The peanut, or groundnut, is a species in the legume or "bean" family. The peanut was probably first domesticated and cultivated in the valleys of Paraguay. It is an annual plant growing 30 to 50 cm (1.0 to 1.6 ft) tall.
Did you know peanuts grow similar to potatoes? as in the ground. This legume is cultivated by removing the whole plant from the ground to access the “fruit”. There are thousands of different types of peanuts grown around the world, but there are four major groups being the most popular: Spanish, Runner, Virginia, and Valencia. Certain types of varieties are preferred because of differences in flavor, oil content, size, shape, and disease resistance. Most peanuts marketed in the shell are of the Virginia type, along with some Valencias selected for large size and the attractive appearance of the shell. Spanish peanuts are used mostly for peanut candy, salted nuts, and peanut butter. Most Runners are used to make peanut butter.
China is the leader in the production of peanuts with about 41.5% of overall world production, followed by India (18.2%) and the United States of America (6.8%). In Europe, the leading producer is Greece, at roughly 2000 tons per year
Peanut in cooking? You can find the use of peanuts in various dishes from around world such as Asian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines. It’s also quite popular in North American baking (cookies, cakes, bars and such).
Here’s what I call the best cookies ever! As the title says, these awesome cookies have tons of good things in them. To clarify, the ingredients are good, but the fat content is a little high, but boy are they worth the extra 10 minutes you’ll be doing at the gym later.
Peanut butter, pecan & chocolate chip cookies
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup white or whole wheat flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 of chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix sugars, butter, peanut butter & egg till light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, stir-in to first mixture, then add chocolate chips & pecans (only until combined). Take the dough out of the bowl, make a ball out of it and wrap in clear plastic wrap (or parchment paper). Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (this is the most important step in this recipe).
When ready to cook the cookies, heat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly in crisscrossed pattern with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake until light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 2 minutes, remove from cookie sheet.
Tips & Tricks: when these come out of the oven you might say to yourself: “these cookies look underdone”… don’t be fooled, these tasty treats still cook while they’re cooling. Also, you can switch out the peanut butter for almond butter or sesame seed butter.
For a kid friendly treat: take two of these awesome cookies and place a scoop of your favorite ice-cream in between them, makes a great sandwich. Tip on this one, make them one day ahead, they’ll get even softer!
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