My mother once said to me..."if it wasn't for peanut butter and jelly (or jam), you probably would have starved!" This is true. I took PB & J, PB & pickle, PB & marshmallow Fluff and other more unusual accompaniments to peanut butter in my lunch box almost every day of my school life because I loved peanut butter--thank goodness I didn't have an allergy to peanuts:-D...and, it probably explains my obsession with making jams!!
I even remember in 6th grade choosing to do an essay on George Washington Carver. We had been studying him in history for his contribution to agriculture in the Reconstruction South showing farmers that peanuts could be an alternative crop to cotton, which repleted the soil. Of course, it wasn't his only contribution to history, but I certainly appreciated his research in this area.
To create the peanut butter ribbons through the pound cake, I've taken my idea from the Mint Stracciatelli Pound Cake to melt Reece's Peanut Butter chips and spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. This way I have luscious layers of peanut butter to compliment the "jam". Speaking of the jam, I didn't use one of the jams I preserved, but, rather I pureed dried blueberries (that I soaked overnight) with some fresh blueberries to make a jam that would hold up in the cake. The cake is topped off with a brown butter glaze, sprinkle with chopped roasted peanuts, but it could easily have just a dusting of confectioners' sugar.
PB & J Pound Cake
1 pkg. (10 oz.) Reese's peanut butter chips, melted and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until set.
1 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup water
Bring to a boil, then add 1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries, turn off the heat and place a lid on top. Let set several hours or overnight. Transfer blueberry mixture to a mini food processor, add 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and puree until smooth.
Break the set peanut butter into shards.
1 1/2 (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp. Peanut Butter flavoring (optional)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cardamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325F-degrees. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with a non-stick baking spray and set aside.
In the KitchenAid, using a paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese thoroughly. Add the sugars and beat for 5 minutes until fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the flavoring and extract and mix together. Add the dry ingredients all at once and beat on low until incorporated, then, put the speed to medium and mix for 1 minute. Stir in the peanut butter shards and pour into the prepared bundt pan.
Start with a layer of batter, then add several spoonfuls of the blueberry puree. Repeat with a another layer and more puree, then, finally, add the remaining batter on top.
Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and the top is firm to the touch. You won't be able to use a skewer to test for doneness because you may be sticking into a melted peanut butter layer and think the center is not set. You'll have to use your senses!
Let the cake cool at least 15 minutes in the pan before inverting it onto a serving plate. Let cool completely and then ice with the brown butter glaze if desired.
1/4 cup (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 T Karo Syrup
1-2 T heavy cream
dry roasted peanuts-chopped (optional)
In a small sauce pan on medium low heat, brown the butter. Transfer butter to a glass bowl and using a hand mixer, beat in the confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add the extract and the Karo syrup and beat on low. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream to create a glaze. Use an off-set spatula to spread the icing, then, sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
When you serve a slice, you will notice ribbons of peanut butter through the golden pound cake, with hints of blueberry jam to compliment it. Pour a glass of cold milk and share with your family your favorite lunch box meal. Enjoy!