A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Foster’s Market Peanut Butter Pie Peanut Pie School Days Peanut Butter Cake Caramel Apples with Salted Peanuts Smoked Honey-Roasted Peanuts Cinnamon-Spiced Peanuts Frozen Peanut Butter Pie Peanut Butter Promises Trail

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Foster’s Market Peanut Butter Pie Peanut Pie School Days Peanut Butter Cake Caramel Apples with Salted Peanuts Smoked Honey-Roasted Peanuts Cinnamon-Spiced Peanuts Frozen Peanut Butter Pie Peanut Butter Promises Trail

15 Sweet and Savory Peanut Recipes


Foster’s Market Peanut Butter Pie

Recipe by Foster’s Market

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

1 prebaked 9-inch Black Bottom Cookie Crust with 1/4 cup ground peanuts (recipe below)

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup heavy cream

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ cup creamy peanut butter, softened
¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups whipped cream, reserved from the peanut butter layer
¼ cup toasted peanuts
2 tablespoons ganache, reserved from the ganache layer

For the chocolate ganache layer: Place the chocolate in a large bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts and the mixture is fully combined and smooth. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the ganache for the topping. Let the remaining ganache cool slightly, then pour it into the cookie crust and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until firm.

For the peanut butter layer: Cream the cream cheese and peanut butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer or wooden spoon. Add the condensed milk and beat until thoroughly blended. Add the vanilla and stir to mix.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the cream into soft peaks. Set aside half of the whipped cream for the topping and gently fold the remaining half into the peanut butter mixture. When the ganache is completely firm, spoon the peanut butter mixture on top of the chilled ganache, spread evenly, and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until firm. You can refrigerate the pie overnight or up to several days at this point.

For the topping: Fold the vanilla into the reserved whipped cream. Using a spatula or pastry bag, evenly spread or pipe the whipped cream over the pie and sprinkle with peanuts.

Gently reheat the reserved ganache in the microwave for about 10 seconds, until soft enough to pour. Cool slightly and drizzle the ganache over the pie. Chill until ready to serve.

Black Bottom Cookie Crust

Yield: 1 (9-inch) piecrust.

1½ cups Oreo cookie crumbs (from 6 ounces cookies)
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the cookie crumbs, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix. Pour in the butter and stir to combine, moistening all the crumbs. Spread the mixture in a pie pan, evenly pressing it over the bottom and up the sides of the pan to create a crust. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly firm. Remove from oven and let cool; crust will firm as it cools.

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Blanchard’s Peanut Pie

Courtesy of Helen Odom, a former Blanchard restaurant regular, who keeps the beloved recipe card close.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

20 Ritz Crackers, rolled out fine
1 cup of sugar
¾ cup of chopped peanuts
3 egg whites, beaten
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium bowl, mix Ritz Crackers, ½ cup of sugar, and chopped peanuts.

Fold this mixture into the following: egg whites, cream of tartar, ½ cup of sugar, vanilla.

Bake in pie-tin for 20 minutes at 350º. Let cool. Top with whipped cream and grated bitter chocolate.

Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving.

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School Days Peanut Butter Cake

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 24 servings.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup crunchy peanut butter (do not use natural)
1 cup water
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature, slightly beaten
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 stick salted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a saucepan, add water and butter; heat on medium and bring to a slow boil. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter and oil until well blended. Mix in eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla until blended.

Pour batter into flour mixture. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Batter will be loose. Pour into the prepared pan, spreading evenly to all corners. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven.

To make the frosting, bring butter, peanut butter, and buttermilk to a rapid boil. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in vanilla and powdered sugar. While the frosting is still hot, spread over the warm cake. Let cake cool completely and cut into bars.

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Caramel Apples with Salted Peanuts

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 10 apples.

10 medium tart apples, washed and dried
10 Popsicle or craft sticks (found at craft stores)
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup salted peanuts, chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt (optional)
Special tools: Candy thermometer

Remove stems from apples. Insert sticks into apples. Place apples in freezer while the caramel is being made.

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter; add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 248°. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.

Dip each apple into hot caramel mixture; turn to coat. Dip bottom of apples into peanuts. Sprinkle apples with coarse salt (optional). Place on parchment paper until set. Keep caramel apples in refrigerator until ready to serve.

