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Peanut Butter Pound Cake

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2) sticks butter
2 cups granulated sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup peanuts, finely chopped (optional)Cream butter and sugar until light yellow. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly blended. Add vanilla extract and slowly beat in peanut butter.Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, until well blended.Line a 9- or 10-inch tube pan on the bottom with wax paper. Spoon in batter and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, until cake tests done.Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool cake completely. If desired, toward the end of baking, while cake is still soft, sprinkle about 1/3 cup finely chopped peanuts onto batter to give it a crunchy topping.


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