Hot New Dessert: Peanut Butter!

Open container of peanut butter.
iStockphoto
Chefs have been having fun with peanut butter.

Bon Appetit magazine has just named the childhood favorite its dessert trend of the year, and Contributing Editor Dede Wilson brought some of her favorite goodies to The Early Show Tuesday.

Also, 12-year old aspiring, and already accomplished food critic David Fishman tasted the peanut butter delights and offered his thoughts on them.

Peanut butter is an inexpensive staple that, when given the chance, can really make your desserts stand out in the crowd!

Wilson's choices:

  • Peanut Butter and Jam Shortbread Wedges
  • Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
  • Chocolate Layer Cake with Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting and Peanut Butter Brittle
  • Peanut Butter Caramel Honey Nut Tart with Ganache Glaze
  • Two Layer Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Striped Puddings

    RECIPES

    Peanut Butter and Jelly Shortbread Wedges

    Ingredients

    Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1/4 cup creamy (smooth) natural peanut butter (made with only peanuts and salt)
    1/2 cup sugar
    Large pinch of salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    1/3 cup blackberry jam

    Method

    Spray bottom of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with nonstick spray.
    Beat butter and peanut butter in large bowl until smooth, about 2 minutes.
    Add sugar and salt and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add flour; beat on low speed just until blended. Transfer 1/3 cup dough to work surface. Shape into 1/2-inch-thick disk, place on plate, and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Press remaining dough evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Spread jam over dough in pan, leaving 1/3-inch plain border. Refrigerate while dough disk freezes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using large holes of box grater, grate frozen dough evenly over jam. Bake shortbread until dough edge is deep golden and grated dough on top looks dry and baked through, about 50 minutes. Cool shortbread completely in pan. Release pan sides. Cut shortbread into wedges. Store airtight at room temperature.

    Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

    Ingredients

    Brownie layer:
    Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup all purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Cheesecake layer:
    1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
    1/3 cup creamy (smooth) natural peanut butter (made with only peanuts and salt)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
    2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

    Method

    Brownie layer:
    Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Spray 9-inch square metal baking pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Stir chocolate and butter in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth; cool 10 minutes. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla in medium bowl until very fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture on low speed, then beat in flour and salt. Spread batter in pan.

    Cheesecake layer:
    Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in cream, then flour. Transfer 1/3 cup cheesecake batter to small bowl and reserve. Spread remaining cheesecake batter over brownie layer. Place chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on low power in 10-second intervals until chocolate begins to melt, then stir until smooth. Mix chocolate into reserved 1/3 cup cheesecake batter. Drop chocolate batter by heaping teaspoonfuls atop cheesecake layer. Using chopstick or wooden skewer, swirl chocolate batter in figure-eight pattern through white cheesecake layer. Bake brownies until edges of cheesecake layer are puffed and center is set, about 36 minutes. Cool brownies in pan on rack. Cover; chill at least 1 hour. Cut brownies into 25 squares. Using narrow spatula, transfer brownies to platter. Serve cold.

    FOR THE REST OF THE RECIPES, GO TO PAGE 2.