mini loaves. For mini loaves, the baking time should be decreased to about 30 minutes.
Peanut Butter Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9X5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until they are combined. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Add the egg and the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. The mixture will be very dry. While mixing, slowly add the milk, and continue to mix until well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes or until the center springs back when pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean. Cool the loaf for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer the bread to a cooling rack to cool completely.