Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Coconut Milk Peanut Butter Mousse

I love Valentine’s Day. There, I said it.

I know it’s all hearts and mushy-love and pink things. I know it’s super commercial and makes people cringe. I know single people go home and cry into their ice cream or get drunk or something. I just don’t get that. I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. Even when boys had cooties. Even when I had a broken heart.

When I was kid, I would wake up on Vday, and there would be big gift baskets waiting for me and Amanda, full of candy hearts and chocolates, usually with a toy or earrings or makeup.  There would be flowers on the table for Mel, from John, with a homemade card that he painted or drew or collaged. In elementary school we would decorate bags or boxes to collect Valentine’s cards. In high school, my girlfriends and I gave each other little gifts, chocolates or scrunchies or mugs with pink and red pencils in them.

I think it’s sweet. I think love is sweet, romantic or otherwise. And I think that even if you’re single or heartbroken or on a major man-hating streak, you should still love love—you know, love that your friends and family love you. That your pets love you. Give all of them some of your love, too. This Valentine’s Day, can we make a pact? Can we all plan on being in love…with life? It’s just too short and unpredictable to be hateful or ungrateful.

Here’s a little something else for you to love—super simple peanut butter mousse, made with just a couple of ingredients, including coconut milk and that powdered peanut butter you ran out and bought to make instant oatmeal!
Coconut Milk Peanut Butter Mousse

1 can full-fat coconut milk (not Goya, it doesn't seem to separate)
1/4 cup powdered peanut butter + 1 tablespoon
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Salted peanuts

Chill the can of coconut milk overnight. Open the cans (a lot of recipes for coconut milk mousse recommend opening upside down, as the cream will float to the top when it separates), and scoop the thick cream into a chilled bowl. You can save the liquid for something else (like throwing into a smoothie) or toss. If your coconut milk doesn't separate, it won't be thick enough to whip. It will still taste good though, but will pretty soupy. Add the peanut butter powder and powdered sugar, and beat until desired consistency. It will thicken up a lot once you add the powdered peanut butter and start whipping. I usually beat by hand with a whisk, because I only make 1 can worth (which isn't enough for my whisk attachment to reach in my stand mixer!). This is super rich, so 1 can worth is plenty for two people. Top with salted peanuts. PS. Try freezing it for a few hours for super delish PB ice-cream!!

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