Chill a bowl andbeaters (if using an electric mixer) or bowl and whisk attachment (if using astand mixer) in the freezer for at least 10 to 15 minutes before using.
Pour the cream into the chilled bowl. Add the powdered sugar and peanut butter and vanilla extract (if using) to the cream.
Beat all the added ingredients for about 3 to 4 minutes on medium speed. Mixer speed settings vary, so observe the texture of your whipped cream.
To pipe over beverages, the cream is best whipped to a softer consistency. Watch for soft peaks (3 to 4 minutes). The lines in the cream become more solid. After lifting the beaters out, the cream will hold its lines but the top peaks will be soft and after a second or two will fall back on itself.
If you are using the cream to cover or frost a cake, beat until firm. Watch for firm peaks (5-6 minutes). The lines in the cream will become stiffer and stiffer, and the cream will take on volume. If you take your whisk out of the cream, the peaks in the whipped cream will cling firmly. This is typically the best stage to stop whipping the cream.