7 Peanut Butter Desserts to Make for the Holidays
With more people spending time at home with remote work, we're all enjoying our newfound love for baking. Did you know that 30% of consumers developed new baking skills during the Covid-19 pandemic?
That's a lot of baking! Today, we're going to talk about one of the most popular ingredients in baking and how to make it our star ingredient as the holidays approach. Here are some holiday dessert recipes to help you make the best peanut butter desserts you'll ever find!
1. Peanut Butter Pie
You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't love peanut butter pie, barring any allergies. This recipe creates a light and fluffy pie that's incredibly sweet and rich. The flavor is similar to peanut butter fudge but not nearly as dense, making it a little more guilt-free!
Even better, it isn't too much work compared to other pies. You can bake a light, flavor-filled pie with less than a half hour of work, including only 10 minutes of cook time. All you will need is 4 tablespoons of melted butter and 25 whole Oreos or knockoffs for the crust and for the filling:
- 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
- Softened 8 ounces of cream cheese
- 1 and 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
- Whipped topping of your choice
That's it! This simple recipe for peanut butter pie is sure to please your sweet-toothed relatives this holiday season!
First, preheat the oven to 350F.
Of course, peanut butter pairs beautifully with chocolate, which is best in Oreo form. Grab your sandwich cookies and start breaking them down in a bowl. Once they are broken up enough, add your melted butter and mix before molding into your pie tin.
For the best results, place this into the oven while preparing your filling for around 5 minutes or until set.
From there, combine your creamy peanut butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar in a separate bowl. Mix these thoroughly, preferably with a KitchenAid or electric mixer. Ensure they are thoroughly mixed before adding your whipped topping to make the filling light and fluffy.
Once complete, add the filling to your pie crust and place it in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency. Now, we did say that it would take less than an hour and a half of work. However, the pie will need to chill for at least an hour before serving! (Worth it!)
2. No-Bake Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut butter fudge is a classic, rich, and ultra-sweet dessert that's great for the holidays. Some fudge recipes take hours to make, but this recipe is relatively straightforward, reasonable, and delicious. You will only need:
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
In all these recipes, we will let you know if creamy or chunky peanut butter is better for each dish, but feel free to choose your favorite brand! Some people strongly prefer certain brands, while others prefer natural peanut butter. Fortunately, there are no wrong answers here!
However, we should recommend a white chocolate pretzel peanut butter, as this makes a very flavorful and rich fudge!
Making Peanut Butter Fudge From Scratch
Now, there are several ways to do this, and once you have the base prepared, you can experiment as much as you'd like. For example, adding peanut butter fudge to chocolate fudge, banana-based dessert, or other holiday dessert ideas is a great way to improve your fudge. However, here's what you need for the peanut butter fudge specifically!
First, combine your milk and sugar in a pan and place it over medium-low heat. Bring it up to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to boil for 2 and a half minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
Once complete, remove from the heat and add your peanut butter and vanilla. Stir together until complete and pour into an oiled 8x8 baking pan. That's it!
This entire process only takes 20 to 30 minutes, which is an excellent recipe for anybody in a hurry.
3. Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut butter cookies tied with sugar cookies as the favorite holiday dessert in the US! This is a family-friendly recipe you can easily make with your children, who are sure to love them! All you need to get started are:
- 1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 eggs (or 3/4 cup apple sauce)
- 2 and a half cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- Pinch of salt
These simple ingredients will make excellent peanut butter cookies. Optionally, you can use Hershey's Kisses to make peanut butter blossoms as one of the classic holiday dessert ideas. However, that's entirely up to you!
Cookie Baking Instructions
Start by preheating your oven to 375F. Sift your dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir together thoroughly. Then, melt your butter.
Place your melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients. Stir everything together until you have a consistent dough, and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour if you have the time (forego the preheating if so).
Roll your dough into small, evenly-sized balls. Smash each ball down with a fork to a consistent thickness (alternate directions for a lovely pattern). Once ready, place into the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the cookies begin to brown.
Optionally, you can start unwrapping your kisses while the cookies are baking. Once they are ready, all you have to do is place the kiss directly in the middle while the cookies are still warm. Remember, this will melt the chocolate, so don't be surprised if they're messy at the beginning!
4. PB&J Cookies
Did you know that PB&Js have such a strong history in the US that they were part of WWII soldiers' daily rations? They still haven't fallen out of favor today!
Jelly, jam, or whatever you want. This is a dessert take on the classic PB&J sandwich, so there is plenty of room to get creative. It's nearly impossible to make these flavor combinations taste bad!
Also, peanut butter isn't the only nut butter that works with fruit jellies and jams. High-quality almond butter would work beautifully as well!