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smoked honey roasted peanuts


Smoked Honey-Roasted Peanuts

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 8 (2-ounce) servings.

1½ teaspoons chipotle chili pepper
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound skinless raw peanuts

Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together the chipotle chili pepper, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder in a small bowl; set aside.

Stir together the butter, honey, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted, and the mixture is bubbly. Stir in the peanuts until well coated, then pour out into a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Bake in a preheated oven until the nuts are golden brown (about 20 minutes). Stir the mixture after 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. Once done, scrape the peanuts into a large metal bowl, and sprinkle with the spice mixture. Toss the peanuts to evenly coat with the spice mixture. Allow the peanuts to cool to room temperature, tossing every few minutes so the nuts do not stick together.

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Cinnamon-Spiced Peanuts

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 12 servings.

1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 cup white sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 pound unsalted peanuts

Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and spices.

Add peanuts to egg whites; stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread out the nuts on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 250° for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

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Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

Recipe by Community Cookbook Series

Yields: 2 pies.

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup and 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup milk
10 ounces whipped topping
2 graham-cracker crusts
½ cup peanuts, chopped (optional)

Whip cream cheese at low speed. Beat in sugar and peanut butter. Slowly beat in milk. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into crusts. Top with chopped nuts, if desired. Freeze until firm.

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Peanut Butter Promises

Recipe by Erica Derr

Yield: 3 dozen.

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup mild honey
1 egg

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl, and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar, honey, and egg until well-blended. Add the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Grease baking sheets lightly. Roll bits of dough into walnut-size balls, and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Flatten with a fork to make a crisscross pattern. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on the pan a minute before transferring to a rack to cool.

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Trail Mix Brittle

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: Approximately 2 pounds.

2 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
½ cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 cup salted peanuts
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup raisins
4 tablespoons sesame seeds

Butter a full-size baking pan (18 x 26 inches) or 2 half-sheet baking pans (18 x 13 inches).

In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, bring sugar, corn syrup, water, and 2 tablespoons of butter to a boil. Using a candy thermometer, cook until temperature reaches 240°. Add peanuts and cook until thermometer reaches 285°.

Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, and sesame seeds. Pour immediately into buttered pan(s). Tilt the pan so that the brittle covers the entire pan, corner to corner. Allow brittle to cool and harden. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 weeks.

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Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Cones

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 8 cones.

2 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cold whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 cup salted peanuts, chopped
6 cups vanilla ice cream

Place egg whites, sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt into a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer on low speed, combine ingredients. Add flour and butter, and mix until flour is fully incorporated and batter is smooth.

Place a nonstick skillet, cast-iron pan, or frying pan on low heat. Pour 1½ tablespoons batter into the warm skillet and spread into a thin circle, approximately 6 inches in diameter, using the back of a tablespoon or an offset spatula.

Place skillet over medium heat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until base has set and the edges begin to turn a light tan color. Using a spatula, flip and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Lift the disc off of the skillet, and quickly and carefully roll from the bottom of the cone to shape it, pulling it out at the top to make a wider opening. Lay the cone onto a paper towel and hold, seam side down, for 1 to 2 minutes or until cone cools and hardens. Repeat to make remaining 7 cones.

Dip the edges of the cones in the melted chocolate and cover in nuts. Fill cones with vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with remaining chocolate and sprinkle with nuts. Set the cones on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until ready to serve. Best if eaten on the day they are made.

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The Pepsi ’n’ Peanuts Cake

Recipe by Wendy Perry

Yield: 8 (4-inch) cakes

8 (4-inch) ramekins (or 4 small springform pans)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce, made with N.C. mountain apples*
1¼ cups peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups High Rock Farm Chestnut Flour
1¼ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1½ cups milk

1 (16-ounce) Pepsi

8 ounces Escazú chocolate 64% cocoa, chopped
6 tablespoons Pepsi reduction

¼ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Pepsi reduction

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Yah’s Best vanilla extract

¼ cup chopped Baker’s peanuts
Pepsi reduction

For the cake: Preheat oven to 400˚. Spray ramekins with nonstick baking spray. In large bowl, mix brown sugar, oil, applesauce, and peanut butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time; stir in vanilla. Combine flours, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
Mix into peanut butter mixture, alternating with milk. Set aside.

