For years I've looked longingly in the direction of pecan pie, but with a tree nut allergy, I figured my love would remain unrequited. Then I learned of a Peanut Pie that hails from Virginia and the Carolinas. It sounded just like the nuts + sweet goo that I crave, and turns out, it's all that and more.
'peanuts' on Serious Eats
I've heard people wax lyrically about pecan pralines, but peanut pralines were new to me. And when I saw how easy it was to make these three ingredient candies, I had to give them a try.
Imagine, if you will, a cage match between Butterfinger, 5th Avenue, and Clark Bar. Who would emerge victorious to claim the crispiest, crunchiest, peanut butteriest crown? Moreover, how might we then usurp the throne for ourselves? Let us first define the rules of engagement.
In my childhood mathematics, candy was greater than soda and new toys put together, and Snickers was the rightful king of the candy pile. So when Mom stole the Snickers, I didn't take it lightly.
There is one genre of cookie that I seem to be pulled to, like one magnet to another: shortbread. Some months ago I made a lemon-almond variety and talked about how much the texture reminded me of polvorones, specifically those manufactured by the Mexican company Marinela.
After trying thirty-three kinds of peanut butter over the course of a month, you form an opinion or two. Above all I confirmed that I much prefer crunchy peanut butter over smooth. Most of it is textural: those bits of nuts provide a satisfying crunch and a stomach-warming chew. Though I'll admit that part of it is the comfort of knowing that the company that produced my peanut butter at least owns real peanuts.
Horchata is as rich and satisfying as a tall glass of milk, but as refreshing as a jug of iced tea. It cools the body but warms the soul. Since horchata has a nut thing going on, peanut butter was my fat of choice here. Add a good bit of salt and a dash of coffee grinds for depth, and you've got a dairy-free dessert that tastes like it isn't—sorbet for when fruit won't do.
Peanut Chews are an old-fashioned candy that I was first introduced to at overnight camp as a kid. They'll always have a special place in my heart. The combination of dark chocolate, peanuts, and molasses makes them a classic summertime treat.
Each little peanut nugget is an addictive combination of spicy, sweet, and salty flavors, covered with caramel to boot. Just try to stop after one handful.
Roasted nuts are a cinch to prepare and relatively inexpensive. Scooped into bags and tied with pretty ribbons, they make lovely gifts. Here are recipes for three favorites: Maple-Rosemary-Bourbon Pecans, Chili Lime Peanuts, and Curried Cashews.