The idea is to make two peanut butter cookies and put your favorite jelly, jam, or preserve between in a cookie sandwich formation. Personally, we prefer using a high-quality, homemade jam or preserve, but it's up to your preferences. Simply follow the recipe above for peanut butter cookies, but nix the chocolate at the end!
Remember that you can use blackberries, strawberries, or whatever fruit you want for this. Even putting sliced bananas between the cookies will taste great. However, to make your own raspberry jam, you'll only need two ingredients: whole raspberries and granulated sugar.
Place your raspberries into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a full boil, stirring your berries regularly. Once at a full boil, stir for one minute.
Next, use equal parts granulated sugar (measuring by cups) into your boiling berries. Stir and break apart any large berries with your spoon. Once it's ready, ladle it into glass jars and allow it to cool.
Finally, grab a butter knife or spoon and start spreading your jam onto the bottom of your peanut butter cookies. Add another cookie, and you've made yourself a delicious PB&J dessert!
5. No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
This is one of the more moderate options on this list for health and time consumption! In total, this will only set you back 15 minutes, and it will even make minimal dishes! Even so, you can still yield up to 48 servings for such little work, which makes this a perfect choice for sharing the love during the holidays.
To get started, all you need is:
- 3 cups of white sugar
- 3/4 cup of butter
- 3/4 cup of milk
- 1 and 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 4 and 1/2 cups of instant oats
From there, it's pretty straightforward! Simply combine the butter, sugar, and milk into a pan over medium heat and bring it to a boil for one minute. Then, remove from the heat and mix in the oats, peanut butter, and vanilla.
Keep stirring for a minute, and drop the batter by the teaspoon onto a sheet of wax paper. Then, stick them in the fridge and enjoy!
6. Low-Sugar Peanut Butter Coconut Bites
This is an excellent option for health-conscious families, as we substitute granulated sugar for Splenda or Stevia. To get started, you will need:
- 1 1/2 cup of crispy rice cereal
- 1 2/3 cup reduced-fat peanut butter
- 1/2 cup of granulated Splenda or Stevia
- 3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
This is an excellent recipe for anybody with diabetes, which includes 1 in 10 American adults, and it's only 4 simple ingredients! You can't go wrong.
First, line a baking sheet with wax paper. Combine cereal, peanut butter, and sugar substitute in a large bowl and mix them together. Pour the coconut flakes into a separate bowl.
Roll about a tablespoon's worth of your mixture into a small ball and coat them in the coconut flakes. Place on your wax paper-covered baking sheet and place in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
Guess what; these are no-bake and no heat! That's the entire process, making this one of the easiest desserts on the list!
7. Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pops
Now, baking a cheesecake is a lot of work, so let's just not do it. Instead, let's make delicious peanut butter cheesecake pops that everybody will enjoy in only a fraction of the time!
While they take a while to cook, you'll only need about 15 minutes to prepare these pops. To start, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 pounds of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
You will also need some type of chocolate, which you can make yourself or buy pre-made. You will only need some vegetable shortening and baking chocolate chips to make yourself.
For the cheesecake, place a rack in the oven and preheat to 325F. Line an 8"x8" baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing long flaps to overlap on each side. Don't forget to grease to foil to prevent sticking!
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, mix your cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. From there, add the cream and begin to beat slowly. Then, mix the yolks and vanilla until combined before adding the peanut butter.
Pour and evenly spread the batter into a baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes in the middle of the oven, and turn the temperature down to 200F while releasing some heat. Allow this to bake for another 45 minutes or until the outside is settled and the center is still loose.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the fridge. Cut these into 1-1.5" cubes and dip them into your melted chocolate. Place these on wax paper and enjoy!
Notes From the Bakers
Get your ingredients out first and put them away as you go. This is the best way to have everything you need available, declutter your workspace, and make cleanup as easy as possible.
Also, feel free to experiment with your flavors. Some people think baking is extremely rigid compared to cooking, but it doesn't have to be! Of course, temperatures and measurements must be pretty accurate, but that still leaves plenty of wiggle room!
For example, if someone in the family is allergic to peanuts, use sunflower seed butter or different nut butter for them! There are plenty of options to make these desserts even better.
If you see a recipe on this list that's dying for chocolate or berries, add them! In the best-case scenario, you found the recipe of your dreams. Worst-case scenario, you try again and make it even better!
Try Some Peanut Butter Desserts Today
Now that you know some fantastic peanut butter desserts to try at home put them to the test yourself! There's no shortage of options with peanut butter, so try them all and see what you like the best!
Stay up to date with our latest nut butter news, and try some sample sizes today to find the best ingredients for your holiday desserts!