Were you aware that November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month? It is! I really love peanut butter, so this is a celebration that I am happy to take part in. Here are a few interesting facts that you may or may not know about peanuts:
Peanuts are not actually nuts; they’re legumes, like peas and beans.
Americans eat about 700 million pounds of peanut butter a year, which is enough to completely coat the bottom of the Grand Canyon
One acre of peanuts will provide 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches!
Two American Presidents were peanut farmers: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
This is the reason that the month of November was chosen for The Great American Peanut Butter Festival!
I’ve mentioned the festival to you in several recent posts, including yesterday’s. I’m honored to be on the food committee for this event, and can hardly wait for our Peanut Butter Bake-Off at noon on Saturday ! I’ll take lots of pictures to share with you. If you’re in the area, or if you’d like a nice Saturday drive, come on over to Main Street in Grand Saline to check everything out! You can bungee jump, play on big inflatable slides, witness the record-breaking (we hope!) largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich which will weigh over 900 pounds, watch the mile-long parade, meet Miss Texas 2010, listen to live music, and shop with our many, many vendors! It all takes place in this cute little East Texas town, and we are collecting jars of any brand of peanut butter from you guys to donate to the East Texas Food Bank. Check out the website for directions and event schedule by clicking the link above near the logo. 🙂
In honor of this fun celebration, I’d like to share a recipe with you which I made for my handsome sons last night. They’re great! Justin ate two squares with a glass of milk for breakfast this morning and was totally full. I found it on MarthaStewart.com. I love Martha’s Website!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups strawberry jam, or other flavor (I used my own blueberry jam from last summer’s canning)
- 2/3 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with butter, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, and coat inside of pan with flour; set aside. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add eggs and peanut butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes.
- Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Add to bowl of mixer on low speed; combine. Add vanilla. Transfer two-thirds of mixture to prepared pan; spread evenly with offset spatula. (this will be very thick and stiff, like peanut butter cookie dough.) Using offset spatula, spread jam on top of peanut-butter mixture. Dollop remaining third of peanut-butter mixture on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts.
- Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; cut into about thirty-six 1 1/2-by-2-inch pieces.
These bars are thick and chewy and moist. The layer of sweet blueberry jam was the perfect pairing with the creamy, salty peanut butter. Justin suggested using chocolate chips for “peanut butter cup bars” next time, instead of jelly or jam. That might be good! Let me know if you try it. I’d love to hear your variations!
Now, on Friday I’ll share the recipe that I’ll make on “Cooking Up a Storm” with Grant Dade on KLTV7 in Tyler. If you’re up at 6:20a.m., make sure to watch! It’ll also be posted on their website during the day on Friday. I have been blessed by all your support and encouragement about this; I have loved the messages you’ve sent me! You guys are so nice! Thanks!