Do you watch the great british bake off? Of course you do! You, like me, are here because you love baking and bakers LOVE this show because it is inspiring and wholesome and gives us the best ideas in our own kitchens.
While we were watching the 2017 season, one of the contestants was talking about making peanut butter caramel and I about fell off my sofa. I mean… caramel is ‘okay’ but adding something salty and delicious to it got me all giddy with excitement. And guys I couldn’t find any recipes on the web, but I just said, let me just try it. Basically, I just added the right amount of peanut butter to my go-to salted caramel sauce recipe - took a few tries to get the right ratio - and it was delicious. The obvious question then is, what can I do with it? So, so much.
You can use it as a topping for pancakes, french toast or pies or sandwich it between two cookies. You can drizzle it on cakes and ice cream. You can make little peanut butter caramels with it. Use it as a filling between cake layers. Use it instead of regular caramel in a chocolate tart (I did it in this recipe and the result was amazing!) OR you can swirl it into a marshmallow recipe and turn your hot drink into something absolutely extraordinary. Happy peanut butter carameling and marshmallowing! (Next, I’m going to try this with pistachio butter, but you already knew that didn’t you?)
Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce
(adapted from Bobby Flay’s salted caramel sauce)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed in microwave to just above room temperature
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
in a deep sauce pan (there will be boiling up) stir the sugar and water just to mix. Turn heat to medium high and do not stir for about 10 minutes, keeping watch on the color as it turns from amber to darker but don’t let it burn. You can choose when to take the caramel off: a lighter hue will be sweeter, darker will have a deeper caramel taste and be less sweet. I like to leave mine a minute or two after I see amber because I like my sea salt to stand out when I’m done. Once you’ve reached the color you’ll “stop” it from cooking by adding the cream - do so carefully. I turn my heat all the way down and add it by whisking while adding with a large whisk because it boils up quite a bit. Once calm and incorporated, add your butter, peanut butter and salt and stir to combine. However you are going to use it, you’ll want it a bit cooler than it is right off the heat so allow to cool at room temperature if using soon or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for later use.
peanut butter caramel swirl marshmallows
(adapted from BraveTart, by Stella Parks)
1/3 cup water
2 packets gelatin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
8 oz brown sugar
3.3 oz honey or organic corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
peanut butter caramel*
in a heatproof bowl, combine the vanilla and water. add the gelatin and whisk or use a fork to combine it well into the water. set aside.
in a deep saucepan, mix together the sugar, salt, water and honey or corn syrup. Turn heat to medium, attach a candy thermometer and swirl gently until the sugar is melted. Do not stir thereafter. Let cook for about 10 minutes, until the temperature registers 250. Remove from heat and transfer to bowl of standmixer. Let cool until temperature is about 210, and while it is cooling melt the butter and warm the gelatin mixture in the microwave. Once sugar mix is cool, add the gelatin and begin whisking on medium and then on high.
a few things to do while this is whipping: first, melt your butter. second, warm the gelatin for 10 seconds in the microwave and whisk once it’s done. third, spray a loaf pan and a spatula with a thin layer of canola oil. If your caramel is not slightly warmer than room temperature, warm it in the microwave - you don’t want it too hot but you do want it pourable.
Once you are at 9 minutes, the mixture should look very white, thick and fluffy. Add the butter and whip until combined (the butter makes it pull away from the sides but it comes back together a minute later) for one more minute. Stop the mixer and add the peanut butter caramel and mix for 30 seconds or less - just until you see streaks of the caramel rippling through the marshmallow.
pour the caramel into the loaf pan, scraping sides of bowl with the oiled spatula and smooth over the top. cover with an oiled sheet of foil and set in fridge for 2 hours.
prepare your workspace by sifting over it some organic powdered sugar and oiling a knife. once the marshmallow is set you can begin cutting. cover all sides of the marshmallow in powdered sugar. store in an airtight container. mallows will last 3 weeks!