Ideas for Easy Peanut Butter Sweet Treats

From pie topped with whipped cream and chewy cookie bars, peanut butter is a popular flavor for many sweet treats. Depending on the recipe, you could wind up spending a great deal of time and money deciphering the instructions. If you like uncomplicated baking with easy-to-find ingredients, consider the following ideas that incorporate the likes of Jif, Skippy, or Peter Pan.

Peanut Butter Cake

A quick and easy way to make peanut butter cake is to use a package (around 18.25-ounces) of butter cake mix as your base. First, cream together ½ cup smooth peanut butter and ½ cup softened butter until they become light and fluffy. Add 4 large eggs (one at a time) – making sure to mix well after each addition. Add in the cake mix alternately with 2/3 cup of water. Stir the ingredients until they are combined.

Pour the batter into two prepared 9-inch round cake pans (greased and floured). Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack. To further cool, turn out the pans onto the rack. Frost when completely cooled.

To make a peanut butter frosting, cream 1 cup of peanut butter and 1/2 cup softened butter until light and fluffy. Add 4 cups of powdered sugar. Slowly add in the milk until frosting is spreadable.

Ways to enhance a peanut butter cake recipe include:

  • Chocolate as an ingredient
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Chopped nuts as a topping

Peanut Butter Cookies

When you’re looking for an uncomplicated, traditional treat, peanut butter cookies are a favorite of all ages. To make about 2 dozen cookies, you will need 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter (at room temperature), 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 egg, 1 1/4 cup flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

First, cream the butter for two minutes, and then add in the sugars. Cream the ingredients for 2 additional minutes. Mix in the peanut butter and egg. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt), and then stir into the creamed butter/sugar mixture. Wrap the dough in plastic and put in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough into balls measuring 1 1/4 inches. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Use a fork to imprint the cookies with the signature crisscross pattern.  Bake the cookies until they turn light brown – about 9 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for one minute, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. If you prefer chewier cookies, bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Peanut Butter Balls

Residents of Ohio know peanut butter balls all too well – nicknaming the treat “Buckeyes.” The recipe for this confection calls for basic ingredients to create quite a tempting treat. After mixing the ingredients together, you basically roll the treats into small balls, chill, and then dip in melted chocolate. Many say that the sweet treat resembles a homemade Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. With a chocolate coating and creamy peanut butter filling, the texture of the candy slightly resembles fudge.

An example of ingredients used to make peanut butter balls includes 2 cups creamy peanut butter, ¼ cup unsalted butter (at room temperature), ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 2 to 2 ½ cups of confectioner’s sugar. The chocolate coating is usually made out of melted semisweet chocolate and shortening.