Category: Snacks

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter

There is this amazing honey roasted peanut butter at Whole Foods. It is in their bulk foods section and there is this machine where you flip the switch and fresh peanuts go in and out comes fresh, honey-roasted peanut butter. I love peanut butter, but this kind is so amazingly delicious. It also happens to be something I always forget about when I am at Whole Foods. Don’t you just hate that!? During certain times of the month I have been known to make a special trip to pick some up, but with kids, the house, the pets, the husband, and just life in general, I am not always able to make a special trip when the craving calls.

Today was one such day…only instead of being at Whole Foods, I was at Trader Joe’s. Now although Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell (at least to my knowledge) honey-roasted peanut butter, they do have these scrumptious honey roasted peanuts. They are large nuts and a perfect combination of sweet and salty. I’ve seen the machine at Whole Foods take the nuts and spit out decadent peanut butter, so I thought, “How hard could it be?” Well, the answer is not hard at all. I did have to add a little canola oil to moisten the mixture a bit, which I am sure had to do with me and not the nuts, but I got a great result and something that will certainly work just as well as the Whole Foods variety when the craving strikes.

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter (yields 1/2 cup approximately)

2 cups honey roasted peanuts
1 – 2 T. canola oil

Place the peanuts into a food processor and process until as smooth as you can get it. I pulsed mine for about a minute total, stopping to make sure that the mixture that had stuck to the side of the bowl was reincorporated into the mixture. Add a tablespoon of canola oil in at a time until you reach the consistency you like.

A Perfect Donut

My weakness is homemade baked goods. I have been known to devour an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies in one day and my poor husband has come home to the smell of brownies only to find that my boys and I (mainly me though) have already devoured the entire pan. One caveat to this has always been donuts. There is an amazing local donut bakery in Seattle called Top Pot Donuts. Starbucks now serves their delicious, fried pieces of heaven and whenever I am feeling indulgent I will get one. With such great donuts and my own inability to make good ones myself, I have always turned to Top Pot and Starbucks for my donut fix. Until now…

Yesterday was a gloomy afternoon and I decided to take the challenge of making a batch of donuts with a new recipe I found. I was not disappointed. They came out of the fryer with a crisp crust and a soft, chewy interior. I was in love. I hope you fall in love with this one as well.

Yummy Donuts
(makes 1 dozen)

1 c. milk
5 t. yeast (or two packets)
1 pinch sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. warm mashed potatoes
½ t. salt
¼ c. sugar
2 T. oil

Microwave the milk for about 1 minute in the microwave. Make sure it is warm (not hot) and add the 5 teaspoons of yeast (2 packets) and a pinch of sugar and stir. Let stand for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Add the yeast mixture and mix the dough thoroughly by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook for 3 minutes.

Prepare your kneading surface by spreading a few tablespoons of flour on a smooth surface. Put the dough in the middle of the flour and sprinkle a little flour on top and on your hands. Knead the dough a few times. Once the dough has been kneaded, spread it out to be a half inch thick with your hands or with a rolling pin.

Now it is time to cut out the donuts, you can use a donut cutter or just use something about the same size and then find something smaller to make a hole with.

Place the donuts on a floured pan to let rise as you get the oil ready. Let them rise for a total of ten minutes (it takes about five minutes for the oil to heat up).

Pour about a half inch of oil (vegetable or canola oil) into a pan or you can use an electric fry pan, which is what I used. The oil needs to be about 360 degrees. If the oil starts to smoke it is way too hot. Test the oil with some of the scraps of dough and when it is ready, cook the donuts until golden brown on each side.
Allow the donuts to cool on a rack or on some paper so that the oil soaks off.

Now, you can either sprinkle these with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar, but being the chocoholic that I am, I decided to dunk mine in some chocolate glaze. Here is the recipe for that:

Chocolate Donut Glaze

1/3 cup butter
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 – 4 T. warm water

Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan until melted, remove from heat. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Gradually stir in the water until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Dip the tops of the doughnuts in the glaze.