I have a vivid memory of trying guacamole as a kid and feeling completely indifferent to it. I wouldn’t say I was as utterly repulsed by it like I am by cream cheese, but I had no desire to try it again. Life went on, avocado-less.
For whatever reason, I wound up giving avocados another go about a year ago, fell in love, and a lust for guacamole naturally followed in suit. Nowadays, I can’t imagine how I ever didn’t love guacamole. It’s just so creamy and addicting.
It’s funny how our tastes change so drastically over time. I used to have such a limited palate, my tastes mainly for French fries, Cheese Wiz, and Hot Pockets. I wouldn’t touch 2/3 of that stuff with a 10-foot pole now (French fries are still a staple in in my diet). I guess, like with many other aspects of our being, our palates mature over time. And I’m glad they do, because it allows us the opportunity to experience and enjoy new foods; it’s like a second chance. Do you have any foods that you used to dislike but your taste buds evolved to love?
Sometimes, when you least expect it, a stroke of genius hits you.
That’s how I get all my greatest foodspirations*. I’ll be sitting around (hungry), thinking about food (is there anything else worth thinking about?), and then some beautiful idea hits me out of the blue so suddenly that I’m practically knocked right out of my chair. This PB & J Dip was born from such unexpected grace.
It was one of those situation where the second I thought of it, I had to make it right then and there. Well, sort it. I thought of this when I was tucked snugly in bed, trying to fall asleep, so I didn’t exact hop up from my half-conscious state and flee to the kitchen. But I did make if first thing the next day. Thank goodness I did.
This is the easiest dip you will ever make in your life. You only need four ingredients, peanut butter, jelly, whipping cream and powdered sugar, and it comes together in mere minutes. But that’s not the best part, my little cookies. This dip is crazy-insane, blow-your-mind, hug-your-grandma, praise-the-heavens delicious. So, it’s easy to whip together and downright divine to eat…is this real life?
Well, if I am dreaming, then no one pinch me. I wan to stay in my bowl of PB & J deliciousness forever. With layers of luscious, fluffy peanut butter mousse and tart yet sweet jelly, it is like dipping into heaven’s bowl. Top it off with a layer of salty roasted peanuts and discover textural bliss between the light, creamy dip and the crunchy nuts. This is what all salty-sweet foods dream of being.
It’s that familiar flavor combo you loved served up in a new, indulgent way. Grab your dipper of choice and dive in.
I serve this PB & J Dip with hunks of moist pound cake, salty pretzels, and crisp mini vanilla wafers. They are all perfect vessels in their own way. Which one you choose is entirely up to you.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
Want to whip you whipped cream really fast? There are two keys to speedy whipping: super cold cream and a chilled bowl. Keep you cream in the fridge until you’re ready to use it so it’s nice and chilled and, if possible, let your bowl chill out in the fridge for a while too.
Use whatever flavor jelly you like best.
I don’t recommend using crunchy peanut butter. It will ruin the smooth texture of the mousse.
Crackers, brownie chunks, shortbread, and celery sticks would also make great dippers.
Instantly turn this dip into a trifle: Layer crisp ladyfingers between the PB and J layers and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
This dip is PERFECT for parties. Dip is the ideal party food, plus who doesn’t love peanut butter and jelly?
Make sure you watch my how-to video below!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Dip By the Smart Cookie Cook
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup + 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 12-oz. jar of jelly (your choice of flavor)
Salted roasted peanuts for garnish and crunch
Assorted dippers: chunks of pound cake, vanilla wafers, pretzels
In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream and sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold in the peanut butter until well incorporated.
In a large glass bowl or trifle dish, spread one-third of the peanut butter mousse onto the bottom of the bowl. Top with half of the jelly and spread out evenly. Add another third of peanut butter and spread out. Top with the other half of jelly, followed by the last third of the peanut butter. Smooth out evenly. Your layers should be: PB, jelly, PB, jelly, PB.
Top with a generous sprinkle of roasted peanuts and serve. Store leftover covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.
*Foodspiration – n – a brilliant inspiration involving food.
This one’s for all the foodies who have ever asked, “Is it socially acceptable to consume mounds of melted cheese and nothing more?” It’s time to fess up; many of us desire to do just that. The good news is, you finally can.
You see, the trick is to be crafty about it. If you melt down a hunk of cheddar and stuff your face into it, you’ll probably get some judgmental looks and sideways glances. However, if you melt together Fontina with olive oil, garlic, and an array of fresh, flavorful herbs, then you’ve got yourself a dip, and dip is 100% accepted by society (…unless it has people it. As Johnny Depp so eloquently points out in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, cannibalism is “frowned upon in most societies”).
