I’ve wanted to write this post for over a year. There were so many times I wanted to tell you what I was doing and how I was up to my eyeballs in 17 jars of peanut butter almost every day.
But I decided that rather than drag out the suspense for a year, and long before my book was even going to be in stores or that you could buy it, that I’d just surprise you when the timing was better.
Well, surprise! My first cookbook, Peanut Butter Comfort: Recipes for Breakfasts, Brownies, Cakes, Cookies, Candies, and Frozen Treats Featuring America’s Favorite Spread
The book features more than 100 recipes and they all use peanut butter. Yes, there’s peanut butter in every single recipe. I cannot even tell you how much peanut butter I went through in 2012. I was literally buying it by the gallon while recipe testing.
In some recipes, peanut butter is bold and in your face like in old-fashioned peanut butter cookies.
And in other recipes, it’s subtle, hardly noticeable, and binds ingredients or lends moisture to biscuit dough.
It’s primarily a dessert cookbook, with a focus on comfort food desserts that stick to your ribs like Marshmallow Fluffternutter Butterscotch Bars.
Or a Caramelized Peanut Butter and Banana Upside-Down Cake that will make your soul sing.
There is one chapter devoted to savory and salty-and-sweet combinations like Cheesy Peanut Butter Crackers, a homemade riff on Peanut Butter-Filled-and-Flavored Cheez-Its.
There’s Fresh Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce. You can’t have a peanut butter book without peanut sauce.
There are a handful of recipes that have appeared on my blog because I have over 50+ recipes on my site that use peanut butter. 35 Peanut Butter Recipes are here, and all of the Peanut Butter Recipes are here. A few recipes I love too much to not include and so in they went.
The irony is that since writing the book and turning in my manuscript last July, I’ve come up with more peanut butter recipes that I wish I could have included but with books, there’s no Edited To Add function like with blogging, and now they’re posted here.
I did all the photography. 100 recipes, 100 photos. Actually, more than 100 photos because at the beginning of chapters and interspersed throughout the book there are accompanying images. You never notice how many photos are in the margins, corners, and sides of pages in a book until you’re the one responsible for making them happen.
I believe there are only two recipes and some frosting recipes that don’t have accompanying photos. It was important to me to really show you what the food looks like when it’s done. It’s a peeve of mine in cookbooks when every fifth or seventh recipe gets a photo and the rest don’t, and I made sure to avoid that.
They say that writing a book is like being pregnant and birthing a baby. Well, I’ve done both and there are striking parallels. In the beginning, I was so full of anticipation, excitement, and so eager. Ready to get on with it, and for the fun to begin. Midway through, the novelty wears off and that initial energy rush has dwindled and it’s hard work to stay on track and keep the other aspects of life humming along, too. Toward the end, you’re dead tired, fatigued, and wonder how you will go on. And in the last week or two before the due date, life is a blur, awake all hours of the day and night, just trying to finish and stay strong.
And then, after all the edits, revisions, changes, going up and back time and time again, you hold your baby in your arms, or in my case see a PDF of my baby on my computer screen, and it’s suddenly all worth it. And I want to do it again because it was the most rewarding and fulling experience.
And I am. But that’s a whole other post.
Here is the front and back cover with jacket flaps. I didn’t design the cover but had input. The photography is mine, but my publisher has a design team who created it.
Although there are similarities to writing a food blog, it’s definitely different. The recipe development, cooking the food, trialing it, photographing it, writing about it, learning about the publishing process, and experiencing it all has been the hardest work, but the best work. And I’m grateful to the Skyhorse team for their support.
And I’m eternally grateful for my husband’s support. I could not have done it without him. Both from helping me parent our daughter to eating his weight in peanut butter in 2012. I could not have blogged 365 days last year and clocked in 370 posts, written a book, taken care of our house and child without him being Daddy Dearest. That said, it’s amazing how little sleep I got last year and I’m about to do it again.
You’d think I would have gotten sick of peanut butter in this whole process but I haven’t. My recipe yesterday included it and I adore it just as much as ever.
I hope you love peanut butter and Peanut Butter Comfort as much as I do.
Thank you for your support!