Peanut butter spread is a mixture of peanut butter and other ingredients such as sweeteners, dried fruits and flavorings. These spreads may be served on crackers, plain cookies, plain cake, bread, apple slices, celery stalks or even ice cream for snacks, picnic treats or simple desserts. Peanut butter spreads are fast to make since store-bought peanut butter is the main ingredient. There are many different peanut butter spread recipes available in cookbooks and cooking-themed websites. Creating custom peanut butter spreads at home can be done by trying out different additions to commercial peanut butter.
For example, any dried fruit can be added to peanut butter to make a basic peanut butter spread. A little fruit juice stirred in will thin the mixture to the desired spreading consistency. A flavoring such as vanilla or almond extract may also be added to the mixture. An apple cinnamon peanut butter spread can be created by adding chopped apple, cinnamon and a little apple juice to store bought peanut butter. For chocolate lovers, peanut butter can be combined with chocolate chips and vanilla extract while being thinned with some prepared coffee.
One of the most popular and classic peanut butter spreads is from the Amish community. Amish people are Christians with European heritage who settled mainly in the American state of Pennsylvania in the 17th century. They are known to be very religious and to disagree with the use of elaborate modern technologies in favor of simpler, more modest methods. The Amish peanut butter spread is often served at church meetings and it consists of corn syrup and marshmallow creme stirred into the peanut butter. The ratios of the spread's three ingredients vary, but a popular quantity to use is 1/2 cup (120 ml) peanut butter, 1 cup (240 ml) light corn syrup and 1/4 cup (60 ml) marshmallow creme.
Marshmallow creme is a soft mixture of sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and powdered egg whites that is sold in jars or plastic tubs. Popular brands include Solo Marshmallow Creme, Durkee-Mower Marshmallow Fluff and Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme. The taste of marshmallow creme is similar to that of the cylindrical confections called marshmallows, but marshmallows have the stabilizer gelatin added to hold their shape.
Any style of peanut butter such as crunchy or smooth can be used in making a peanut butter spread. Crunchy varieties of peanut butter have chopped peanuts added, while smooth types of peanut butter don't. While cake frosting is not considered the same as a peanut butter spread, a peanut butter frosting for cakes or cookies can be easily prepared by adding powdered sugar and vanilla to peanut butter while thinning the mixture with cream or milk.