This post is sponsored by my friends at the Alabama Peanut Producers Association, but all opinions expressed are my own – just as always. Thanks for supporting the brands that support my family and me.
If you’ve been hanging around these parts for any length of time, you’ve probably heard me tell stories about my grandparents – especially the vast gardens my grandfather used to keep. Acres of land around his house were dedicated to growing a whole host of things from tomatoes and squash, to beans and peas, to watermelon and cantaloupe, even potatoes and corn. To this very day, I still don’t know how the man had time to hold a full-time job, tend cows, keep all the gardens, and still make it to choir practice and church on Sunday. I think the days had to be longer back then.
I remember so many trips to the garden with him. Whether we were planting, pulling weeds, or harvesting, I have such fond memories of spending time in those fields. I distinctly remember one summer where he decided to plant a few rows of peanuts. I had always been impressed, even as a kid, at this man’s green thumb. He could turn seeds, soil, and water into just about anything. And this was no different. Those peanuts popped right up and gave us some of the best boiled peanuts I ever remember having.
One of the things that has stuck in my brain from then was the smell of harvesting peanuts. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s the scent of the freshly turned dirt combined with the distinct fragrance that the peanut plants give off is embedded in my memory. I can’t exactly describe it and unfortunately most folks will never really know what I’m talking about, but I got reminded of that very unique fragrance just a few weeks back.
My friends from the Alabama Peanut Producers Association invited me, along with some other food bloggers and culinary educators, down to the Dothan/Headland area of Alabama for the Alabama Farm-to-Table Peanut Harvest Tour. We spent the better part of three days learning all about what it takes to put that peanut into your favorite M&M candy and the smooth and creamy spread in that jar of peanut butter. We met a few of the nearly 1,000 farmers and families in Alabama who’ve dedicated their entire lives farming peanuts. Did you know that about half of the peanuts grown in the United States are grown within a 100-mile radius of Dothan, Alabama?
We often don’t put much thought into the things we buy at the grocery store. We just grab what we need and go without considering how it got to that shelf. The tour gave me some great insight into the process, but the highlight was meeting those families, who have been working for generations to put affordable, quality food on our tables.
It certainly made me pause when I was grabbing the peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut butter cookies for this recipe at the store. I thought about Mr. Fred Helms of Rehobeth who proudly showed off his grand baby at the fish fry he hosted for us on his farm one evening. I thought about Mr. Curry Parker who is a 5th generation farmer and has been farming since he was 11 years old. He’s passing the farm on to his grandson who will then be a 7th generation farmer.
As we all strive to learn more about where our food comes from, I sure am glad to know that the peanuts on my table are coming from families like these.
And certainly I can’t tell you all about peanuts without giving you a delicious peanut recipe, right?
If my Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts, Peanut Butter Cup Pie, Chewy Peanut Butter Cookie Bars, Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Meringue Pie, Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies, Aunt Matilda’s Peanut Brittle, or Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie aren’t enough, this new No-Bake Peanut Butter Cream Pie is sure to be just what you’re looking for!
The creamy peanut butter filling is made with fresh whipped cream, cream cheese, creamy peanut butter, and a little powdered sugar for sweetness. The salted peanut butter cookie crust is the real star, though. It’s made with crushed Nutter Butter cookies, a dash of salt, and crushed cocktail peanuts for some added texture.
Of all my variations on peanut butter pie, I think this one is my favorite!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Cream Pie
For the crust:
- 26 Nutter Butter peanut butter cookies
- 1/2 cup cocktail peanuts
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, divided
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Add the cookies, peanuts, and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse until the cookies are crushed and peanuts have been chopped into small pieces. Add the crushed mixture to a large bowl and drizzle the melted butter over the top. Stir to coat all the crumbs in butter. Pour the crust mixture into 9-inch deep-dish pie dish. Press firmly with fingers or the bottom of a small measuring cup to form the crust in the bottom and up the sides of the dish. The crust will be thick. Refrigerate to allow the crust to firm up.
- In a medium bowl, use a mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the peanut butter and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and mix until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a mixer to beat 1 cup of heavy cream until frothy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, and mix until very soft peaks begin to form. Add the peanut butter mixture to the beaten cream in three batches, mixing well after each addition. Mix until stiff peaks form. Spread the mixture into the prepared crust.
- In a small bowl, melt about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in the microwave until pourable. Drizzle the melted peanut butter over the top of the prepared pie. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow the pie to firm up. Store covered in the refrigerator. Serve chilled, topped with additional sweetened whipped cream – if desired.