The peanut. Call it a nut. Or better yet, call it a legume. Either way, it’s delicious! March is National Peanut month and the perfect time to enjoy some North Carolina peanuts. Peanuts are grown on more than 90,000 acres in North Carolina. The state mostly produces the type of peanuts that are sold in the shell, like at ballparks, or as cocktail peanuts.
In honor of National Peanut Month, here are a few facts:
- It takes 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
- Two peanut farmers have been elected president: Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
- Boiled peanuts are considered a Southern delicacy.
- Astronaut Alan Shepherd took a peanut with him to the moon on the Apollo 14 flight in 1971.
- Women and children prefer smooth, while most men opt for crunchy peanut butter.
Following is a peanut butter cookie recipe from the National Peanut Board. We recommend trying it with a local peanut butter like Mackey’s Ferry or Bertie County peanut butter.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ¼ cup quick oats (grind in blender or food processor to chop finer)
In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add egg and beat well. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and oats. Add to creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown. After removing cookies from the oven, press flat with a spatula, place cookie on wire rack to cool.
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
To Make Filling: Cream butter, confectioners’ sugar and peanut butter. Add cream one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is smooth but not runny. You may not need all of the cream. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.