I was hosted and compensated by The Texas Peanut Producers Board. All opinions are my own. #TxPeanutTour18
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Sopapillas Recipe: The Dessert Inspired by Texas Peanuts
Let me start off by explaining the inspiration that motivated me to create this one-of-a-kind dessert–Peanut Butter Cheesecake Sopapillas. I was recently invited to make the trek from my home in East Texas to the well-known city of Lubbock and other nearby towns/cities in West Texas. You might be familiar with Lubbock as the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll legend Buddy Holly and home to Texas Tech University. After reading this post, however, I hope that when you think of West Texas you’ll remember this area as being home to acres and acres of beautiful peanut farms. The very peanuts that we so often enjoy in many different forms.
It was a privilege to be invited by the Texas Peanut Producers Board to see for myself the story behind peanuts in a unique hands-on experience. I’m so excited to share with you all the details from this incredible tour.
I’ll never hold a peanut in my hand again without remembering the story behind it. A story that I think every one of you should know.
So You Think You Know Peanuts…Think Again
As someone who was born and raised in Texas, I really thought I knew a lot about this great state. I can honestly say, however, that I was clueless Texan! I didn’t even know how peanuts grew! What a shame considering Texas is the second largest peanut-producing state. Seriously ya’ll, how did I not know this?
Check out these other fun peanut facts:
- Peanuts are not actually nuts their legumes.
- Each year Americans consume 600 million pounds of peanuts and 700 million pounds of peanut butter!
- It takes only 4.7 gallons of water to grow an ounce of peanuts (an ounce of almonds require 80 gallons).
- There are four varieties of peanuts, Runner, Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia peanuts.
So, let’s talk about these tasty little legumes and how they grow. The 4 different varieties grow underground. Am I the only one who didn’t know this? I must say it was a very humbling experience to stand in the middle of the field and look out at acres and acres of growing peanuts. When you learn that it takes approximately 540 peanuts to make one 12-ounce jar of peanut butter it leaves no doubt as to why peanut farms and farmers are so vital. I mean, I don’t know about you, but we stock up on peanut butter in our home!
Get To Know Your Hard Working Farmers
It wouldn’t be the story of peanuts if we didn’t share with you the dedicated farmers that spend their lives producing the foods that we eat. I think it’s fair to say that most of the time we take these hard-working men and women for granted. In a world of convenience, we easily walk into a grocery store or restaurant and pick out the food/products that we want, little thought goes into how these items got there and the people who make that possible. Let me introduce to you a handful of those farmers working behind the scenes to keep your shelves stocked with peanuts.
…little thought goes into how these items got there and the people who make that possible.
We had the opportunity to not only tour the farm of Mason Becker of 4M Farms but also sit down at lunch and talk with several members of the West Texas Young Farmers Association. My husband and I enjoyed our time getting to know this diligent group of farmers whose goal is to raise awareness about the farming industry. See this statement from the WTYFA– “As young farmers and agribusiness men and women, it is becoming increasingly more apparent to us that there is a growing gap between those involved with Ag and those that are not. Most specifically in the fundamental understanding of what production agriculture truly entails.”
Check out these photos from our time at the farm, I hope that these pictures give you a glimpse into the world of farming and inspires you to learn more about how you can help support our US farmers:
Let’s Wine, Dine and Have a Good Time
During our visit to Lubbock, we were invited to Las Brisas Steakhouse, I personally give the food and atmosphere 5 stars! The chef created dishes for us that all had a peanut twist which was truly a happy experience for my taste buds. These were dishes you have to see, check them out below.
Let me show you what else we had to privilege to experience during our visit to West Texas. Of course, we believe food and travel go together but after our trip, we now think wine and travel are a perfect pair as well. We enjoyed a wine tasting at McPherson Cellars where we were taken on a tour of the winery to see how wine is made:
Check out this video I posted on my Instagram feed to see a preview of the winemaking process:
The winery tour was incredible but the highlight of our visit to McPherson Cellars was getting to sit down with the winemaker himself–Kim McPherson and hear his story and listen as he shared his passion for each of the wines they create. It came as no surprise that Kim’s wines have won over 450 medals in state, national and international wine competitions. The next time you’re buying a bottle of wine look for the McPherson label!
Our final dinner was at La Diosa Cellars and on your next visit to Lubbock stop in and order some Tapas and Sangria and tell the owner Sylvia “hi” for us! If you’re looking for a great place to stay during your visit to Lubbock, check out the Overton Hotel.
The Dessert Inspired by Texas Peanuts
Let’s dig into using peanuts and peanut butter to create some incredible dishes! On my way home from the Texas Peanut Tour, I was thinking of ways I could start incorporating peanuts into my favorite dishes and desserts. I asked my husband which one of my desserts is his most favorite and he said “your cheesecake sopapillas”. It didn’t take me long to start imagining how I could take an already beloved classic dessert and recreate it with peanuts.
The best part is that this recipe is simple to make and its great served either warm or cold! It pairs very nicely with coffee, so the next time you have friends over you can sit and enjoy this dessert and discuss all the cool new things you learned about peanuts!
How To Make Peanut Butter Cheesecake Sopapillas
First, you’re going to preheat your over to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.
You’ll move on to mixing the peanut butter cheesecake filling, which will be the highlight of this dessert. Mix together the cream cheese, egg, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla. It’s best to use an electric mixer to combine all these ingredients to get a smooth filling. It’s also best to let your cream cheese soften before mixing it.
Next, you’re going to move on to creating the layers that make up the sopapillas. The bottom layer is a roll of crescents. You’re going to roll the crescents out into the bottom of the dish. It should be one complete layer. HINT: Don’t buy off-brand crescents to make this recipe, they tear easily and are more difficult to work with.
After you have the first layer of crescents in the baking dish you’re going to spread evenly on top of it the cheesecake filling. Once you have that layer completed you’re going to top it with the second roll of crescents.
Now you bake it at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the crescents are golden and cooked all the way through.
While you’re waiting for it to finish baking you can work on the chocolate sauce that you’ll drizzle on the top.
Making the Chocolate Sauce Topping
Mix together the semi-sweet chocolate morsels, whipping cream and vanilla extract.
Allow the dessert to completely cool before adding the chocolate sauce. Feel free to drizzle as much or as little of the chocolate as you want. My family loves this homemade chocolate sauce so I normally coat mine pretty heavy.
Now for the final touch, add chopped peanuts! This really sets off the delicious combination of ingredients but it also makes this dessert look incredible!
To check out my original cheesecake sopapillas recipe click here.
Special thanks to everyone who had a part in making our Texas Peanut Tour an exciting experience. This wall we found while walking around Lubbock expresses how we feel about you all.
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