If you should know anything about me, it is that I am a peanut butter addict. Creamy. Crunchy. Cinnamon infused, vanilla, cocoa. I’ll eat ’em all.
Earlier this year, my kitchen-mate and I indulged in the ultimate peanut butter creation to date: peanut butter jelly stuffed muffins. Straight out of your childhood memories, this is the ultimate reincarnation. If you find yourself sitting at home for a bit over this holiday, what better way to take advantage of a dishwater and full fridge then to whip up some muffins?
Don’t blame me when you finish them within the hour they are removed from the oven, though.
Peanut butter jelly stuffed muffins
Yields six to seven overstuffed muffins. Adapted from edibleperspective.com.
Half cup gluten free flour
Half cup gluten free all purpose flour
Half teaspoon baking powder
Quarter teaspoon salt
One-third cup milk
Quarter cup applesauce
Three tablespoon honey
One-eighth cup oil (vegetable, olive, coconut – your choice)
Two tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Half tablespoon vanilla extract
Quarter cup jelly
Crunchy streusel topping
Three tablespoons of rolled oats
Two tablespoons of gluten free flour
One tablespoon of brown sugar
Three tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1. Preheat 350°F/175°C, and line the muffin tins.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, mixing them all together. Set aside.
3. Start streusel. In a separate bowl, melt peanut butter, mixing in brown sugar, flour, oats and sugar. Mix until crumbly. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, mix eggs, milk, applesauce and vanilla. Add in peanut butter, honey and oil. Whisk until completely incorporated.
5. Combine wet and dry ingredients until the batter comes together.
6. Fill muffin liners to half way point, and using a spoon, dollop on a bit of jelly into the center of the muffin. Add a bit of batter until jelly is covered.
7.Continue until batter is used up.
8. Using your hands, spread streusel mixture over muffins.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tops are crisp and browned.
10. Allow muffins to cool completely before digging in. Enjoy.
If you are truly brave, slice it up and add a rise of peanut butter. Just for kicks, you know?
Chicken and leek pie
Serves six to eight
Less of a pie, more of an enormous pasty, this recipe is sure to be a crown pleaser and is thoroughly satisfying. It has become a firm favorite in my flat and the amounts in the recipe mean we are usually enjoying it the next day for lunch too!
I haven’t included the recipe for puff pastry here because I almost always buy it readymade. There is no shame in that, I promise.
Two chicken thighs
Two chicken legs (or just use two more chicken thighs)
One bay leaf
One pint milk (or enough to cover chicken pieces)
Six rashers smoked streaky bacon cut into postage stamp-size pieces
Thirty grams of butter
Two leeks, sliced into half inch discs
Three tablespoons of plain flour
Three teaspoons of Dijon mustard
One pack of puff pastry
One egg, beaten, for glazing
Parmesan, grated, for topping
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6
2. In a saucepan, cover the chicken, onion and bay leaf with milk, season, and simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
3. While this is boiling away, fry the bacon in butter, add the leek slices, and fry until softened.
4. Now the slightly messy bit. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the milk, let it cool for a while and flake it with your hands into the pan with the leeks.
5. Add the flour and cook for a couple of minutes before straining in some of the milk.
6. Add the mustard and stir constantly. The mixture will thicken up as the flour absorbs the milk.
7. Roll out your puff pastry into a large rectangle about the thickness of a pound coin, and lay it on a lightly greased baking tray.
8. Spread the filling evenly on top, leaving an inch or two around the edges.
9. Lay a second sheet of puff pastry on top and crimp around the edges, making sure there are no gaps.
10. Brush your pie/pasty creation with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with parmesan.
11. Bake it in the oven for around 40 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed up and gone golden brown.
This recipe lends itself to experimentation, so just put in whatever spices or herbs you like and see how it tastes! Or go in a completely different direction and put a different filling in. Cheese and onion, beef and mushroom, steak and kidney are all great ones to have a go at.
The pie is quite filling, so a piece on its own can easily constitute a meal, but for something slightly more well-balanced you could serve it with some simple veg like broccoli or a side salad.