Thursday, March 1, 2012

Weekend Gourmet Flashback: Celebrating National Peanut Butter Lover's Day...with PB&J Puff Pastry Doughnuts

Today is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day...and I do indeed love peanut butter!! I had planned to share a really great recipe for a peanut-buttery blonde brownie base topped with strawberry jam and fresh strawberries. But that will have to wait for just a bit. I came down with a horrible stomach virus last night, so cooking was off the agenda. I'm still under the weather today, but I'm jumping on the computer really quickly to post one of my favorite peanut butter treats from last year so I can take part in the peanut butter love! 

What's not to love about peanut butter...especially when it's paired with jelly in the form of a flaky homemade doughnut? Today's recipe is a snap to whip up thanks to frozen puff pastry. Not only are these doughnuts easy to make, they taste AMAZING!! This recipe was my first-ever time to use puff pastry, and I was thrilled with how easy it was to use...and how pretty the end result was!! I adapted a recipe that I found at the Pepperidge Farm puff pastry website. They have all sorts of easy recipes for appetizers, desserts, and pastries...but one recipe jumped out at me immediately: PB&J Doughnuts. 

The idea of one of my all-time-favorite sandwiches in a doughnut form had me dashing out the door to head to the grocery store to buy some puff pastry! I loved these doughnuts so much that I made several variations for different parties we attended last year. One of my favorites was white chocolate chips, diced strawberries, and a dollop of strawberry-flavored cream cheese! This doughnut features warm peanut butter filling and raspberry jam, but you can feel free to use your favorite jelly flavor combination of choice

PB&J Puff Pastry Doughnuts
adapted from Pepperidge Farm

Step 1:  Remove frozen puff pastry from the box and set the two pieces on a baking sheet to thaw. This takes about 30-40 minutes. While the pastry is thawing, combine the following ingredients in a small bowl: 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3 tbs. whipping cream, 2 tbs. powdered sugar, and 1 tbs. honey. Stir well to combine and set aside.

Step 2:  Preheat oven to 400. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut each piece of puff pastry into nine rounds (18 total rounds). Place half of the puff pastry rounds on a non-stick cookie sheet...a Silpat or parchment paper will make cleanup much easier! Top each puff pastry round with 1 rounded tsp. of the peanut butter mixture and 1 tsp. of your favorite jam or jelly. I used seedless red raspberry jam since that's what I had in my kitchen.

Step 3:  Combine 1 egg and a bit of water and whisk well until frothy. Brush the egg wash around the edges of the rounds. Top with the remaining nine pastry rounds. Use a fork or clean fingers to seal the two pieces seal together...go slow so you get a really nice seal. This will prevent any of the filling from coming out the sides during baking.

Step 4:  Bake the doughnuts for 15-20 minutes, until they are puffed and golden. I turned my baking sheet around halfway through to ensure even browning. Make sure to let the doughnuts cool for at least 10 minutes before you eat them. Otherwise, you might end up with very hot peanut butter burning your mouth! Just before serving, dust the doughnuts with powdered sugar.

These doughnuts are the best of both worlds: fancy enough to serve to friends for a Sunday brunch, but simple enough to whip up for a yummy after-dinner treat. The first thing you notice is the crisp, light texture of the doughnut...and then you taste the slightly sweet peanut butter and the tart jam. All you need is a cold glass of milk, and you're ready to dig in!!

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