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Recipe Friday: Peanut Butter Lovers Month

Did you know November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month? Peanut butter has been a beloved item in pantries nationwide and can be used in almost everything. The wonders of peanut butter know no bounds, so if you are a fan of the yummy, protein-packed peanut butter like, get ready to spread the love with these recipes from the National Peanut Board. 

Grilled Pork Belly with Pickled Apples and Smoked Peanut Butter

Recipes and image courtesy of Chef Kevin Gillespie of Red Beard Restaurants

Ingredients for the all-purpose pickling liquid

2 cups apple cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
¼ cup pickling spice
2 T kosher salt

Ingredients for the braised pork belly

1 ea. 2-lb center-cut slab raw pork belly
2 T kosher salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar

Ingredients for final assembly

2 cups salted roasted peanuts
¼ tsp liquid smoke
¼ cup grapeseed oil or canola oil
1 cup all-purpose pickling liquid
1 ea. fuji apple
12 oz braised pork belly
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 scallions
¼ cup root and tough green ends, trimmed


For the all-purpose pickling liquid

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt, and remove from the heat.
  2. Strain over the items you are pickling and cool to room temperature.
  3. Refrigerate the pickles and, for the best taste, let them pickle for about a week before eating. The longer you pickle them, the more intense the flavor will be.

For the braised pork belly

  1. Heat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Rub both sides of the pork belly with the salt and lay flat, fat side up, in a baking dish that is just a little larger than the slab.
  3. Add the vinegar; it should come about halfway up the side of the meat.
  4. Wrap tightly with aluminum foil and braise in the oven for 3 hours.
  5. Remove from the oven and let rest, wrapped in the foil, until the pork cools to room temperature. Remove from the pan, wrap in parchment and then foil, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

For the final cooking and assembly

  1. Using a Vitamix or high-speed blender, blend the peanuts on medium speed to a fine grind, about 30 seconds. With the blender running, drizzle in the liquid smoke and oil. Turn the blender off, scrape down the sides, and then return to medium-high speed and the mixture will come together into a smooth butter. You need to keep it on medium-high speed, as high speed will heat it and cause the oil to separate from the solids, causing it to “break.” Store the peanut butter, tightly covered at room temperature, for up to 1 month.
  2. Bring the pickling liquid to a boil over high heat. Peel, core, and dice the apple (¼-inch dice) into a small bowl and strain the hot pickling liquid over the top. Discard the solids. Spoon out 2 tablespoons of the pickling liquid to use later and refrigerate the apples until ready to serve.
  3. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Peel the skin and top layer of fat from the pork belly and discard. Cut into strips 3 inches long and ½ inch wide. Pat them dry and brush with the reserved pickling liquid. Season with salt and pepper and grill the pork belly until deep golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip, brush with more pickling liquid, and grill for another 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter across each plate, top with the pork belly, and garnish with the pickled apples, a little pickling liquid, and a sprinkle of scallions.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn Lollipops

Recipe courtesy Little Figgy Foodie


8 cups popped salted popcorn
3 T unsalted butter
10 oz bag of caramels
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels, melted
1 cup honey roasted or salted peanuts, crushed

Optional Add-in Ingredients:

½ cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate morsels
½ cup roasted peanuts
½ cup peanut butter chocolate mini cups, cut in half
½ cup caramel morsels
1 cup mini marshmallows


  1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with wax or parchment paper and set aside. Pour the popped salted popcorn into large bowl. In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine unsalted butter, caramels, and peanut butter, stir constantly to prevent sticking. Cook for about 3 – 5 minutes or until everything has melted and is smooth. Pour the caramel mixture over popcorn and stir to coat.
  2. Either spray hands with non-stick spray or coat hands with butter. Working quickly, measure approximately ½ cup of popcorn mixture, using hands, press together tightly to form a ball, place on parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat quickly until you have finished with remaining mixture. (Be careful, mixture may be hot).
  3. After you have finished, insert a popsicle stick into popcorn balls to make lollipops. Allow popcorn balls to set for about 10 minutes until firm. In small saucepan, melt the chocolate over medium heat until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 3 - 5 minutes.
  4. Roll each popcorn lollipop in melted chocolate halfway up sides, then roll in crushed peanuts. Set aside on parchment lined baking sheet. Best served the same day, can be stored for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container kept at room temperature.

Notes: You can add in any of the optional add-ins to the popcorn, then pour in the caramel mixture and continue as directed.

Peanut Butter Cocktail

Recipe courtesy Amanda Powell, A Cookie Named Desire


1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups cream liqueur
1 ½ cups vanilla vodka
3 cups milk or cream
Options: chocolate bitters
Chocolate syrup


  1. Start with the peanut butter and slowly add the liquid to the peanut butter. That helps to keep the cocktail smooth without clumps of peanut butter. Use creamy peanut butter - regular or natural both work as long as you stir in the peanut oil back in if there is any separation before you measure and add it in.
  2. Mix the peanut butter and then add the liqueur. When you whisk it together it will still feel very thick. Mix in the vodka. Keep stirring until it is really well-combined. It will start to thin out nicely at this point, but will still be on the thick side. Slowly add in the milk, only half a cup at a time. It will really start to thin out well. By the end, it will be the perfect texture to drink. Add in bitters, if you want. If you don’t have any or can’t find it, feel free to skip!

Note: This cocktail is meant to be made for a crowd. The best thing to do is make it in a bowl and use a ladle to serve.



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