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One of my favorite snacks as a kid was an invention of my mother’s that we dubbed “banana, peanut butter, milk and cinnamon.”

I bet you can guess the ingredients.

To prepare it, Mom sliced a banana lengthwise, spread peanut butter inside one half and put it back together. Then she cut the banana into smaller cross section pieces, put them in a cereal bowl, poured in some milk and sprinkled cinnamon on top.

Another of my favorite childhood snacks was peanut butter crackers -- a generous helping of peanut butter sandwiched between two saltines. Or better yet, a “double decker,” as my father taught me to make, with two layers of peanut butter sandwiched between three crackers. From there, I discovered the “quadruple decker” and “quintuple decker,” until mom put a stop to it, fearing I’d choke.

I probably would have, were it not for the glass of milk that always accompanied this treat.

And then there’s the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Not only was that my favorite food to take to school for lunch; it was the only food I would take to school for lunch for at least a year. And it had to be made with grape jelly -- none of that blueberry or raspberry stuff.

To say I was a picky eater would be an understatement.

There was only one way to get me to eat raw vegetables: peanut butter.

Carrot sticks? Dip them in peanut butter.

Celery? Spread peanut butter in the groove.

Broccoli? There better be a lot of peanut butter to help get that down.

Are you sensing a theme?

I love peanut butter and always have.

When I learned November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, I thought, “now that’s my kind of month.”

And what better way is there to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Month than with some peanut butter-themed recipes? So I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. The first is a family tradition and the other two are newly discovered via Pinterest and adapted slightly to fit my still somewhat “selective” palate.

Aunt Letha’s chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons shortening

4 tablespoons peanut butter

¼ cup honey

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup quick oats

½ cup chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the shortening and peanut butter.

Mix in the honey, egg and vanilla.

In separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and quick oats, then add to wet ingredients.

Add chocolate chips and mix well.

Form into balls and slightly flatten on cookie sheet.

Bake for 9-12 minutes.

Banana peanut butter coffee smoothie

Ingredients:

2-3 ice cubes

1 banana

¼ cup peanut butter

1/2 cup milk or milk substitute

1 single-serve instant coffee packet

Directions:

Put it all in the blender and blend until smooth.

Chocolate peanut butter cannoli filling

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk ricotta

½ cup powdered sugar

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

1/8 cup whipping cream

¼ teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Drain ricotta, if necessary.

Whisk together ricotta, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.

Sift in sugar, mixing well.

Beat whipping cream until it begins to stiffen and form peaks, then fold into mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Chill in fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

Using a pastry bag, pipe filling into cannoli shells and serve immediately or use as dip for cannoli chips or graham crackers.

If you are a peanut butter lover, this is your month. And it’s time for some baking and blending. And eating. But first, pour a glass of milk.

You’ll need it.

Contact the writer:

ebaumeister@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100, ext. 3492