For the Pepsi reduction: In heavy saucepan, on medium heat, reduce Pepsi until about half of original volume and thickened. Set aside.

For the first filling: In small, microwave-safe bowl, warm chocolate and Pepsi reduction in 20-30 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted together.

For the second filling: Combine all ingredients in small, microwave-safe bowl, and warm for about 15 seconds. Stir to combine, and cream.

For the whipped topping: Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. While mixer is running, slowly add sugar and vanilla. Whip until hard peaks form.

To bake cakes: Fill each ramekin half full with peanut butter cake mixture. Put 2 teaspoons of each filling on top of each cake mixture. Top with more batter until ramekin is almost full. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes. Tops will crack slightly. Remove from oven, and run a knife around cakes to loosen. Let cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto serving plates. (If using springform pans, slide onto serving plates.) Top with dollop of whipped topping and crumbled peanuts. Drizzle with Pepsi reduction. Best if served warm just after baking.

*Note: For applesauce, use 4 cooking apples, 2 tablespoons water or apple juice, and 2 tablespoons sugar or honey. Peel, core, and chop apples. Place in microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle with water. Cover tightly, and cook on high about 6 minutes or until apples are tender. (Cooking time will vary depending on type of apple used.) Add sugar, and mash with potato masher until desired consistency. (If the apples are naturally sweet, you can omit adding sugar.)

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Chicken and Peanut Stew

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 8 servings.

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 cups roasted chicken, shredded
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
6 cups chicken stock
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
4 cups chopped kale
1 cup crunchy peanut butter

Heat the peanut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cook and stir the onion and ginger in the hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, and cumin. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Pour the chicken stock over the mixture and add the sweet potatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover the pot partially with a lid, and cook at a simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir the tomatoes, kale, chicken, and peanut butter into the soup. Partially cover the pot again and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped peanuts (optional).

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Chilled Carrot Soup with Salted Peanuts

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 6 servings.

6 large carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch rounds
3 cups fresh carrot juice, divided
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 teaspoons honey
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, minced
Salt and white pepper to taste
6 teaspoons crème fraîche
Tarragon sprigs or leaves
½ cup salted peanuts, chopped

Place carrots, 2 cups of the carrot juice, vegetable stock, butter, honey, and curry into a soup pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until liquid has partially evaporated and carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes.

Whisk in cream, increase heat to medium, and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Blend carrot mixture, remaining carrot juice, and tarragon in a blender until mixture is creamy and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls or ramekins, and garnish with crème fraîche, fresh tarragon, and peanuts.

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Chicken-Cabbage Salad with Peanut Dressing

Recipe by Lynn Wells

Yield: 6 servings.

½ cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Juice from 1 lime
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sugar
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 cups shredded red cabbage
3 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 large English cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups roasted chicken, shredded
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
½ cup chopped peanuts (optional)
Lime wedges (for garnish)

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients, except for the peanuts, and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, pour the peanut dressing over the salad and toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh cilantro, chopped peanuts, and lime wedges.

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cheerwine peanuts


Cheerwine Boiled Peanuts

Recipe by Marc Jacksina

Yields: 2 cups.

4 cups raw (unroasted) peanuts, in the shell
One 3 x 5-inch sheet kombu (dried seaweed)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 whole star anise
2 cups Cheerwine or other cherry soda
1 teaspoon mirin
1 teaspoon white soy sauce
2 dashes Tabasco

In a saucepot, combine the peanuts, kombu, kosher salt, and star anise; cover with water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 2 to 3 hours, adding more water as necessary to keep the peanuts covered.

Strain and shell the peanuts. (Discard the kombu and star anise.) You should be left with about 2 cups of peanuts.

In a clean medium saucepot, combine the shelled peanuts with the Cheerwine, mirin, white soy sauce, and Tabasco. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring often, until the liquid has reduced to about 2 tablespoons.

Lay the peanuts on a parchment-lined sheet tray and let cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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This story was published on Aug 02, 2021

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