Virginia is a pretty cool place to live. You have a little bit of city (which means amazing shopping and restaurants), and a little bit of country (which means early morning fog, horse farms, and incredible fall foliage). It has a rich Civil War history, and yes . . . you can hear random cannon fire many times throughout the year during the re-enactment battles. And yes, I have actually walked into Walmart and thought . . . “Um . . . is that a Confederate General in the cereal aisle?” Yep. It’s a cool place to live.
Of course, Virginia also has a rich variety of awesome local food items. From VA ham to local apples and peaches, you almost need to take a drool cloth when you go to the farmer’s market. And perhaps no ingredient is more beloved or iconic of Virginia produce than the humble peanut. Peanuts are amazing– they wonderfully complement savory dishes as well as sweet dishes, and they are great for munching, too! This recipe is one of my favorites because of how easy it is to make. It’s also naturally gluten free, which means my whole family can enjoy it. You can whip it up the night before you need it and have a gorgeous, “wow” dessert with practically zero effort. Yesssssss please!
What are we waiting for? Let’s make it! 🙂
Peanut Butter Parfaits
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 small (3.4 oz.) box instant chocolate pudding, prepared according to manufacturer’s directions
Chopped peanuts or chocolate chips for garnishing, optional
Cream together softened cream cheese and peanut butter until creamy and combined. Add in powdered sugar and slowly mix until combined. Add in thawed cool whip and mix. Layer peanut butter cream and prepared instant chocolate pudding into clear glasses and top with chopped peanuts or mini chocolate chips, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
This recipe is so quick and easy to make that you’ll be whipping out gorgeous, creamy desserts in about 10 minutes, flat. Welcome to your secret “Oh my goodness unexpected company came! What can I make in the blink of an eye!” recipe. You’re welcome. 😉
I find that it’s easier to mix together my cream cheese and peanut butter if I take the cream cheese out of the fridge about 1/2 hour before I need to use it. That extra “softening time” makes everything go together much more smoothly. Make sure that the cream cheese and peanut butter are creamed so that you can’t see any streaks of white– everything should be completely mixed in and creamy. MMMMMMMmmmmm . . .
For this next part, let me give you a tip: mix SLOWLY. The first time I made this dessert, I threw my powdered sugar in there and zipped my mixer up to medium high. Wheweeeeeeeee . . .
“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas . . . ” as powdered sugar cascaded all over my kitchen. Eeeeeek.
So save yourself some serious cleanup and start out by mixing the powdered sugar in very slowly, at first. As the sugar starts to get mixed in you can turn up the speed. But start slowly. You’ll thank me later. 😉
Next, mix in your thawed Cool Whip. The original recipe called for “folding in” the cool whip, but I have found that I can use the mixer to carefully mix it in, and it works just fine. So save yourself a step and just use the one mixer bowl. I like to scrape down the sides (with mixer stopped, obviously) halfway through mixing, to make sure that all the peanut butter layer gets mixed in.
Usually when I’m making this dessert, I make the instant chocolate pudding ahead of time. That way when my peanut butter cream is ready, my pudding is ready to go, too. The layering process is pretty easy– just do layers of peanut butter cream and chocolate pudding. I used a few piping bags and my favorite cupcake decorating tips here. Personally, I think it’s worth the 8 bucks for a decent decorating tip set, vs. using a Ziploc bag, because the process is so much cleaner and neater– and your layers are distinct and perfect. I have used these decorating tips for everything from cupcake icing (professional, bakery-quality swirls on top instead of the yucky, homemade butter knife look. You’re welcome.) to Lemon Meringue Mousse swirls. I say go ahead and treat yourself to a set of professional decorating tips. You deserve it. 😉
Once you get your parfaits all nice and layered and PURDY, it’s time to have fun decorating them. You can use some chocolate curls or chopped peanuts to garnish the tops. These are so easy to doll up and whisk out as a fancy schmancy dessert with almost zero effort. Busy mommies around the world, you are OH so welcome!
Cover and refrigerate these little beauties so they will be ready to whisk out for a fancy dinner dessert tomorrow. But if one happens to go missing . . . why, I won’t blame you. Someone has to taste test to make sure they’re safe for the children, right? 😀
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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