Reinventing the PB&J

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We're talking about something of great import: How to make the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Our weekly food conversation features the two hosts of the blog and podcast, The Sporkful, who each bring a version of the PB&J ... with a delicious twist.

And we're asking you, have you ever experimented with this classic? Tell us your experience.

The Sporkful co-host, Dan Pashman recommends the "Peanut Butter Sandwich with Crunch and Kick."

  • 2 slices of dense, sturdy wheat bread, sliced thick
  • Chunky peanut butter
  • Honey
  • 1 Anthon Berg chocolate filled with cointreau

Spread peanut butter on both sides of the bread, then unwrap the chocolate and slice off the top of the chocolate liquor bottle, taking care not to spill the liquid inside. (Keep the top for later.) Drizzle the Cointreau over one half of the sandwich, then chop the chocolate and sprinkle the chunks over the same half. Finally, drizzle the honey evenly over the chocolate chunks, close the sandwich and eat.

Co-host Mark Garrison suggests the "Peanut Butter Buzzed Breakfast Sandwich"

  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons espresso
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Chopped hazelnuts to taste

In a bowl, blend the peanut butter and espresso, spread it on one of the slices of bread, and sprinkle the chopped nuts to a desired crunch level. Drizzle the maple syrup over the peanut butter, avioiding the edges of the bread, and cover with the other slice. Great for breakfast! And if you want a happy hour version of he sandwich, substitute dark rum for espresso.


Rachel, on Facebook shared her suggestion:

I like to make lots of little tiny PB&J's on saltine crackers. The salt and the crunch from the crackers make it that much better!


Below: Watch the PB & J showdown:


Mark Garrison and Dan Pashman

Comments [18]

kathy from california

my summer fav is pb (or almond) on a toasted e-muffin or whole grain braed topped with the biggest slab of home grown tomato you can fit on top. Grind a little salt on top and mmmmmmmmgood. My vegan daughter agrees that this is divine at any hour. Learned this from my mom in the 50's.

Aug. 07 2010 07:34 PM

The day after the p b and j feature, I was at my local cafe for breakfast. The diner across from me ordered hotcakes, no butter, with a side of peanut butter..He then proceeded to spread the peanut butter evenly (for peanut butter, that is) over the pancakes, then go around to nearby tables and collect all the little containers of jelly. I left to pay my bill before I got to see the look on his face when he chowed down. He must have looked blissful.

May. 01 2010 12:17 PM

No love for Nutella?

Apr. 29 2010 07:59 PM

I grilled up a PB and Honey tonight (grilling the honey side first) and a PB&J. Both were fantastic. I'm so glad I found this article.

Apr. 28 2010 09:24 PM
Cissy Cohen from Clark/Atlanta 91.9

All of these sound recipes sound yummy. Here's one though that this aging Hippie still takes hiking.
Mix peanut butter, dry powered milk, and honey into a dough. Roll into small balls store in plastic bags. Gives you a burst of energy when you've just about give out!

Apr. 28 2010 04:54 PM
Jeannine from north dakota

Best Lent sandwich: Peanut butter, raw potato and sardines.

Apr. 28 2010 10:07 AM

I've given the "J" the miss since I was a kid. Never been much into jelly/jam anyway, and certainly don't like soggy sandwiches.
I'd rather have my homemade almond butter too--usually made with almonds, flax seed, and wheat germ.
I used to have a babysitter who would butter the bread before putting on peanut butter. I thought it was weird and disgusting, though I've since met other people who also do that so she must not've been as nuts--no pun intended--as I thought. I'll still pass.
I'm surprised no one's mentioned Nutella yet. I've never tried that particular combination, but it sounds like it would be popular.

Apr. 28 2010 08:50 AM
mike in maine from Maine

i use sunflower butter (sunbutter) as I am deathly allergic to nuts. toast the bread, throw chocolates filled with caramel on it. would've done the expresso but i need sleep. great segment. until last summer I never had a pb&j experience, and I'm 36.

Apr. 28 2010 08:19 AM
Phil from Brooklyn

Buttered and grilled Bay's English Muffin with natural PB and lingonberry jam. Off the hook.

Honey is great too, and it's supposed to improve your mood.

Apr. 28 2010 08:15 AM
Phil from Brooklyn

Buttered and grilled Bay's English Muffin with natural PB and lingonberry jam. Off the hook.

Honey is great too, and it's supposed to improve your mood.

Apr. 28 2010 08:13 AM
bill wilson

My childhood favorite from my nh cousins was peanut butter and marshmellow fluff. I told my Grandmother, who I was visiting at the time in 1960, that I wanted to stay over at my cousins for the night because I liked theit cooking better and nearly broke her heart. I was a kid

Apr. 28 2010 07:12 AM
Ellen from NYC

An old boyfriend told me that Ernest Heminway ate sandwiches with peanut butter and a thick slice of sweet raw onion, accompanied by a glass of red wine. I tried it in the 1970s and still go back to it. Great contrast of textures!

Apr. 28 2010 07:02 AM
Todd Z from Washington DC

Add a thin layer of honey to some wheat bread...and GRILL that bread honey side DOWN. It will carmelize, yielding a sugary smokey flavor. Re-invert your honey-toast, add PB, and you are on the moon!

PS - Peanut butter and Fluff sandwiches are the desert of kings.

Apr. 27 2010 10:31 PM
Joe from Kensington, Brooklyn

My favorite is this:
First toast a halved whole wheat bagel. Toast it.
Spread on heart-healthy PB (the peanut oil has been swapped out for flax and palm).
Add a layer of thin banana slices.
Top with fruit spread (no refined sugar, sweetened with fruit juice).

Apr. 27 2010 06:49 PM

Grilled! Yes. Try it ~ grilled pb&j!! Dee-licious!

Apr. 27 2010 05:17 PM
@LAFlinn from Washington, DC

I agree - wheat bread (or another whole grain) is the way to go. PB, honey, mashed banana on wheat. (BTW, honey is also the key to a great grilled cheese).

Apr. 27 2010 12:50 PM
Sarah from New York, NY

Jelly tends to glop on parts the bread and it’s difficult to get a perfectly even layer. The worst is when it literally leaks through – gross! I like using jam instead, preferably raspberry. Add that to natural, creamy-style PB on a thick 7-grain and voila – perfect sandwich!

Apr. 27 2010 12:50 PM

Not to knock the pictured sandwich, but the best PBJs are spread on wheat bread. And in place of J, honey, apple butter or pumpkin butter are wonderful.

Apr. 27 2010 12:16 PM

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