Jan. 24 was National Peanut Butter Day, and Ladies Who Brunch (ok, I) feel this is absolutely worth celebrating. Peanut butter is not only an integral part of an American kids’ diet and a pantry staple, but also a great brunch ingredient.
I love peanut butter and am from the Peanut State (Georgia), so I’m all about this important day. My favorite brand — hands down — is Skippy. In case you were wondering.
- Americans consume 700 million pounds of peanut butter annually, about three pounds per person.
- Americans love peanut butter, Europeans prefer Nutella.
- For peanut butter to be real, it must contain 90 percent peanuts.
- In Holland peanut butter is called pindakass which translates to peanut cheese. The Dutch government protects the word butter so the peanut butter makers had to improvise and substitute cheese for butter.
- Peanut butter has been banned in many schools all across America because of the severe allergic reaction that may occur to those who can not eat peanuts. [This allergy is SO unfortunate]
- 75 percent of homes in the US have a peanut butter jar.
- One acre of peanuts will make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
Now, PB&J is the quintessential way to enjoy peanut butter, though Fluffernutter is right up there. And PB can be used as an ingredient in many sweet and savory dishes. Here’s a great way to incorporate PB into brunch (from The Ultimate Peanut Butter Book):
Peanut Butter Coffee Cake Ring
- 1/3 cup warm milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- One 1/4 oz package active dry yeast
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
- 1/4 stick butter, melted and cooled
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
- 3/4 cup crunchy standard peanut butter
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup raisins
Pour warm milk into a large bowl, stir in sugar, then sprinkle yeast over top. Set aside until foamy, about 5 mintes. Use an electric mixer at medium speed to beat two eggs into the yeast mixture, the beat in vanilla and salt until smooth. Beat in shortening and butter until smooth.
Remove beaters and attach dough hook. Knead at low speed, adding more flour in 1/2 cup increments until a soft, pliable dough forms. Continue kneading for 5 minutes, adding small amounts of flour if the dough becomes sticky.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; gather dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Turn it over to coat, then cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside in a warm, dry place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hr.
Meanwhile, clean the beaters and make filling. In a medium bowl, beat peanut butter, dark brown sugar, raisins and remaining egg until smooth. Set aside.
Once the dough has doubled in bulk, gently push your fist into it to deflate, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust dough and rolling pin with flour, then roll into 15×20 inch rectangle with longer side facing you.
Spoon and spread filling onto the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Starting with long side closest to you, roll the dough into a tight log, taking care to keep the filling inside but still to make as compact a log as possible. Bring ends together to make a ring.
Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, then transfer ring to it. Cover loosely with kitchen towel and set aside until doubled in bulk, about 1 hr. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover ring and use paring knife to make 5 equidistant slits across the top about 1 inch deep. Bake until lightly browned in middle of oven until ring sounds hollow, about 35 minutes. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to coll at least 10 minutes before slicing.
Spread peanut butter on a slice and enjoy!