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December 10, 2013   Email to Friend 

Peanut Recipe Plows New Ground In National Contest
Debra Davis

An unusual recipe of Peppered Peanut Hummus, along with a more traditional dish of Caramel Peanut Thumbprint Cookies, won top honors in the 2013 National Peanut Festival’s recipe contest.

The Oct. 26 event attracted 81 adults and 48 student contestants to Wiregrass Commons Mall in Dothan. Each recipe featured peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil or other peanut products. “I’m not a big fan of hummus, but the grand-prize dish in the student division received such rave reviews from the judges, I just had to try it,” said Teresa Mays of the Alabama Peanut Producers who helps coordinate the annual event. “It certainly was a different twist in this year’s contest.”

Colby Windham of Dothan was the grand prize student winner with the Peppered Peanut Hummus recipe. Judy Carter of Headland won the adult grand prize for her Caramel Peanut Thumbprint Cookies capped with delicious caramel peanuts. For more winning recipes, visit NationalPeanutFestival.com.

Peppered Peanut Hummus
By Colby Windham, Dothan, Ala.
1 cup shelled, boiled peanuts
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 cayenne peppers (seeded)
1 small garlic clove
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Water
Kosher salt
Ground cubeb pepper
Pita chips, carrots, pretzels

Place boiled peanuts, tahini, lemon juice, cumin seeds, cayenne peppers and garlic in a food processor and pulse to combine. With processor running, slowly add olive oil. Continue to puree peanut mixture, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until hummus is smooth. Season to taste with salt and sprinkle with ground cubeb pepper. Serve with pita chips, carrots or pretzels.

Caramel Peanut Thumbprint Cookies
By Judy Carter, Headland, Ala.
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks (divided)
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt

Cream butter and gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour and salt and add to the creamed mixture. Chill. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on lightly-greased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Press thumb or finger in center of each ball. Bake at 300 F for 20 to 25 minutes. Do not brown. Cool on wire rack. Place about ½ teaspoon of caramel peanut topping in each cookie.

Topping ingredients
1 ½ cups sugar
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped salted cocktail peanuts
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk

Topping preparation: Mix 1 ½ cups sugar, butter and milk. Bring to a boil over low heat. Caramelize the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a small iron skillet and pour into other mixture. Bring to a rolling boil and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat until thickened. Add cocktail peanuts. Using a baby spoon, drop topping into the center of each cookie. Makes 8 dozen cookies.


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