As a kid growing up on my grandparents’ farm, I had to work in peanuts every summer with the rest of the grandchildren who visited my grandparents.
They lived in a small town called Gorman, Texas. I did not know until I was grown that those peanuts we hoed all summer were really growing in the ground. Having not being around at harvest time, I always thought they grew on the plant that we kept weeds out of.
I will share with you some of my grandmother’s favorite ways to use this highly valuable protein we eat today.
Boiled peanuts in a crock pot
1 1/2 qts uncooked raw peanuts in a shell, if you get the salted ones, omit the salt.
1/2 cup of salt
2 and 1/2 quarts of water.
Wash peanuts until the water runs clear. Put the peanuts in a crock pot, add the salt and water. Cook covered, on high for 5 to 7 hours. Keep water level over peanuts during cooking.
Of course, my grandmother did not have a crock pot back then, so she had to boil them on the cook stove and watched them for what seemed like all day and all night, and we could smell them for hours.
Peanut butter bars
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 30 servings
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup butter (I used salted)
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter, divided
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup salted butter
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk (2% or whole)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda, then whisk in quick oats and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, light-brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
Blend in peanut butter. Stir in eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until combined. Mix in vanilla.
With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined. Spread mixture into an even layer into a 15 by 11-inch rimmed cookie sheet (it will be fairly thin once spread). Bake in preheated oven 13-15 minutes, until lightly golden.
Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 minutes, then dollop remaining 3/4 cup peanut butter by the spoonfuls over peanut butter bars.
Allow dolloped peanut butter to rest about 1 minute then carefully spread peanut butter into an even layer over top.
Prepare chocolate frosting according to directions listed and spread over peanut butter layer. Allow to cool (if you can handle waiting) before cutting into squares. Store in a single layer in an airtight container at room temperature.