Peanut butter was first developed in the United States in the 1890s as a high-protein health food. The original patent for peanut butter was given to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (the Kellogg’s cereal magnate) who initially developed peanut butter as a protein alternative for his patients.
Peanut butter was first introduced to the American public in St. Louis at the 1904 World’s Fair, where over $700 worth of it was sold at a penny per sample. Peanut butter has been a favorite kitchen staple in American homes ever since. Commercial production of peanut butter began in earnest in 1908, but the early products had a gritty texture and spoiled easily. That soon changed. In 1922, Joseph L. Rosefield found a way to prevent the oil from separating, and he received the first patent for a shelf-stable peanut butter that stayed fresh for up to a year. Today, of the peanuts grown in the U.S., nearly half are used to make peanut butter.
What better way to celebrate National Peanut Butter Day than with this recipe for Peanut Butter Cups from Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson! This recipe makes 18 peanut butter cups. For bite-size versions of this delicious treat, use small paper candy cups instead of the cupcake liners.
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 16 ounces semisweet vegan chocolate chips
- Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until well blended. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Mix well until thoroughly combined, then refrigerate.
- Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate is melted.
- Use a small brush to coat the chocolate over the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides of 18 paper cupcake liners. Reserve the remaining chocolate. Refrigerate the cups until firm, about 10 minutes.
- Scoop out about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the peanut but- ter mixture and shape into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disc and place inside one of the chilled chocolate- lined cups. Repeat until all the cups are filled. Spoon the remaining 2 teaspoons melted chocolate over the tops of each cup. Refrigerate until firm.
From Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson. ©2013 Robin Robertson. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press. Photo by Lori Maffei.
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