This Baked Fontina Dip is delightfully deceiving. It tastes and looks like some fancy fondue, when in all actuality, it’s three simple ingredients melted into cheesy bliss. It doesn’t get much easier than this, nor does it get more indulgent. A dip that’s practically pure cheese is the ultimate way to feed your soul. All you need is a good hunk of bread, and you’re ready to go to town.
If ooey, gooey, melty* cheese sounds good to you, then you can’t pass up this delicious dip. It has tons of flavor from the fresh herbs and garlic, mimicking fondues and dips from the fanciest of Italian restaurants. The best part is, you don’t have to go out to a fancy Italian restaurant to eat it. You don’t even have to exert a significant amount of effort; just pop it in the oven and bake, then get ready to start dipping.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
I’m going to be honest: you must keep this dip warm in order for it to remain dippable.* When it starts to cool, it immediately begins to re-solidify, like most fondues do. I recommend serving it in a fondue pot or some other heated serving dish. If you don’t have either of these things, then eat fast!
I adore sourdough bread for dipping in this. You could also do Italian bread or veggies. I don’t recommend crackers or chips though because they won’t hold up to the dip.
If you aren’t into the herbs I used, basil or parsley would be delicious substitutions.
This makes A LOT of dip, so I cut it in half for you. Trust me, you’ll be glad. Unless you’re feeding an army, you don’t need all that cheese!
3/4 lb Italian fontina, rind removed and cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Adjust top rack of the oven so that it sits about 5 inches under the broiler unit. Preheat broiler.
Spread cheese out in the bottom of a cast iron pan or casserole dish. Drizzle olive oil over the cheese. Mix together the garlic and herbs in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the cheese. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top of the cheese.
Bake for 6 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and melted through. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and set it on a heatproof surface – the pan will be hot! Serve immediately with bread for dipping.
*Melty – (adj) Melted; a term often used to describe foods that are ooey gooey.
*Dippable – (adj) Having the ideal texture for dipping.
Hey football fans, do you know what this Sunday is?
It’s that bowl thing you get really excited about every year.
I’m going to be honest with you little cookies, I’m not big on sports. The Super Bowl means as much to me as the latest Twilight premiere means to most men. But (if we’re still being honest), there is one aspect of the Big Game that gets me excited: the food.
The Super Bowl doesn’t just mean football, grown adults hollering at the TV screen, or amusing commercials (the only part of the game I watch); it means finger foods galore. Dips, chips, wings, pizza, and more congregate on this day in order to provide fans with handheld and deep-fried goodness. I may not know who’s playing in the Big Game this year (let alone how football works to begin with), but I do know a thing or two about food.
What’s a quintessential Game Day eat? Dip, of course. It’s standard, snackable finger food fare, perfect for parties and get togethers like watching the Superbowl because it can be shared (just don’t be “that person” who double dips). However, achieving the perfect dip is more complicated than one might think. You need something substantial, not so thin that it’s like soup, but not so thick that it’s undippable*. A little bit of kick is always a crowd-pleaser, but you don’t want to go too hot in case you’ve got some spice-intolerant* people attending your Game Day gathering. Cheese makes pretty much any dip perfect, but go too rich and you’ll be sending your over-stuffed guests rolling home. Perhaps more importantly than all of this, that dip better be delicious.
Guess what? I’ve got a dip to satisfy all of the above criteria: Cheddar Jack Bean Dip. It’s nice and thick while still passing the No-Break Chip Test,* and it’s got the ideal balance of hearty yet not overly rich. There is definitely some heat here, the kind that sneaks up on you. You take a bite and you think you’re safe, when all of a sudden, it hits you. Hello, red pepper flakes; Didn’t realize you where there…
This Bean Dip isn’t just packing heat; it’s exploding with flavor too. Between the onions, garlic, olive oil, and of course, that spicy kick, your mouth is going to be partying hard with every bite. Super Bowl Party? What Super Bowl Party? The party is happening in this dip.
I’ve had a lot of spinach artichoke dips in my day. In fact, I’d say I’m a Spinach Artichoke Connoisseur of sorts (it’s a legit title). This classic creamy dip is my go-to appetizer of choice at just about any restaurant. It’s always a bit of a gamble to order though; you never know what you’re going to get.
I’ve had spinach artichoke dip that’s killer and spinach artichoke dip that nearly killed me. Mostly, I’ve had dip that’s average. Generally speaking, it’s hard to make a bad spinach artichoke dip (notice I say “hard;” not “impossible”). I mean, it’s spinach and cheese in a creamy dip. It’s difficult for such a combo to become an epic fail.
But that’s not enough for me. Mediocre doesn’t cut it in my book; I want a spinach artichoke dip that’s supremely delicious, the kind of creamy perfection that would be served at a party in heaven. (Do they party in heaven?)