Posts Tagged With: Peanut

163/365: National Peanut Butter Cookie Day

You might find yourself in a sticky situation if you celebrate today’s food holiday…but you’ll love it! June 12 is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.

George Washington Carver may have had a confusingly Presidential name, but the agricultural teacher at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute was more interested in peanuts than politics. He advocated them as a replacement crop for cotton, which was being decimated by insects at the time. Carver published a cookbook in 1916 called How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumptionwhich might just win the award for Longest Cookbook Title Ever. The book contained three recipes for peanut cookies, all of which called for crushed or chopped peanuts. It wasn’t until a few years later that peanut butter was listed as an ingredient. Originally, the cookies were formed into balls, but these did not cook properly. Bakers began flattening the dough with forks, leading to the signature criss-cross marks so closely associated with peanut butter cookies. Pillsbury touted the use of a fork to make these waffle-like marks, when their recipe for Peanut Butter Balls was published in 1933. Cooks were instructed to press the cookies using fork tines. Alternative methods called for using a device called a cookie shovel, and then transporting them to the oven using a cookie wheelbarrow. Crumbs could be cleaned up using a cookie rake.

Our peanut butter cookies still contained crosshatch marks even though we didn’t make them from scratch. Instead, we opted for some Nutter Butters, which have the added advantage of being peanut butter cookies shaped like peanuts. Mr. Carver would be impressed.

Nutter Butter

Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

67/365: National Peanut Cluster Day

Today we celebrate peanuts. And chocolate. Together in one sweet, salty little bundle. It’s National Peanut Cluster Day!

Peanut clusters have been around for about a hundred years or so. The Standard Candy Company of Nashville, Tennessee came out with the GooGoo Cluster, a round candy bar containing marshmallow, caramel, and peanuts, covered in chocolate. It is considered the first combination candy bar, made up of several different types of candy rather than an all-chocolate chocolate bar. Kind of like the mutt of the candy bar kennel, if we’re stretching for analogies here. During the Great Depression, the marketing slogan for GooGoo Clusters proclaimed them “a nourishing lunch for a nickel.” The FDA would have a field day with that today.

Here’s an interesting story on a company whose own peanut cluster recipe dates back to 1912 or 1913. They are bucking the manufactured-by-machine trend and bringing back their original recipe peanut clusters, making each one by hand. If you happen to be in Bryan, Ohio, stop by the Spangler Store & Museum and pick some up!

I bought peanut clusters from the bulk foods section at WinCo. I doubt they were handmade, but they still tasted pretty good! It’s hard to go wrong with that combination of sweet and salty. Just ask the folks who created chocolate covered bacon (which, unfortunately, is not a food holiday). Tara and I ate them in the car on the drive to Seattle, where we’re headed for the weekend.

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Categories: Candy, Nuts | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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