The peanut butter and jelly sandwich first graced the culinary realm as early as 1901, when it appeared in the Boston Cooking School magazine.
The sandwich exploded in popularity with the invention of packaged pre-sliced bread, making it easy for even children to make the treat. Let’s be real for a minute … who doesn’t love a great PB&J sandwich now and then?
PB&J was part of the United States Military rations list during World War II thanks to its shelf-stable ingredients, and the sandwich was cemented as a mainstay when the soldiers came home from the war.
April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. You can celebrate with the classic combination, or experiment with one of these modern takes.
PB and PJ
PJ, as in pepper jelly – a sweet and spicy condiment that gives this tried-and-true sandwich a kick. I personally love the pepper jelly made with mango, cranberry, and pomegranate.
Pepper jelly is a preserve made with peppers, sugar, and salt in a pectin or vinegar base. It comes in many varieties, pairing peppers of different heat levels with complimentary fruits. It can also sometimes bring in flavors like bacon and bourbon.
PB&J French Toast
Instead of changing up the insides of the sandwich, consider switching up the bread.
This recipe calls for thick bread slices, like challah. Take a one-inch-thick slice of bread and make an incision in the top of it. Don’t cut all the way through, but make a pocket in the bread that can be stuffed.
Stuff in two tablespoons of the peanut butter of your choice and one tablespoon of jelly.
In a shallow dish, mix two eggs, one-quarter teaspoon of salt, one-half teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one-half cup of whole milk.
Dip the stuffed bread in the egg mixture and coat it thoroughly, then throw it on a hot buttered pan and cook until each side is golden.
Nowadays many people forego bread. This can be due to an allergy or dietary restrictions. Many fun alternatives have popped up in its place.
For this, slice a tart apple into thin slices. Spread your choice of peanut butter and jelly on one apple slice, then sandwich it with another apple slice on top.
This not only adds another flavor to the sandwich but a nice crunch!
Sriracha Basil PB&J
This one is out there as far as ingredients go, but if you can look past what feels like an odd combo you’ll be rewarded with a stunning sandwich.
Make a PB&J sandwich the way you normally would, but before assembling the slices drizzle Sriracha sauce on one slice of bread and top with a sliced basil leaf.
Lightly butter the outside bread of the sandwich and heat in a pan until golden on each side, much like you would a grilled cheese. My son makes these all the time (minus the basil leaf) and they smell so good! I haven’t tried one yet as he’s usually inhaled them before I get a chance to grab a bite!
Meat with peanut butter and jelly?! Yes, it’s true, and yes, it’s good!
This works especially well with something like pepper jelly, as it adds some savory spice to the burger.
The next time you’re manning the grill, make a burger to your liking but top it with peanut butter and jelly of your choice and add a strip or two of cooked bacon. Dax Phillips has an amazing recipe you can try out for a PB&J Burger you should try!
What are some original PB&J sandwiches that you have made or used in preparing a meal? Let us know in the comments!