Peanut butter is my all-time favorite spread. I don’t really need a special day to honor it, but National Peanut Butter Day gives me an excuse to indulge in some extra pb.
Chunky or creamy, room temp or ice-cold: Here are our favorite peanut butter delicacies. They range from cookies and whoopee pies to mochi and donuts, but they all have one thing in common — intense peanut butter flavor.
No. 5: Double chocolate chip peanut butter sandwich, 9Bar HNL, $3
Many might opt for the matcha Scruffins at 9Bar, but this double chocolate chip peanut butter sandwich always calls my name.
The chocolate pieces are moist, perfectly crumbly and chewy. They’re more cake-like than cookie-like in texture. The creamy peanut butter filling complements the chocolate pieces, and a strong peanut butter flavor pervades the entire thing. Only true peanut butter fanatics will love it, and the sandwich’s sweetness is sure to offset any morning cuppa joe.
9 Bar HNL • 685 Auahi St. • Kakaako • 369-2299
No. 4: Peanut butter bar, Lappert’s Hawaii, $3.50
Lappert’s may be known for their ice cream and homemade waffle cones, but I can never leave the shop without ordering one of these peanut butter bars. They’re available daily and are one of the shop’s best-selling treats.
This is straight-up fudge meets peanut butter. The creamy peanut butter layer is sandwiched between a thick brownie base and a thin layer of chocolate ganache, but the nutty flavor holds its own. This is very rich, but it’s sure to satisfy any peanut butter craving.
Lappert’s Hawaii • 2005 Kalia Rd. • Waikiki • 943-0256
No. 3: Peanut butter mochi, Kansai Yamato, $4.79 (prices vary)
I usually get these mochi four-packs at the Pearl City Don Quijote or the kiosk in Pearlridge Downtown, but if you’re dedicated, you can go to the actual store in Mapunapuna. It’s pretty much mochi heaven, where you can find flavors ranging from Kona Coffee Daifuku and Peanut butter and red bean to Oreo Cookie Daifuku.
I alternate between the chocolate peanut butter and straight-up peanut butter packs, but for serious cravings, the little pink balls of goodness provide the ultimate relief. Prices may vary depending on where you find these mochi packs, but the taste is always gratifying.
Each bite brings intense flavor with all the chunkiness and nuttiness you can imagine, encased in a powdery, oh-so-soft mochi exterior. Kansai’s mochi usually expires within 2-3 days of purchase, but mine are gone by the end of the first day.
Kansai Yamato • 1151 Mapunapuna St. • Moanalua • 838-1355
No. 2: Peanut butter perfection, Maui Cookie Lady, $6-7
This neighbor island find is so good, I had to include it here. The last time I was on Maui, I embarked on a hunt for the Maui Cookie Lady’s cookies. You can only find them at select locations, so stumbling on these individually packaged, larger-than-life cookies at the Kahului Airport and The Grand Wailea were like discovering gold.
Since I follow The Maui Cookie Lady on Instagram, I was on the lookout for several specific flavors … including, of course, peanut butter.
These colossal cookies cost $6-7, depending on where you find them (they were about $7 at The Grand Wailea gift shop, slightly cheaper at the airport), but they’re well worth the price. Each cookie monster is made up of three or four smaller cookies rolled into one. There’s a dominant peanut butter fragrance as soon as you open the wrapping. The cookie is dense and chewy, a perfect salty-sweet hybrid because of the butterscotch chips and sea salt interspersed throughout. Each bite is like an Easter egg hunt because you never know what surprise you’re going to get — a chocolate chip here, a chunk of peanut butter there, caramel bits everywhere.
Any cookie by the Maui Cookie Lady is large enough to share, but trust me, you won’t want to.
Maui Cookie Lady • various locations on Maui • https://www.themauicookielady.com
No. 1: Chocolate peanut butter donut, Sugar Coated, $2
I’m usually in Mililani to go to Rise and Shine Café, but the bakery next door is home to my favorite donuts on the island.
Sugar Coated features a vast array of cupcakes, brownies, cheesecakes and donuts, and the donuts usually sell out. Be sure to call ahead if you’re looking for a specific flavor. I always do before trekking down there for their chocolate peanut butter donut.
This fluffy, light yeast donut features a chocolate coating with chocolate chips on top, and it’s generously filled with peanut butter. No stingy portions here! The peanut butter filling is thick, creamy and sticky, like you’re spooning it straight from the JIF jar into your mouth.
And, for the amount of peanut butter that’s in this donut, it’s one of the cheaper treats you’ll find in the bakery. Best two bucks I’ve ever spent.
Sugar Coated • 95-1057 Ainamakua Dr. • Mililani • 625-2253