Who doesn’t like peanut butter? Whether you put it on bread, mix it with chocolate, or throw it in a batch of cookies, the options are limitless for this timeless and beloved ingredient. At just over 100 years old, peanut butter now has an $800 million industry, with the average kid consuming 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before their high school graduation. For something sweet inspired by New England staples, try one of these classic peanut butter treats.
For more tasty peanut butter facts, look here.
Go for the old school with globs of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff piled between two thick slices of bread. This iconic treat is known today as the sandwich of New England, a calorie-laden sensation generations of northeasterners fondly equate with childhood. It’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or an anytime snack and features the 1920s Lynn invention, Marshmallow Fluff. For a fruity twist, top with a thin layer of jam or a sliced banana.
Read more about the Fluffernutter here.
Peanut butter cookies
This classic treat mixes sugars, flour, and peanut butter with fork hashmarks on top for a delightful melt-in-your-mouth morsel. Dust with a layer of cocoa powder and sugar or simply serve warm with a tall glass of milk.
Peanut butter cookies have been on the mainstream market since 1936 with the popularity of the Pillsbury cookbook. Today, they’re bought, sold, and baked everywhere. The crisscross marks traditionally placed on top have no definite explanation but some say they improve baking or act as a warning sign for those with peanut allergies.
For more fun facts, go here.
Peanut butter cup martini
Have you ever thought about drinking a Reese’s peanut butter cup? This sinful cocktail comes pretty close. The drink mixes together chocolate syrup, liqueur, and vodka with peanut rum and cream for a decedent taste that offers the candy some strong competition.
A handful of places offer this concoction. Head over to Drink and recreate the recipe or make your own version at home.
348 Congress St., Boston; 617-695-1806
Chocolate-peanut butter whoopie pie
There’s no bigger New England classic than a good, old-fashioned whoopie pie. This dessert is a staple, particularly in Maine, featuring a thick whipped filling piled between two rounded, mound-shaped pieces of cake. Whoopie pies began in Pennsylvania as an Amish tradition: farmers yelled “whoopie!’’ every time they found one of these treats in their lunch pails. While traditionally, whoopie pies are chocolate with vanilla filling and medium-sized, today they come in a variety of flavors and sizes, from bite-sized to cake-sized to record-breaking sized. On March 16, 2011, the world’s largest whoopie pie was created in Portland, Maine, weighing in at nearly 1,062 pounds.
Wicked Whoopies in Gardiner, Maine, is known for their unique flavor combinations. Their chocolate peanut butter rendition includes rich chocolate cake and a fluffy peanut butter cream filling. $26 for a dozen ordered online or visit in-store.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake
This simple recipe with a crumb crust and peanut filling can be tweaked in a number of ways. Add a drizzle of caramel topping. Switch the traditional graham cracker crust for a sweeter chocolate crust. Or pile on layers of nuts and chocolate chips to accent the peanut butter flavor.
The Cheesecake Factory makes theirs with chunks of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups mixed in classic cheesecake layered with fudge cake and caramel sauce. $7.50 for a slice big enough for two.
Peanut Butter Fudge
Fudge is a rich and creamy treat that will satisfy any sweet tooth. The peanuts are enhanced with vanilla, milk, and other flavors that melt on your tongue with each bite. Some recipes highlight the peanut butter. Others add in candy, chocolate, or caramel for an even sweeter taste.
Mill Fudge Factory in Bristol, N.H., offers a peanut butter and M&M fudge, $7.99 for a half pound or $14.99 for a pound. The Chatham Candy Manor in Chatham sells classic peanut butter fudge by the half-pound ($6), pound ($12), or two-pound box ($24).
Mill Fudge Factory
2 Central St., Bristol, N.H.
Chatham Candy Manor
484 Main St., Chatham
Chocolate drizzled peanut butter pie
Another New England favorite, peanut butter pie features a chilled graham cracker crust or a thin refrigerated pie crust, a peanut butter flavored, whip cream-like filling, and a chocolate drizzle on top. The versatile recipe can be made a variety of ways, whether baked or chilled, and can include fudge layers and different toppings. Some recipes even switch up the filling for peanut butter ice cream and top it off with peanut butter cups.
Try a homemade recipe or pick up a pie at a local bakery. Bova’s Bakery in Boston sells their version by the slice ($3.75 each) with a thin graham cracker crust, fudge sauce, whipped peanut filling, topped with a mix of chocolate and peanut butter chips and chocolate drizzle.
Chocolate peanut butter cupcake
Nothing gets more simple than a slice of chocolate peanut butter cake. Treat in Chestnut Hill puts their own twist on the classic with their peanut butter overload cupcake. Chocolate cake is paired peanut butter cups and a rich peanut butter ganache and topped with peanut butter frosting and fudge. For even more peanut butter love, they have a fluffernutter cupcake too.
49 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill