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Friday, February 13, 2015

Tiger Butter Revisited

I wasn't trying to kill the queen.


And I made one teeny-tiny joke about the succession ... then I got hauled up before her and questioned, and slapped with a label I wouldn't be able to shirk.

The Queen's Would-Be Assassin, her scribe wrote on a button, which I donned with a perverse sense of pride. (Probably because she said she might have a use for my talents.) But as the week progressed, the ink wore off, so with her permission I reworded it: Tried to kill the queen. Now I kill for her.

Which really, is not a great title when you want people to try your hand-crafted treat. Even if it makes for a great story.

Context: Last week I was on the most amazing vacation of my life (so far). Don Rocko and I attended JoCo Cruise Crazy, a high-seas adventure with nearly nine hundred other nerds aboard a ship in the Caribbean.

Naturally I brought some tiger butter. It's easy and fun to make, I enjoy sharing it, and I knew that it would likely be a hit. Yes, yes it was. Including with many of the high-calibre entertainers who were there this year ... but that's another story.

I just didn't realize that the Monarch of the Seas (one of whom is chosen every year) would have an allergy to an ingredient in the processed peanut butter.

The fact is, she's not the only one, so this isn't the first time this question has come up: Does this recipe come with variations?

So I figure that it's time for me to share some updates.

Changing the Style

Assassin or no, I've reduced the amount of violence I've used in making this recipe. The reasons? Moving from a basement suite where the floors have a concrete base means that I don't feel *as* much need to drop it on the floor. Also, when chopping it up into as many pieces as I could fit into three 8-cup containers (which turns out to be two double batches' worth), I was more interested in 90-degree angles, so I cut it up with a sharp knife and a deft hand for breaking larger bits in half.

Changing the Ingredients

Two things to remember: sea salt and icing sugar.

I have a lot of friends with allergies and sensitivities, so that has made me aware of the importance to pay attention to these things. (It's also why when I offer tiger butter to strangers, I call it "peanut butter fudge" even though it actually doesn't have the granular texture of fudge so I'm not sure if calling it fudge is technically correct. Plus, mine's smoother. But it establishes the main allergen right away.)

So I've made a version for someone who was allergic to the corn in processed peanut butter. In this case, I made it with natural peanut butter. I had the actual measurements written down, but they were lost in the move. Sorry. [Update: See Below]

First: Follow the original recipe. But make the following changes:

The trick: before adding the white chocolate melting wafers,

1) mix the natural peanut butter until smooth,
2) liquefy in a sauce pan, then
3) add the sea salt and icing sugar to taste.

Note: it will take more than you might think. I remember using at least a tablespoon of sea salt per two cups of peanut butter (for a double recipe), and three quarters of a cup of icing sugar.  [Update May 21, 2015: wow, my memory was correct! Use these measurements to replicate Original Tiger Butter flavour.] But like I said, to taste. The result is delicious.


Given that the three basic ingredients are peanut butter, white chocolate, and milk chocolate, this recipe can be changed as needed. On my own list is to try making this with sugar-free melting wafers for friends and family members who need to watch that sort of thing. I've made it with almond butter before, just to try it. And if you want to escape the peanut/tree nut connection entirely, you could go for a tasty soy butter alternative. Any other ideas? I'd love to hear them!

* * *

As for the tiger butter's reception on the cruise, the original recipe went over fairly well. Y'know, despite the whole accidental-attempted-regicide thing. On the last night, I had a tub left (since I'd stuffed it in our stateroom fridge and forgot about it), and that led to more than a few suggestions of, "Hey, you should offer some to [insert name of Special Guest]". So I did. No need to name-drop here, but there's a certain pleasure in knowing that they all liked it, too.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to the other thing I like crafting and sharing and don't mind improving, where I can kill as much as needed: writing.

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