It probably comes as no big surprise that I continue to enjoy cold & creamy desserts well past the hot summer months. With the commencement of cooler temperatures, I find myself craving richer ice creams and frozen yogurts: coffee, caramel, and other such cozy flavors are more appealing to me this time of year than strawberry, peach, and other fruity flavors.
A half-full box of peanut butter sandwich cookies inspired this peanut butter frozen yogurt. After using a bunch of the cookies for my Individual Peanut Butter Cheesecakes, I started to brainstorm how to incorporate the rest into a new dessert recipe.
I must admit to a slight kitchen blunder while making this frozen yogurt. The mixture of Greek yogurt and peanut butter is extremely thick… and as I found out the hard way, too dense for an ice cream maker that is on its last legs. After a few years of heavy use, my ice cream machine just couldn’t deal with the consistency of this fro yo base. Not to be deterred, I simply scooped the mixture into a container, folded in the chopped cookies, and popped it in the freezer. Good news for those of you without an ice cream machine: you don’t need one to make this frozen yogurt! Although the final consistency of any frozen treat made in a machine is lighter (due to the air whipped in during the churning process), you don’t absolutely have to use one in order to make this fro yo.
There is also good news for those of you who much prefer ice cream to frozen yogurt: this Peanut Butter Cookie Frozen Yogurt could easily pass for the former. The healthy fat from the peanut butter contributes a richness to the Greek yogurt that will fool anyone’s palate into thinking that heavy cream made its way into the recipe. The crisp pieces of peanut butter cookie add a welcomed textural contrast to the creamy frozen yogurt, as do the peanuts if you choose to use crunchy peanut butter. The slight tang of the Greek yogurt nicely balances out the sweetness of the evaporated cane juice, and a modest hint of vanilla brings it all together.
As we were enjoying some of the peanut butter frozen yogurt after dinner the other night, John suggested adding in a ribbon of fudge sauce or a sprinkling of chocolate chips… for a man who rarely indulges in desserts, he sure does have some *sweet* ideas ;).
Peanut Butter Cookie Frozen Yogurt
- 2 cups plain 0% fat Greek yogurt, such as Chobani
- 1 cup plain 2% fat Greek yogurt, such as Chobani
- 1/2 cup room temperature natural peanut butter, creamy or crunchy (I used crunchy for extra texture)
- 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 8 peanut butter sandwich cookies, such as Back to Nature, roughly chopped
- In a large bowl, combine yogurts, peanut butter, evaporated cane juice, and vanilla extract. Stir until the evaporated cane juice is completely dissolved and the peanut butter and yogurt are well-mixed.
- Two options:
a) Freeze according to ice cream machine manufacturer’s instructions, folding in the chopped cookies after churning. Serve immediately as soft-serve, or transfer to an air-tight container in the freeze until “ripened” (hardened).
b) Fold in the chopped cookies. Spoon mixture into an air-tight container and place in the freezer. For soft-serve consistency, serve the frozen yogurt after about 2 hours of freezing. Otherwise, let the fro yo sit in the freezer until firm (at least 5 hours). If you are having trouble scooping the fully-frozen yogurt, let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.