Peanut Butter Fritters

Oh, no. You heard right. I first found this recipe in the June/July 2007 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray while on a flight to Denver. I know I can't be the only one who is suddenly starving as soon as an airplane reaches cruising altitude, trapped at 30,000 feet with nothing but microscopic bags of generic "snack mix" and mushy, ten-dollar Chicken Caesar Somethings to choose from; it kind of reminds me of the intense hunger that would immediately follow childhood fluoride treatments at the dentist when one couldn't eat for what was undoubtedly the longest 30 minutes in history. Anyway, I saw this recipe during one of those kind of starving moments, and wondered if I would still be as interested in it once I touched the ground.

Well, nearly two months later I still have the magazine, and I think I must have thought of making these about 200 times in that time period. And I finally made it happen. And, oh my, did it happen. These were really great, and one of my first forays into the world of fritter/doughnut making. Unless you count my graduating from Hush Puppies University for Yankees.

I was really pleased this recipe. I opted to halve it and the results were still great. They were light, fluffy, and full of earthy peanut flavor, with a tender, deep golden exterior. I may add a bit more brown sugar next time, as I usually only have all-natural peanut butter on hand and used it in these--I would have liked them a bit sweeter on their own. But a dusting of powdered sugar and some of my homemade strawberry jam made up for it. Also, the peanut butter I had around was chunky, and it didn't effect the finished product one bit. The additional crunchy texture was welcome. And not like these need any more embellishment, but I may try dipping them in some melted dark chocolate next time.

Oh yes, I went there.

Peanut Butter Fritters From Everyday with Rachael Ray

Makes 20 to 25

3/4 cup flour 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 cup buttermilk 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter 1 large egg 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Peanut oil, for frying Whipped cream and raspberry jam, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 200°. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, peanut butter, egg and vanilla. Lightly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; the batter will be fairly thick.

2. Pour enough oil into a small, deep saucepan to reach a depth of 1 1/2 inches and heat over medium-high heat until the oil registers 310° on a deep-fry or candy thermometer.

3. Working in 3 or 4 batches, drop the batter by rounded teaspoons into the hot oil and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to paper towels to drain. Keep the fritters in the oven as you continue frying. Serve hot with the whipped cream and jam.

DonutsShauna Sever