This past week has been strange. But even though travel, large events, and readily available toilet paper have all been cancelled by now, I’m going to suggest a Barbie-approved party you can still throw in your very own kitchen: a Peanut Party.
Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook has an entire chapter of peanut butter recipes. I never used to think of peanut butter as a pantry staple, but last year my husband and I adopted a puppy. Cadence is a little over a year old now and is still a
ridiculous vortex of limitless energy delightful little scamp who needs a variety of treats and distractions. So these days, there’s always extra peanut butter in the house.
This no-cook dessert has only 5 ingredients. The process was a bit of a mess, but the end result was surprisingly tasty.
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder
- 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- chopped peanuts
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the corn syrup and peanut butter. Gradually stir in the dry milk powder. Add the sifted sugar, and mix until smooth.
Turn the mixture out onto a cutting board and shape into a thin roll, about 12 inches long. Gently press the chopped peanuts into the roll, and let the roll rest to harden. Then cut into 1/2 inch slices.
This makes about 24 pieces. Serve immediately, or refrigerate inside a sealed container.
-Adapted from Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook
Sounds simple, right?
The recipe fails to mention that the mixture firms up quickly, which means you may need to chip out any bits glued to the sides of your bowl. After that, a disturbing amount of the corn syrup oozes back out of your peanut blob, so the shaping step involves blotting at the gloopy roll with paper towels and taking a few extra breaks to wash your Karo-coated hands.
The chopped peanuts don’t stay put very well unless you jam them down enough to slightly flatten the roll, and even then, it’s easy to brush them loose when cutting or just trying to add more peanuts to a piece. I gave up trying to get an even coat and just smooshed a few extra peanut bits on each piece I cut free of the roll.
The end result got good reviews at a Friendship Club movie night; our tasters said the flavor was reminiscent of those Mary Jane penny candies, just with less tendency to stick to the roof of your mouth.
- Sifting the confectioner’s sugar may seem like a fussy extra step, but it does make for a more even mix. A hand-crank sifter isn’t necessary; just pour the sugar through any fine-mesh strainer.
- Since this mixture thickens up fast when you start adding dry ingredients, it’s a good idea to have everything measured, sifted, and ready to go. That should make the peanut goop easier to dump out after mixing, and it has the side benefit of making you feel like your kitchen is a fancy cooking show.
- The recipe suggests letting the roll sit for a time before cutting, but waiting may not be necessary if it’s firmed up enough by the time you’re finished shaping.
Given that this is such a simple recipe, I could see myself breaking Peanut Party out again for guests. I’d probably try using slightly less corn syrup to cut down on the drip factor, and I might be interested in swapping to a different style of sugary syrup just to see how that changes the flavor. One thing that worked really well, and that I’d definitely do again, was to use a fancy “gourmet” brand of roasted, salted peanuts for the topping. That tiny kick of salt on top really brought out the sweetness.