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  • Welcome to My Kitchen: Peanut butter perfection: smooth and creamy recipes to kick off summer

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  • You might have noticed that peanut butter is often a favorite ingredient in the cookie recipes that I have shared with you. I do feel so sorry for those who have a peanut allergy because I personally have to rank peanut butter high up on my list of favorite flavors. Combine dark chocolate with the peanut butter and that co-flavoring soars right to the top of my list.
    This column's recipes will give you three more tasty ways to enjoy peanut butter. The recipe for Peanut Butter Bread comes from the website, www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com. This is a quick-to-fix batter bread and I LOVED it. Spicer, however, did not and saw no reason to eat it. I suggest that you make this at least once and form your own opinion. Just be sure that you test to be sure that it is done before you remove it from the oven. Press the very center of the loaf with your fingertip and it should spring back before you remove it from the oven.
    The recipe for Peanut Butter Brownie Dream came from centercut.com. This is a collection of recipes that you may want to check out. The contributor adds this note to this recipe: "I used Ghiarardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix because they are the best boxed brownies, ever!" I figured the author knew what she was talking about and so I, too, used a Ghiarardelli mix when I made this.
    I had made some peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches to take to the tennis matches so when I saw this recipe for Fluffer Nutter Bars at www.somethingswanky.com. I decided that they had to be delicious. They were, and I think that they'd be even tastier if 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate bits where mixed into the batter.
    To contact Judi, email leamingjudi@gmail.com.
    PEANUT BUTTER BREAD
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 cup milk
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt together. In a separate large mixing bowl beat room temperature butter with the sugars until combined. Mix in peanut butter. Beat in egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture to this mixture and beat on LOW just until combined. (The batter will be very thick and crumbly.) Pour in milk and beat on LOW until batter is smooth. Pour batter into the loaf pan and evenly spread it out. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until the center springs back when pressed with a fingertip. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely. Wrap and store in the refrigerator.
    Page 2 of 2 - PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIE DREAM
    1 (20-ounce) box Ghiarardelli brownie mix
    1 egg
    1/3 cup water
    1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
    1 cup peanut butter
    1 (8-ounce) bar cream cheese, softened
    1 cup confectioners' sugar
    1 (8-ounce) tub Cool Whip, thawed
    Chocolate syrup for garnish
    Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil hanging over the edges to create handles. (This will make it easier to lift the dessert out of the pan when it is done.) Spray the foil with cooking spray. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and spread into the prepared square pan. Bake according to package directions. Allow the baked brownies to cool completely. Using your electric mixer, whip the softened cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix for a minute to combine. Slowly mix in the confectioners' sugar – the mixture will be very thick. Add in the Cool Whip and mix until the filling is light and fluffy. Spread the filling evenly over the cooled brownie layer. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. To serve, cut into squares and drizzle chocolate syrup over the top.
    FLUFFER NUTTER BARS
    1 cup butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels (optional)
    3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray and 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cream butter and peanut butter together. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla until well mixed. Beat in baking soda, salt and flour just until combined. (Stir in chocolate morsels with the flour if you want to use them) Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Drop teaspoons of Marshmallow Fluff evenly and randomly across the batter and then swirl Fluff into the batter with the blade of a knife. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 38 minutes until a toothpick placed 1 inch from the side of the pan comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool and cut into small squares. Store airtight.

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