First Sign of Fall & Nut Butter Face-Off

Starbucks has become so ingrained in our culture that I’ve read so many blog posts, Facebook updates, and tweets heralding “Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, which means Fall is here!” In fact, it was so popular that it was a trending topic on Twitter. Now, I do love Starbucks (and when those red cups start showing up, I’ll be one of those annoyingly cheerful first people to proclaim my happiness that the holiday season has arrived), but the Pumpkin Spice Latte is not the first sign of Fall for me.

Aside from the fact that it’s already September and it’s starting to get chilly and the leaves are starting to change colors, I know that Fall is right around the corner when I start seeing Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread

Hello, September. My first sign of Fall.

Today, I bought my first pumpkin bread from the Hi-Rise Bread stall at my farmers market.  I actually like pumpkin bread chilled (like a dessert) but for breakfast, I decide to warm it up in the toaster a little bit and top it with a teaspoon of… well, I wasn’t sure what to top it with, so I decided to do a little Nut Butter Face-Off:

nut butters

the contenders

I lined up the four jars of nut butter I had, like little soldiers ready for battle. (Yes, I have 4 different kinds at home, most of them chocolate flavor. Don’t judge me.) I did a very scientific test of dipping a finger in each jar for my taste test.  My thoughts:

Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams – this is, and has always been, my favorite. So even though I keep trying different brands and different kinds, I still keep going back to this. And for this taste test, I unabashedly pick this is the winner. It has a smooth, creamy consistency, and it’s not too sweet, just right.

MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread – when I discovered this last year, I thought it would be my new favorite nut butter. It is rich, nutty, and chocolaty. However, I think it is a little too dense/heavy, so it still hasn’t toppled Dark Chocolate Dreams as my favorite. This comes in second place.

Peanut Butter & Co. Smooth Operator – very basic and all natural. This is the odd man out, since it’s the only non-chocolate jar, but it holds its own because it is a classic. I think next time I will use this jar to make Miracle Cookies, but today it’s not going on top of my pumpkin bread. This comes in third place.

Justin’s Chocolate Peanut Butter – this is my first jar of Justin’s flavored nut butter (I usually just get the plain almond butter), and it’s the one I like the least from my collection. It is too sweet and too oily. It almost taste like frosting, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s just not something I want to eat on a regular basis. This comes in last place.

So with four fingers worth of nut butter, I looked down at my pumpkin bread and decided… that I want something else. I don’t want to use any of these. I want something less sweet, more melty:


I wanted plain, salted butter

In my nut butter face-off to decide what to top my pumpkin bread with, no nut butter was used. But butter stepped up. Cold, creamy, melty butter. Warm pumpkin bread with butter… mmm-mmm

pumpkin bread and butter

we have a winner

And with that, my first sign of fall was consumed. Happily.

Do you have any plans for this last unofficial weekend of summer? What’s your favorite first sign of fall? I hope you all enjoy the Labor Day weekend!

Fall leaves photo by *Micky via Flickr (Creative Commons)


15 Responses to “First Sign of Fall & Nut Butter Face-Off”

  1. #
    Emily posted September 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    It’s funny that you write this because I always eat pumpkin bread with nutella and, this weekend, seeing a can of pumpkins puree in my pantry got me thinking about this lethal concoction. I’ll have to try some of these other chocolate nut spreads you mention! (Rapunzel’s sold at WF is also a good one).

  2. #
    lizzy posted September 5, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Nothing beats BUTTER!!! Yum. I gotta try some of those nut butters though… I love Peanut Butter and Co. but I’ve only tried White Chocolate Wonderful. Happy Labor Day!

  3. #
    Baking Serendipity posted September 5, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    I like spreading cream cheese on my pumpkin bread. But I definitely agree with you…whatever you top it with, it is an amazingly perfect sign of fall!

  4. #
    christina posted September 6, 2010 at 12:09 am

    mmm pb!! i like the choc pb a little bit, but usually they are too sweet for me.

  5. #
    Michelle posted September 6, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I was definitely one of the people tweeting about Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte! I can’t help it – I adore everything pumpkin! I stocked up on lots of pumpkin goodies when I was at Stonewall Kitchen last week!

  6. #
    MelissaNibbles posted September 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Dark chocolate dreams will always be my favorite!

  7. #
    Marina posted September 7, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Mhm, salty butter melted on that bread…sounds perfect for a chilly autumn afternoon :)

  8. #
    Dana posted September 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I love your scientific taste test method LOL! I am a big pumpkin bread/muffin/pie/anything fan, too!

  9. #
    Daisy posted September 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I love a good pumpkin spice latte not gonna lie (though I have not tweeted or facebooked or blogged about it incessantly.) ;)

    This bread looks amazing. way to go with the simple, regular, old fashioned butter.

  10. #
    Sues posted September 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I LOVE Dark Chocolate Dreams SO much. I’m also wicked obsessed with Peanut Butter & Co’s white chocolate one. It is soooo good. I’ve been meaning to try Justin’s nut butter for a while, too!

  11. #
    newlywed posted September 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    I love all things pumpkin! I must confess, I get excited every year for that Pumpkin Spice Latte, though I confine myself to drinking one a year, since I’d much rather eat my calories (in the form of pumpkin bread!) than drink them.

  12. #
    Becky posted September 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I love pumpkins, apples, and roasted fall vegetables…yum!

    You should give the Justin’s Maple Almond Butter a try. I love it with pumpkin flavored things like oats and pancakes. One of my favs!

  13. #
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) posted September 8, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    My first signs of fall are pumpkin baked goods too! I love anything and everything pumpkin but luckily, I don’t care to much for the starbucks latte which leaves more money to spend on other pumpkin desserts!

  14. #
    Courtney (Pancakes and Postcards) posted September 9, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Pumpkin!!! I miss it so much. In every form. I cannot wait to eat it again.

    DCD is my favorite too. I got a jar sent out to Africa for my birthday and I just opened it last week in the hopes that I could nurse it for two months until I leave. Unfortunately it appears to be half gone…

  15. #
    Lea @ Healthy Coconut posted September 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Thanks for the review on the nut butter. My current favorite is Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams too and also Artisana’s Chocolate and Coconut butter mix.

    I was curious how the other nut butters tasted, now I know.

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